Coming off the back of Skyfall, director Sam Mendes remained coy about his chances of returning at the helm for Spectre – then known as Bond 24. History tells us that the Oscar-winning filmmaker eventually signed along the dotted line, but amid the uncertainty, Sony and MGM drew up a shortlist of potential replacements; one of them being Drive and Only God Forgives director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Doing the press rounds for The Neon Demon – press rounds that have also unveiled the director’s ambition to helm a Batgirl movie, not to mention his close encounter with Wonder Woman – the Danish auteur confirmed to The Telegraph that he had been approached to take the reins of Spectre at one point.
Refn doesn’t delve into too much detail, instead allowing talk to turn toward his own spy movie, The Avenging Silence. Boasting a script from Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – who, incidentally, worked across Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall and even Spectre – little is known about the embryonic project, but the filmmaker did tease that pursuing the road less travelled allows him to exercise full creative control over his movie: “I just know this way I can do whatever I want, and that outweighs any money anyone can give me.” Control that he simply wouldn’t hold at the helm of a James Bond franchise film.
Now that Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig are effectively finished with the license to kill, the fate of Bond 25 remains up in the air for now; although, it appears MGM has at least drawn up a shortlist of 00 candidates. As for The Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn’s fashion thriller is in theaters now.
Source: The Telegraph