Film and television director Paul McGuigan (BBC’s Sherlock) is rumored to be in consideration to direct Bond 25. Since Daniel Craig took over the role of 007 in the James Bond franchise 11 years ago, the film series has consistently suffered from ups and downs. Screaming out of the gate in 2006 with director Martin Campbell with Casino Royale, Craig proved the world was ready to accept him as a blond Bond, but 007 quickly fell out of favor with fans again with the underwhelming Quantum of Solace from helmer Marc Forster in 2008.
The franchise’s fortunes changed with the next film in 2012, as American Beauty Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes pulled the film series out its doldrums in 2012 with Skyfall, arguably one of the best films in the entire Bond franchise, suffered a sophomore slump in 2015 when Spectre couldn’t quite match the brilliance of its predecessor.
With Mendes out of the picture for Bond 25, Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are on the hunt for a new filmmaker to take the helm, and if a rumor pans out, it will be McGuigan. According to IndieWire, Wilson and Broccoli are impressed with McGuigan’s indie drama Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool that the filmmaker is being considered to take the director’s chair for Bond 25. The outlet observes that the choice of a director like McGuigan makes sense for the Bond franchise, since previous helmers like Mendes and Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) both came from the independent film world.
While McGuigan’s other films, including Lucky Number Slevin and Victor Frankenstein, didn’t exactly create shockwaves, it’s reasonable to presume that the director’s work with heavy-hitters Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on Sherlock is weighing heavy into Wilson and Broccoli’s decision whether or not to take him on. The positive thing to note about news of a director’s search is that it may signal that Craig, who has been offered offered $150 million to reprise the role of 007 for two more films, is closer to a decision to get the deal done.
Craig’s unwillingness to commit to more Bond has no doubt cast uncertainty on the franchise, and once he locks in, the bidding war involving five studios on distribution rights should yield the results the producers are looking for. Other vital elements are already in place, and Craig’s co-stars including Geoffrey Wright and Dave Bautista have expressed interesting in returning for the next film, and Spectre writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are working on a new script.
If Wilson and Broccoli go with McGuigan for Bond 25, only time will tell if he turns out something on the level of Campbell or Mendes (the first time around), or Forster or Mendes (the second time). Nothing seems for certain in the Craig era of Bond, except for the film world is a lot less exciting without him.