James Bond rarely needs rescuing, but he certainly does right now. Thankfully, now that Danny Boyle is confirmed to direct James Bond 25, 007 has found a savior. The Academy Award-winning director ended weeks of speculation by confirming he will helm the next installment of the venerable franchise, with filming to begin late in 2018. Announced as Daniel Craig’s fifth and final turn as James Bond, Danny Boyle’s Bond 25 is a positive development for 007 and his legions of fans.
Boyle confirmed he and his longtime screenwriter John Hodge have “an idea” for Bond and that Hodge is currently hard at work on the screenplay. Hodge and Boyle have collaborated six times in the last 25 years, including their most acclaimed work, Trainspotting, so this is a duo with a strong creative history. Beyond pure quality, what Danny Boyle and John Hodge herald is a much-needed overhaul of James Bond’s creative brain trust.
They follow in the footsteps of previous director and fellow Best Director Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, and perennial 007 screenwriters Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, along with John Logan. Mendes, of course, took James Bond to new heights with Skyfall, the most critically acclaimed Bond film which grossed $1.109 billion worldwide. However, his follow up, Spectre, failed to meet Skyfall‘s measure, topping out at an $880.7 million worldwide gross. The critical and fan reaction was far less enthusiastic for Bond 24; it does have a 63% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film’s overall reputation is that it’s a disappointment. For his part, Danny Boyle has the talent and pedigree to totally turn the James Bond ship around.
This Page: Daniel Craig’s Bond Is In A Dangerous Position
Page 2: How Danny Boyle Can Save 007
Daniel Craig’s Bond Is In A Strange Position After Spectre
Spectre was a well-intentioned mess of a film that left the Bond franchise teetering on uncertainty. Mendes rushed to meet a November 2015 release date (October 26th in the UK), with his four screenwriters, including Purvis and Wade, John Logan, and Jez Butterworth unable to solve the issues of the script before cameras started rolling. He attempted to double down on the success of Skyfall by again dissecting the relevance of its main character by weaving together the continuity of all of Daniel Craig’s Bond films, retconning his adventures so that his heretofore-unknown arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) was pulling the strings all along as the leader of the evil global network, Spectre. Further, because Skyfall made effective use of Bond’s childhood iconography (007 made his last stand at his family’s ancestral home in Scotland), Mendes went back to that well and revealed the orphaned Bond grew up with a resentful Blofeld (then known as Franz Oberhauser) as his adopted brother.
Though it began with a spectacular opening sequence in Mexico City, Spectre was bloated with tonal inconsistencies, confusing plot turns, and otherwise awkward moments. Mendes peppered Spectre with homages to previous Bond films, specifically Roger Moore’s cheeky era of 007, but Craig was ill-suited to provide witty banter during breakneck car chases. It was especially cringe-worthy to watch Craig attempt to seduce a widowed Monica Bellucci as he pumped her for information about Spectre’s meeting place in Rome.
Spectre concluded with Bond making the bewildering choice to not exercise his license to kill the villain. Instead, he quit MI6 to ride off into the sunset with the newest Bond Girl, Madeleine Swann. It was an obvious plot: the writers transparently had Bond leave Blofeld alive so he could return to put a bullet in James’ happy ending.
Fans (including former Bond Pierce Brosnan) were unhappy with Spectre, feeling let down by the muddled follow up to Skyfall and a general malaise at the thought of a continuation of the plot threads Spectre left behind. Most famously, Daniel Craig was unhappy, period, and he evaded the very idea he would back as James Bond. However, Danny Boyle offers a new life and potential for the franchise.
Page 2: How Danny Boyle Can Save 007
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