Director Danny Boyle says he’s done with franchise films after his experience making Bond 25. It was confirmed that Boyle would direct Bond 25 last spring and hopes were high among Bond fans who thought the Oscar-winning director might just elevate the flagging franchise to its former glory after the relatively middling effort that was 2015’s Spectre. Those hopes were dashed, however, when it was announced a few months later that Boyle had departed the production due to ‘creative differences’.
While Bond 25 found a worthy replacement director in Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation), Boyle later revealed why he ended up leaving the project. Elaborating on those ‘creative differences’ Boyle stated that the vision he and his long-time collaborator John Hodge – who was penning the script for Bond 25 – had for the film was great but clashed with what producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson wanted.
Though Boyle and Bond 25 parted company pleasantly enough, it seems the experience was enough to put the director off franchise films for life. In an exclusive interview with Metro, Boyle jokingly stated:
“I learned my lesson that I am not cut out [for franchises] otherwise you’re digging in the same hole. I am better at not quite in the mainstream franchise movies, is the honest answer.”
Note that Boyle emphasises that it’s mainstream film franchises he intends to stay away from in future, most likely referencing his Trainspotting films and his 2002 zombie horror 28 Days Later which he followed-up by executive producing its sequel 28 Weeks Later. Of course, there’s a big difference between making movies like Trainspotting and 28 Days Later and their sequels and making a Bond film. In taking on a franchise as iconic and long-running as the Bond movies, it’s unlikely Boyle would’ve had much in the way of creative freedom or much ability to express the kind of autership he’s shown in films like 127 Hours and the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.
It seems as though departing Bond 25 was the best thing for Boyle as it allowed him to concentrate on Yesterday – a musical fantasy comedy he’s directed featuring a script penned by Love Actually director Richard Curtis. Yesterday stars Himesh Patel as Jack Malik – a struggling singer-songwriter who gets knocked over by a bus during a freak global blackout only to wake up and find he’s the only person on Earth who remembers The Beatles. After passing off Beatles songs as his own, his ruthless agent (played by Ghostbusters’ Kate McKinnon) helps him become a world-famous megastar but Jack risks losing his childhood best friend/love interest Ellie (Baby Driver’s Lily James) in the process. Catch Yesterday when it hits cinemas on June 28.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020