‘James Bond 24′ Director Shortlist Revealed; Sam Mendes to Return? [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by

skyfall james bond poster trailer James Bond 24 Director Shortlist Revealed; Sam Mendes to Return? [Updated]

Skyfall director Sam Mendes brought a stronger artistic sensibility to the popcorn fun of the James Bond franchise – building on a foundation laid by directors Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) and Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) in the previous Daniel Craig 007 movies – and since it was announced Mendes is passing on the 24th installment, the search for a suitable replacement is officially underway.

Eon and Sony Pictures were reported to have approached Christopher Nolan to direct a Bond movie recently, but the Dark Knight and Inception filmmaker won’t be available to complete Bond 24 in time for the desired 2015/2016 release date. However, we’re now hearing that the studios have drawn up a a shortlist of (more) feasible candidates for the job.

The list of people currently in to the running to helm Bond 24 – according to Variety – includes Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Tom Hooper (Les Misérables), David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I & II) and Shane Black (Iron Man 3). Variety is cautioning that it may be a while before we find out if any of the aforementioned filmmakers will the man tasked to followup the $1 billion-grossing Skyfall, in part because the details of Craig’s deal for the next two 007 installments are still being worked out.

Lee and Hooper are both Oscar-winning directors – with multiple films that grossed over $100 million under their belts – whereas Refn is the auteur behind not-so-easily-accessible fare like the Pusher trilogy and Drive. Yates has an opening in his schedule due to WB putting his Tarzan movie on hold, but Black might not be an option since he’s pressing ahead with a Doc Savage adaptation.

[UPDATE: Deadline says that Mendes has re-considered and started early talks to direct Bond 24. The Bond producers – according to the site – are willing to wait for Mendes to finish his other commitments (rather than move forward so quickly with development on 007’s next screen appearance). Stay tuned for more…]

ang lee cleopatra angelina jolie James Bond 24 Director Shortlist Revealed; Sam Mendes to Return? [Updated]

Of the people listed, Lee (in my humble opinion) is the most intriguing candidate. The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon filmmaker is one of the most versatile storytellers in the biz – as evidenced by the fact that every movie he’s made falls in a different genre – and he has that combination of strong artistic sensibility and big-budget experience that could give rise to a truly great Bond flick.

For those who worry that a Lee-directed Bond movie would be too sluggishly paced and brooding in tone – as many feel about his Hulk adaptation – the director has since expressed regret about not delivering a more purely-entertaining Marvel movie. That’s to say, if he were to be hired on to direct Bond 24, Lee would make all the more conscious an effort to avoid repeating that mistake (while still putting together a contemporary 007 adventure as smart as his predecessors’).


Who would you like to see direct the next James Bond movie? Let us know in the comments section.

Source: Variety

Update Source: Deadline

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: James bond
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  1. Hell no to shane black or ang lee. I love ang lee but he doesnt fit. Id like to see tom hooper actually i think he can do anything

    • If you want to see Daniel Craig pores, then Tom hooper is your man.

      • His close-ups… mother of God, two hour movie with one hour and 59 minutes of close-ups… jeez

        • You are aware that he only used that technique for the performances in Le Miz, aren’t you? It was a specific device he used in translating that musical, not something I’d expect him to carry over to his other films.

  2. I wouldn’t mind seeing Yates or Black at the helm but a Lee Bond movie would be pretty cool.

  3. Shane Black: Hell no.

    Ang Lee or Tom Hooper: Hell YES!

    • I don’t understand why westerners love Ang Lee so much. It’s like he takes the dumbest aspects of Asian film culture and brings it to the USA and the people here think it’s so new and cool… I’m sorry, but I hate pretty much everything Ang Lee does because it’s just more polished versions of the overly dramatic soap opera stuff you see in Chinese movies and tv shows all of the time… It’s so annoying… I’m Asian so it’s not new and cool to me, it’s annoying…

      I would hate for Ang Lee to put his overly and unnecessarily dramatic spin on the James Bond character…

      James Bond is a honed killer. I don’t want some weird brokeback emotional tantrum to happen to James Bond… He made Hulk emo for goodness sakes… ugh…

      • You’ve posted this before ages ago. Your mentality is because you’re Asian, you have the right to enlighten the rest of us and let us know how much of a hack Ang Lee is. Speak for yourself man, I love his movies. If there really are Asian influences apparent in his work, then I love those influences. Do you think if James Cameron directed a Chinese film, he’d completely do away with his style and influences and make a Chinese film as opposed to a James Cameron film?

        You know what? The more I think about it, the more I really can’t stand you. Racist prick. Your argument has no logic. In Australia, there’s this thing called ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ – look it up!

        • Unless Ken J is referencing Lee’s early Taiwanese films, or ‘Crouching Tiger’, I’m not quite sure what he’s talking about. If anything, I see more European influence with Lee, particularly that of Bergman and Antonioni. Where are the “stock Asian soap opera devices” in ‘The Ice Storm’ or ‘Brokeback Mountain’? How about in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Taking Woodstock’? Can you give us any specific examples from those films, Ken J? Enlighten us.

      • Well, I’m a Westerner and I DON’T LIKE Michael Bay!

        How’s that?!

        • Well if he’s Ken Jeong then honestly, the only thing I’ve found him funny in is Community, otherwise “Dr Ken” can disappear from screens and I wouldn’t miss him.

          Besides, Life Of Pi was incredible so strike one for Ang Lee.

  4. Every movie lee has done is a diffent genre but
    They all have a romantic feel to them

  5. Kathryn Bigelow is my choice.
    If you’ve seen the last 20 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty, then you know what I’m talking about

    • No.

      • Ive seen the last 20 minutes and its an ok set peice

        • Nothing against Bigelow. I like her work very much. Many of my friends tell me that the last 30 minutes of “Zero Dark Thirty” are the best part of the flick.

          I just don’t think she herself would be that intrigued to do a James Bond movie.

          But I’m all for a female director taking on Bond. James would probably LIKE that.

          I also think it’s inevitable that EON will eventually work with a non UK director.

          But first:

          Nolan………. lol

    • Zero Dark Thirty was a terrible film IMO

      • @ACW

        I didn’t watch it because of how terrible her other war movie was, Hurt Locker, that also got rave critical reviews. Most likely due to politics more than the merits of the actual movie… But my sister tells me that ZD30 was different and it’s actually pretty good… I MIGHT watch it one day if I can get a free rental or something…

        • Bigelow….yeah, that wouldn’t work. She only seems to be in the “US propaganda” business rather than the actually compelling storytelling business.

          As much as I hated Avatar as an overly lengthy, boring mess of a movie telling a story we’ve seen so many times done way better, I still think it was robbed when The Hurt Locker was awarded instead at the Oscars.

          Kathryn seems to only make movies if they can glorify US military campaigns for some easy awards. I have nothing against the military of any country but I actively avoid movies like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty because I just don’t see the need or demand for them. Wouldn’t be shocked if they used the “America, F*** Yeah!” song from Team America but without the irony in its use.

          I also wouldn’t want a British political director to helm Bond and turn him into a flag-waving patriot because the cynic in me would question why the Broccolis allowed that kind of movie to be made.

          • A lot of the last Oscar nominations for Best Picture made America look good. And one of them won.

            As an American, I love this country and all, but we’ve all taken history lessons and watched the news. None of us wanted or needed a film about killing Bin Laden, but we got it anyway.

          • I would be interested in seeing the Bigelow that made ‘Point Break’ and ‘Strange Days’ helm a Bond. She was an amazing pure action director, back in the day.

  6. Ang Lee would get my vote too,
    Sandy, for the reasons you mentioned.

    Lee could make a distinctive yet
    still comfortable Bond film.

  7. Yates would be the best choice imo as he can deliver great action and intelligent work with intriguing emotion. Refn could be good as well as he knows stylish action, just hope he learns from his mistakes on Only God Forgives (early reviews are pretty bad). Just hope it’s not Black. Best order for this kind of film imo:
    1) Yates
    2) Refn
    3) Hooper
    4) Lee
    5) Black

    • Thanks for catching that! I’ll update accordingly.

      • Ah, Sandy. You hit the REPLY button 3 milliseconds before me!

    • Good catch, Alex! And this news is out today!

      Sandy, maybe you could edit(update) this fine article of yours. Naaaa, you’re doing stellar as always!

      If Mendes can work it out with Broccoli and Wilson then let it be so.

      Hooper and Lee are still interesting contenders.

  8. Tom Hooper is so extremely talented AND diverse. It seems that whatever genre or thematic subject he turns his focus on turns to gold.

    It would be amazing to see what he could with a “James Bond” flick.

    And he fits in with EON’s tradition of hiring English directors.

  9. Tom Hooper!! Les Miserables is a masterpiece!!

    Russell Crowe as the bad guy please

    • Remember all the hoopla about Edris Elba potentially becoming a future Bond.

      I say forget that.

      Edris would be an awesome Villain.

      • Good call, he’s a great actor but I feel like he’s being forced on us like so many actors do, suggesting he become Bond was just one step too far!

        I think he would make a great villain, the story really does need to be something special this time though, we can’t have Bond go up against yet another megalomaniac, I liked the arc of Quantum and the secret organisation, one man rarely rules these days and this was a clever angle, I suppose it’s tough to be original with so many rip offs and remakes flooding our screens!

  10. All of these choices are good. I could see all of them making a good bond film. If I had to choose two then….Shane Black and David Yates

  11. If Mendes can come back, that’s great. I’d love that. Skyfall was terrific in my opinion.

    I’d rather not see Shane Black do this. I think he’d be more at home doing a James Bond parody type film instead. He seems to make films with a more comic tone (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3).

    If they can’t get Mendes to come back and have to pick one of the other names on the list, Ang Lee is the one that interests me the most. I wasn’t a huge fan of Life of Pi, but it was still well made and I’d be intrigued to see what he could do with 007.

  12. I was kind of hoping for Nolan to do the next Bond film so he would stay busy and away from any Justice Laegue movie involment. The Bond film franchise can withstand a Nolan like blow a lot better than a fledgling Justice League franchise could.

    But who am I kidding?? A Justice League movie?

    • Yes. A JLA movie. It’s just a matter of time.

      • @ Kryptonic

        JL movie?

        Well, I’ve got my fingers crossed……….

  13. I absolutely love Shane Black and his work, but he is not the right guy to direct Bond. Black works a lot better with quirkier, more lively characters and I don’t think he’d be able to write for the more stoic Bond that well.

    Ang Lee would definitely be the most interesting choice for director. However, interesting doesn’t necessarily mean good.

    My personal pick for the job would be Nicolas Winding Refn. I watched Drive recently and that film had the perfect tone and style for a Bond movie.

    • Everything you said about Shane Black. Yes. Why he would even be in the mix with these other directors makes no sense.

  14. I hope Shane Black Gets it, then he can spit in the face of all Bond fans by making an embarrassment of a film that tries to hard to be something it isn’t and ruins established plot points and characters.

    • Sarcasm Detector overheating… Internet to self destruct in 5 minutes

  15. Wow, lots of people are *really* against Shane Black doing a Bond flick, huh? They have a point, though. I don’t think he fits, not because of IM3 (which I mostly liked) but simply because his style doesn’t necessarily cut it. As for Ang Lee… well, the man’s diverse, but I’m not 100% convinced he won’t divert the style too much.

    Mendes would be the obvious choice, although I’d rather he doesn’t do another one (not so soon, anyway). Skyfall was really entertaining, but it also felt like less of a Bond film and more of a TDK/TDKR mash-up that just happened to have Bond in it. I like that he brought his own signature to it, but I think it’s time to move on.

    Would love for Nolan to get a shot at it, but the timing doesn’t favour him (maybe Bond 25?). Hooper? Nothing of his stuff I’ve seen (which admittedly is only The King’s Speech and Les Mis) tells me he fits. As for Refn, haven’t seen his stuff, although judging by the trailers for Drive/Only God Forgives, we’d get a pretty interesting, dark, beautifully-shot Bond film.

    But why not get Martin Campbell back though? The guy directed two great Bond films. Or do they only call him in to resuscitate the franchise?

    • Agreed with you on Shane Black. It’s not because of IM3 but because of his style would be perfect for something like a Lethal Weapon (which he created) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Essentially good 90’s action movies that actually doesn’t rely on explosions.

      Can’t really see Nicolas Winding Refn do a bond movie. His Pusher Trilogy, Drive and Only God Forgive are pulp/neo-noir movies and his direction style is inspired by Tarantino.

  16. Was hoping Duncan Jones to be in this list but out of them all, Tom Hooper would be perfect.

    • As did i, but jones is busy with world of warcraft film

      • At least we get to see him directing a biopic about the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming.

        • Also true

    • Same.

  17. Sam Mendes, Tom Hooper, or David Yates are my top choices out of this shortlist.

    I’m a HUGE fan of Hooper, and have suggested him as a Bond director before; I’d be over the moon if he signed on.

  18. David Fincher, nuff said. Did someone really just consider Kathryn Bigelow & Christopher Nolan? wow

  19. Nicholas Winding Refn is a joke. It will be a repeat of Quantum of Solace. The guy is massively overrated and pretentious.

    Shane Black? Not after that Iron Man 3 disaster.

    Tom Hooper? Les Miserables was ok for what it was. He could pull it off, but it may not be the best made Bond.

    David Yates? Never liked the Harry Potter films, but it may not have been his fault.

    Christopher Nolan? Can’t shoot action scenes, can’t pull off the incredible aspirations that he casts for his films.

    I would prefer a director that can competently shoot action movies and isn’t ashamed to execute them in a manner that is appealing, not alienating, to audiences.

    • If you didn’t enjoy Harry Potter, that’s all you. Keeps true to it’s source material EXTREMELY well

    • the plane sequence in the DKR is like a top tier bond sequence. Nolan cant do hand the hand fighting but his set peices weather it be chases are gun fights are legit

      • Top tier Bond sequence = The Madagascar chase from “Casino Royale”

        As much as I enjoy the opening sequence to TDKR, it wasn’t that mind blowing or exhilarating IMO

  20. I like all of these choices I think they’re all fantastic, I’ll vote for either Hooper or Mendes but probably Mendes above all because I really enjoyed skyfall

  21. Hmm, I would like a new director again. I wasnt the biggest fan of Skyfall honestly. I like Casino Royal way more actually. I would like Yates. Hooper could potentially be good to.

  22. Refn is my choice. Bond would look the coolest with him, and the movie would be a lovely thing to look at.

  23. I like mooost of those directors, but only would want Sam Mendes for the job. Or Nolan (blahdy blahdy blah, I know, I’m one of many who won’t shut up about how great he is).

  24. Nicolas Winding Refn, Totally. Absolutely! Yes!!

  25. Ang Lee’s Hulk movie is more DC than Marvel. Just sayin’. Maybe he should do the next Batman?

    • LOL, Oh my god, NO !! Not Batman !!

      • Maybe he could introduce Robin..? :p

  26. LOL @ Shane Black for Bond. I love Shane Black. There isn’t one movie that Ive seen of his that Ive hated. But Bond? Nah, can’t see it happening. Although I would watch it and enjoy it. It would be hilarious. He should include his jokes from Predator.

  27. An Ang Lee Bond film would be intrigueing. Personally I liked to see what Mendes can do on his 2nd time in the directors chair.. Failing that Ang Lee would work for me for sure…

  28. Ang Lee doesn’t really seem like the right fit, based on his body of work.
    Shane Black at least has experience with the cop-thriller thing, which isn’t too far off from a spy thriller, but he probably has other projects lined up.
    I have yet to see a Refn film that I liked (plus his recent comment about violence and gore in movies has really put me off as well), so no to him.
    Hooper and Yates both seem like good candidates. Yates probably more so since he has more experience with the big budget action movies. I wouldn’t mind seeing one of them take on the 007 franchise.
    Still, I’d love to see another one done by Mendes. He’s my first choice for Bond 24 (assuming Chris Nolan will only do a Bond film with a new actor).

    All’s I know is that I’m counting down the days till Nolan does a Bond flick.