Frontrunners to Direct ‘James Bond 25’ Include ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Hell or High Water’ Filmmakers

The 25th James Bond movie has to be special, given its numerical significance and considering the amount of time we’ll have waited for it. Earlier this week, we learned the next installment of the 007 series will hit theaters in November 2019, about four years following the release of the previous episode, Spectre. It’s not that it’s a long stretch between movies so much as the best of the Daniel Craig-led Bonds (Casino Royale, Skyfall) have also come out following a four-year gap.

Fortunately, we can expect Craig to be returning for “Bond 25” despite apparent reservations from the actor on continuing in the role. While there hasn’t been an official announcement on his reprisal, word is he will be back. As for the director of the sequel, someone new will be at the helm. Deadline reports that producers have three specific names in mind as frontrunners: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) and Yann Demange (’71), who would be the first French filmmaker for the series if hired.

All three of them would be excellent choices, though none would come with quite the fanbase that rumored possibilites Christopher Nolan or Edgar Wright would bring to the table. Interestingly, though, all three have some pretty high-profile projects already in the wings. Villeneuve is set to follow-up his Blade Runner sequel with a Dune remake, Mackenzie is working on a movie about legendary Scottish king Robert the Bruce (you know him from Braveheart) and Demange is remaking the documentary The Seven Five after finishing his upcoming crime film White Boy Rick.

Demange appears to be the most obvious choice given that he’s a fresher, lesser-known talent (’71 was his feature debut, though he’s done a lot of TV work), and his lined-up project has less hype or urgency surrounding it. Whichever directors don’t get the gig this time around, perhaps they’ll be considered for future efforts. Supposedly Bond movie makers EON Productions are interested in expanding the franchise for its own cinematic universe, meaning there could soon be lots more to go around. Whatever the case may be, we should be hearing about a “Bond 25” helmer soon, as well as a confirmation on Craig.

One thing that is known is this installment will again be scripted by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, writers of each of the other four Craig-led Bonds. Also, the movie will first hit the UK ahead of its US release date of November 8, 2019.

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