MGM will have two James Bond 25 movie scripts to choose from, now that Trainspotting writer John Hodges is working on a separate screenplay. The future for Daniel Craig as 007 seemed grim following the release of Spectre in 2015. Craig was vocally unhappy with the experience and long delayed making any commitment to reprising the Bond character again. When the 007 movie distribution rights went up for grabs, it only prolonged the process, especially with Sam Mendes leaving the franchise after having directed two films.
The studio has been searching for a big name director to tackle the landmark 25th Bond film, but has proven unable to land the likes of Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan thus far. Yesterday, it was revealed Trainspotting director Danny Boyle is a frontrunner to direct the movie. However, his interests in other projects could keep a deal from being made.
Further showing his interest in Bond 25, it has just been revealed by Deadline that Boyle is working with his Trainspotting writer John Hodge to hash out the story. Hodge will write a full script once the story beats for Boyle's vision are finalized. The twist here is that MGM already has a script for Bond 25 by the duo who wrote the last three Bond films. According to this report, MGM will wait until Hodge's script is done (which won't be for a few months) to decide whether or not to make Boyle's movie or move ahead with their current idea.
If nothing else, this development shows a true interest from the studio in getting Boyle to direct Bond 25. Craig has already confirmed that Bond 25 will indeed be his final appearance as Agent 007, so Boyle can approach this as a one-and-done installment to a massive franchise. It is also not terribly shocking that Boyle turned to Hodge to knock out the script. The two just reteamed for T2: Trainspotting, but also have worked together on Trance, The Beach, and Shallow Grave.
This could, however, be a risk for the studio at this point. They previously dated Bond 25 to hit theaters in November 2019, one week after Wonder Woman 2 arrives on the scene. The director search has been ongoing for months, so waiting several more months to decide on Boyle's script could backfire. There's so far no word on when production would begin on the movie, but after filming and releasing Spectre in less than a year, MGM would presumably want more time to work on Bond 25. If they ultimately decide to not go with Boyle's take, MGM could potentially lose months of pre-production time.
Should this work out though, MGM will have secured the top tier director they've been searching for, and given him a chance to do his own thing. Unfortunately, that also means we may not know what Bond 25's director status is for a few few more months. Of course, when the decision is ultimately made, we will be sure to let you know.
- James Bond 25 (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2020