The latest instalment in the long-running franchise sparked into life earlier this week, when Eon and current rights holders MGM announced a late 2019 release date, but not much else. Word is that Daniel Craig will return as 007 one last time, thereby fulfilling his current contract wielding that famous license to kill. Further details on a cast, director, and distributor are expected to be announced imminently, though Deadline’s latest scoop has threatened to spoil one of those three surprises.
Out of the aforementioned contenders, Villeneuve is the one that has likely caught your eye in recent years. From Sicario to Arrival to the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, the two-time Oscar nominee has fast become one of the more exciting filmmakers working in the industry today, and it’s no wonder Legendary quickly appointed Villeneuve at the helm of its long-brewing Dune reboot. Stay tuned for more on that one.
MacKenzie, meanwhile, delivered a remarkably compelling neo-Western in the form of Hell or High Water, which went on to become one of the few dark horses of the 2017 Oscar race. Last and certainly not least, Yann Demange helmed historical epic ’71, and currently has his hands full with White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey (The Dark Tower).
Notable by their absence from today’s alleged shortlist? Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), who have each been linked with the coveted gig ever since Bond 25 began to coalesce. As a self-proclaimed Bond superfan, one would assume that Nolan’s name isn’t out of the race entirely, though as Deadline points out, it’s more likely that the prolific director will remain in the wings until the time comes to reboot the James Bond franchise once more, drafting in new blood to replace the outgoing Daniel Craig.
Behind the scenes, a similar changeover is about to unfold, given Warner Bros., Annapurna, Fox, and Universal are lobbying for control of the Bond series moving forward via a one-picture deal. Sony is also said to be in the race, though it remains to be seen if the studio can retain the keys to the kingdom after the middling Spectre.
The so-far untitled Bond 25 will report for duty on November 8th, 2019.