It’s an official secret no more: Danny Boyle is to direct the next James Bond film.
Set for release in October 2019, it marks the 25th instalment in the franchise – the first since 2015’s Spectre,
The film, which is yet to be given a title, reunites Oscar-winning director Boyle with Craig for the first time since Bond’s spoof London 2012 cameo.
But this, Craig’s fifth official mission as Bond, is no laughing matter.
Will it be a case of Bond, same Bond, or will 007, in these changing times, find his Martini both shaken and stirred?
Confirmation of Boyle’s appointment followed months of speculation and rumour.
The 61-year-old is a titan of the British film industry – renowned for his spunky grit – typified by his 1996 film Trainspotting.
Thomas Hobbs, a film writer for Little White Lies, says Boyle’s willingness to “experiment with pacing and cinematography so profoundly” – on films such as Trainspotting and 28 Days later – cultivated his “radical image”.
“He wasn’t afraid to experiment with the movement of the camera to create claustrophobia or explore themes in graphic detail,” he says.
Boyle’s depictions in his directorial debut Shallow Grave, and the dead baby hallucination in Trainspotting, are moments that “other mainstream auteurs might sanitise a little”, Hobbs adds.
This risk-taking history is something many Bond connoisseurs are excited about, openly admitting that Bond is in dire need of a new suit.
After three films that got “bogged down” in a family origins story arc that “just doesn’t fit this world,” John Rain, the host of Smersh Pod – a podcast celebrating all things Bond – hopes Boyle’s appointment will bring a “breath of fresh air”.
“I think if everybody involved with Bond was honest, they would admit that Spectre was a mistake,” Rain says. “And the attempt at trying to stitch the plots of the last three films together was folly.”
But this time around, Bond, saddled with the same writing team since The World Is Not Enough, from 1999, is set to have his mission objectives modernised by Boyle’s long-time screenwriter, John Hodge.
Rain says news of the partnership, based on an original idea from Boyle himself, has “lifted my spirits no end” about the new film.
A stale mission?
However, not everybody has such confidence in Boyle’s abilities.
Hobbs argues that the the man who dragged cinema into ’90s Cool Britannia “is vastly different to the Danny Boyle making the safe, slightly boring, genre movies such as Trance, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire over recent years”.
Beth Webb, a broadcaster and film journalist, agrees, admitting that despite Boyle’s long and prestigious career in British film, she “rolled her eyes a bit” at news of his appointment.