Bond Week: 12 Possible Future Directors

The franchise has been going with bigger names of late, so who might be next?

Bond Week continues here at The Awards Circuit! As you all know, we’re going to be bringing you a whole host of James Bond related pieces between now and the release of ‘Skyfall’ this Friday.  Historically, the gig of directing has taken a slightly lower profile. Directors such as Lewis Gilbert, John Glen, Guy Hamilton, Peter Hunt, Roger Spottiswoode, Lee Tamahori, and Terence Young are some prime examples. Of course, there have been slightly more well-known filmmakers like Michael Apted, Martin Campbell, and Marc Forster, plus the upcoming film which was made by Oscar winner Sam Mendes. This suggests a move away from caretaker directors and towards auteurs who might be able to add something to the franchise, so that’s where I’m picking up. I’ve got a list of filmmakers who I think would be fitting for upcoming Bond movies. Some have actually been talked about previously, though someone like Steven Spielberg, who once yearned for the job, is now wishful thinking, and likewise for Quentin Tarantino. I won’t be focusing much on people previously offered the job, such as Paul Haggis and Roger Michell, but I’ve got a dozen original names to throw out at you.

David Ayer– The director has upped his game this year with ‘End of Watch’ and could definitely do the grittiness that marked ‘Casino Royale’. Ayer might not be the first person that you’d expect to get the job, but especially as the Daniel Craig series of Bond films continue to forge their own identity, this could be a better fit than you’d initially think. I’m not convinced he’ll ever get offered the gig, but I think he could do a very good job with the material, especially since he could help co-write it as well.

Kathryn Bigelow– I don’t think she’d be too interested in the job if it came her way, but if there’s a woman out there who could make a kick-ass Bond film, Bigelow is the one to do it (not that others wouldn’t be successful with the franchise, of course). She’s working on a real high level right now, and as an added bonus she could bring the great Mark Boal on to write the picture as well. She may be a long shot, but I’d love to see her get a crack at it. She’s more than just an action director, which is essential to the success of a Bond movie in my humble opinion.

Dan Bradley– Here’s a possibility I’m not in favor of, but could still see happening. The noted Second Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator infamously had a strong hand in making ‘Quantum of Solace’ when Marc Forster struggled with the action scenes, Bradley has now made a film of his own with the remake of ‘Red Dawn’ and could be the type of selection more in line with the choices the franchise used to make. I wasn’t fond of what he did with the previous Bond film, but his directorial outing was better, so perhaps he’d be better at it than Forster was at least…

Danny Boyle– Here and there I’ve heard rumors about Boyle being someone looked at as a possible director for the franchise at some point, and I think it would be a good fit. He’d do what Sam Mendes did and bring on a strong Cinematographer, with Anthony Dod Mantel his likely selection, which would be an asset to the potential film. He’d also have a top notch writer in either Alex Garland or more likely Simon Beaufoy. Boyle might be more likely than many others on this list, and I also think he’d be one of the best choices as well.

Martin Campbell– Another selection that makes a lot of sense, Campbell has already made 2 Bond flicks, and the producers have never hesitated to go back to the well with filmmakers that they liked. Previously, Lewis Gilbert made 3, John Glen made 5, Guy Hamilton made 4, and Terence Young made 3. Campbell’s prior outings are thought of as very strong installments, and especially if they’re looking to change things up again, he could be a solid choice to help make that transition. I wouldn’t be surprised at all is he returned to 007 at some point, and in fact might be more surprised if he doesn’t.

Joe Cornish– A slightly quirkier choice than most, I think that Cornish is a director with a ton of potential. I wasn’t in love with ‘Attack the Block’, but he seems to me to be a future Bond director. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like either him or maybe even Edgar Wright could be up for the job at some point, and he’s even more likely in my eyes.

Todd Field– I’d be overjoyed if the super selective Field took on this job, as everything he’s touched has been gold so far, but I realize that it’s highly unlikely. He doesn’t seem interested in mainstream projects, but it’s possible that Mendes doing so well with ‘Skyfall’ may open things up for higher class filmmakers like Field. I can dream, right?

Tom Ford– There’d be an interesting irony if someone known for making high quality men’s suits would design the clothes and direct a future Bond film. I have no clue what Ford is planning on making as his career goes forward, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s possible that Ford could one day be approached for the job. ‘A Single Man’ may not be anything like a Bond movie, but I don’t think he’d be a bad choice at all.

Tom Hooper– Here’s someone who could be more likely than many realize. Hooper was targeted for ‘Iron Man 3’ after winning the Best Director Oscar for ‘The King’s Speech’, so perhaps a James Bond outing could make more sense for him? He’d be somewhat similar to Mendes, so maybe it’ll be a number of years before be says yes, but I do think that one day he’ll be highly sought after for the job.

Duncan Jones– While primarily interested in science fiction so far in his young career, Jones has been talked about for just about every big franchise opening of the past few years, so why not a future 007 flick as well? He’s supremely talented in my eyes and could probably make a really creative one, so I do hope he’s approached at some point. As long as he doesn’t do something like ‘Moonraker’, I’d be thrilled…

Christopher Nolan– Ah yes, the sexy choice. Nolan has obviously teased once or twice that he’d be interested in one day sitting down and talking about the job, but I really can’t see that ever coming to pass. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d be overjoyed if he made a Bond movie, and of course he’d have an amazing crew behind the scenes working on it, but he can pretty much make anything he wants these days, so this could be slightly beneath him. Mendes in many ways was making his version of a Nolan Bond flick with ‘Skyfall’, so who knows that that means for his chances. Time will tell, I suppose, since he could have the gig if he wanted it, but I just don’t think that it’ll ever happen…

Joe Wright– More so than anyone else on this list, I’ve targeted Wright for the director’s chair on a 007 outing for years now. Even before ‘Hanna’, I thought he had one in him, and after seeing that movie, I only thought he was a better fit. I’m actually pretty confident that Wright will be asked to make a Bond movie at some point…the question is just when that conversation will take place.

Of course, this is just my take on who could make some of the next James Bond movies. I really do want to know who you all would like to see take on future installments in the franchise. Did I mention ones you’d approve of? Who did I miss? Should Sam Mendes continue on with the series at some point?

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!


What do you think?

72 points
Film Lover

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


Leave a Reply

Quartet (***)

AFI Day 5: Rust and Bone (***)