You can flip every conversation or forum on the Internet, and you’ll be able to find a debate about who should/will play James Bond next after Daniel Craig announced he was done playing the iconic character.
Even bookmakers are taking bets (right now, Tom Hiddleston is in top position). But the most important question for me is this: who’s gonna direct it? Will it a reboot? Will continuity or complete different directions following current action / spy / blockbusters movies affect its economical and artistic developments?
James Bond has survived everything; at some point, they even sent him to space just to compete with the Star Wars franchise. So, the director should be fresh, competent, innovative or simply original to carry on with one of the most famous characters in cinema history.
Another legitimate question, and to which the new movie director should answer: After the Brexit, will we be afraid that 007 will have trouble at international airports?
Since Sam Mendes, the director of the last two opuses, isn’t returning either, here is a list of 10 other talented directors who can reinvent and place James Bond into today’s landscape.
1. Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie started as a rebel indie filmmaker directing small budget personal movies; he was more like the English response to the wave launched in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. That hasn’t kept him from taking on bigger challenges, establishing sagas (a third Sherlock Holmes is in the works, and as rumored, many may come after) and even having his own Cold War spy extravaganza as an exercise.
Indeed, “The Man from UNCLE” imposed itself in a year full of spy movies (“Spectre”, “Kingsman”, “Rogue Nation”) and earned the right to have it owns sequels as well. In it, Henry Cavill even reminds us of a cheeky young Sean Connery, so what’s wrong with him being James Bond, Superman and Napoleon Solo?
From afar, he looks like the perfect stylish man for the job, but his engagement on the revival of King Arthur (another Celluloid hero) can make him busy for years to come. However, we are still hoping that the director of “Snatch” can take on the MI5 agent one day.
2. Steve McQueen
Most current opinions have accepted and cheered on the idea that the next 007 should/could be black (Idris Elba and Jamie Foxx are frequently suggested). So why not a black director? Sure, it will not have the same impact on pop culture icon as having a black character, but what about a black, Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed screenwriter and director?
Steve McQueen plays in the category of filmmakers who can transform independent and personal movies and make them the most memorable modern cinema can offer. His take on James Bond will be fearless and raw, mostly exploring the depths of his psychology.
The other perk of hiring McQueen is his partnership with Michael Fassbender; together, they form one of the most dynamic and talented actor/director collaborations ever seen on film. And by pure luck, Fassbender is usually named as one the actors that could helm the legendary role.
In the end, could having a black director and an Irish actor to work together again, for the Bond series, be too radical?
3. Duncan Jones
The BAFTA-winning ”Moon” director’s name is always mentioned on shortlists for several projects (“Man of Steel”, “The Wolverine” and “The Hunger Games – Catching Fire”, to name a few). Back in 2012, Duncan Jones chose “Warcraft” over an Ian Fleming biopic. Needless to say, Jones is a serious talent and had his fair share of suitors.
Given that David Bowie’s son proved a dab hand with deductive trickery and action in ”Source Code”, he can easily give Bond a more modern, intriguing, imaginative and thematically ambitious picture than most of the fellow contenders. The jury is still out regarding if “Warcraft” will have a sequel, and that can be his ticket to trade the Orc fantasy universes for the complexity of the international spy world.
Or simply, helming the world of the famous spy isn’t meant to be for this family; the late David Bowie was considered at some point to play the villainous Max Zorin in 1985’s “A View to Kill”, but the role went to Oscar winner Christopher Walken instead.
4. Christopher Nolan
When Daniel Craig and Martin Campbell were hired for a new James Bond movie, the mission was simple: to reboot the whole thing with a dark tone, just like Christopher Nolan did with Batman. His work on the caped crusader influenced “Casino Royale” at many points.
The “Dark Knight” trilogy and some incredible movies later, he demonstrated that he can develop any character with a great deal of talent and cleverness. So instead of settling for some carbon copies, why not have the original?
In many interviews, Nolan hinted at the fact that directing a Bond movie would be a delightful experience, yet quite a challenge for him. Add to that the huge fan following the British filmmaker has earned over the years; some even call him the “new Kubrick.” Having him direct a James Bond film will just contribute to this comparison, as Kubrick helped with the lighting the set of “The Spy Who Loved Me”.
To be brief: Let’s admit it, a James Bond by Christopher Nolan is something we all dream of, and that’s the best argument we could ever give.
5. Rupert Wyatt
The high profile film director created a surprise with the well-received commercial and critical revival of “The Planet of Apes”, reinventing a franchise that was left for dead after Tim Burton’s failed attempt in 2001.
He’s listed as one of the frontrunners for the most demanding projects nowadays, including “Thor 3”, but mostly “Gambit”. His hiring and then departure from the X-Men spinoff, due to a scheduling conflict, got media attention and spotlight about how one visionary filmmaker could take a movie to the sky, or it could bury him to the ground.
Gambit and Caesar (from “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) are outsiders trying to evolve in a world they don’t fit into, and in some way, so is James Bond. That common thing can do justice for the beloved spy if the director makes sure to provide an action movie with an intelligent storyline and touching character moments.