Indiewire says they’ve heard that Eon Productions is meeting with directors for Bond 25, and they’ve got an unlikely candidate in the mix: Paul McGuigan.
McGuigan has directed quite the spectrum of content over the years, from Gangster No. 1 to the Sherlock pilot for BBC, to two episodes of Luke Cage, to Eon Productions' upcoming indie Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool. Indiewire says that’s the project that’s got Barbara Broccoli interested in McGuigan as a potential hire for what will be, if he comes back, Daniel Craig’s swan song as 007.
Here’s what Indiewire says:
Word is, the producers are so pleased with ”Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” directed by Scotsman Paul McGuigan (“Sherlock,” “Lucky Number Slevin,” “Victor Frankenstein”), that he too is under consideration. Annette Bening stars as actress Gloria Grahame, who falls in love with a young actor (Jamie Bell).
Look, I’m gonna pretend I didn’t see that Victor Frankenstein credit for a minute. I need to focus on other things to get through this.
Okay so, what, is Ms. Broccoli gonna produce a film that this fella is directing and not have a chat with him about Bond 25? Of course she's talked to this dude. But if he's genuinely in the mix, this feels like a real throwback to the Brosnan era, in which Eon moved away from their stable of in-house directors (John Glen, Lewis Gilbert, et al) to give the director’s chair to a string of journeymen. Sometimes it worked (Martin Campbell), oftentimes it didn’t (Roger Spottiswoode, Michael Apted, etc.). Is that a move we really want to see the franchise make?
I'm not sure the Bond movies need any more superstar directors, but I'm struggling to be excited by this. Ignoring, again, my advice to hire someone just a bit disreputable (Neil Marshall, maybe? Ben Wheatley? Dream on), it feels like you want someone with a point of view in there, someone who has opinions about the franchise and a desire to take it someplace exciting and new. Is that McGuigan? He helped reinvent Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century, so who knows, maybe he’s got some ideas on how to evolve this 55 year-old film series.
Should Eon go the reliable workman route for Bond 25, or should they aim higher and get a name-brand director? First one to suggest Nolan or Tarantino gets five lashes with Le Chiffre’s ball-whipper, seen here.