If Ian Fleming’s world-famous spy developed a curious case of stage fright in the immediate aftermath of Spectre – ongoing issues with the James Bond film rights and Daniel Craig’s contract have resulted in a prolonged and, frankly, perplexing pre-production process for Bond 25 – we’re beginning to see the early signs of a 007 comeback.
There are still obstacles to overcome, but now that MGM and Eon have sparked a creative bidding war over the franchise’s rights – a bidding war that reportedly involves five parties: Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox, Annapurna and Sony – fleeting morsels of information are beginning to infiltrate the interwebs. IndieWire has the latest report, one which claims that longtime series producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have drawn up a shortlist of potential directors. So far, only one name has emerged online: Paul McGuigan, the filmmaker best known for Lucky Number Slevin and Victor Frankenstein, along with a handful of Sherlock episodes for the BBC.
The Powers That Be are reportedly aiming to recruit an indie director for Bond 25, and McGuigan, fresh off the upcoming Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, fits the bill quite nicely. Story-wise, it was revealed two months ago that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had signed on to pen a treatment for MGM and Eon. On paper, enlisting the creative duo and all-around Bond experts – Purvis and Wade have been creatively involved Spectre, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough – makes a lot of sense, but when you factor in the ongoing bidding war, it’s likely that said draft could be dramatically altered – or even scrapped entirely – depending on where those rights land.
But if there’s one element of the ongoing James Bond saga that is nigh on certain, it’s that the upcoming Bond 25 will signal Daniel Craig’s final outing with the license to kill. It would take the British actor to five performances in total, and let’s just hope he’s able to go out on a high after such a storied pre-production process.