007 Chatter: Seven directors wishlist for the next Bond movie

In anticipation for Bond 23, a.k.a. Skyfall coming on November 9th, 2012, Ted and I are starting a new monthly series called 007 CHATTER… look for it sometime in the first week of each month.

I’ve also added a new category for this, so click on 007 Chatter on the category drop-down menu for all Bond-related posts.

Ok, so last month we’ve singled out seven actors we think might be a good pick to play Bond. Now, we set our sights to the directors who’d do the franchise some good.

Skyfall‘s director Sam Mendes is quite an unlikely choice to direct a Bond film given his theater background and his films often deal with troubled ordinary people, a far cry from the ultimate action hero. But that fact is what makes Skyfall so promising to me. Some have said that this next Bond flick will be lighter on action but with heavier character development and I welcome that. Now I think we can still expect some high-stunts action sequences, car chases, what have you, but there’s nothing wrong with giving this 50-year-old franchise more depth and profundity.

Well, without further ado, these are seven directors Ted and I think could do the franchise some good:

TED’s and RUTH’s PICKS:

Kenneth Branagh

Ted: Ah now we are finally talking about a director whom the producers might already be considering to direct the next one. He’s a Brit and he’s just made a big budgeted action film, Thor.  Also, he’s already signed on the reboot another espionage franchise, the untitled Jack Ryan film. So not only is he a Brit but he’ll also have the experience of working on a spy flick, so it’s a win-win for the producers. I think Branagh can bring back those classic styles of the Bond flicks from the 60s.

Ruth: The multi-talented Irish thespian maybe known for his Shakespearean work, but he’s far more versatile than than, as proven with the success of the comic-book adaptation of Thor, among others. I’m certainly optimistic about him directing the fifth Jack Ryan spy thriller with Chris Pine. As an accomplished triple threat, actor/writer/director, he’s also got a knack for casting [case in point: then-unknown Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor] so perhaps we’d have another star in the making with a yet unknown Bond actor.

TED’s PICKS:

David Fincher

Fincher was actually going to direct another spy franchise back in early 2000s (Mission: Impossible 3). But because of the dispute between him and the studio over the film’s tone, he left the project. With Fincher’s style and flare, his Bond flick could be one of the best ever made, heck he already directed James Bond aka Daniel Craig in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so maybe Craig will help convince the producer to hire Fincher for the next Bond flick. We know Fincher can handle big-budgeted films so that won’t be a problem. He’s never done an action film before but some of his films has some great action sequences, for example the foot chase scene in Se7en and the shootout sequence in The Game, so he can definitely stage great action set pieces. Also, his schedule is wide open since Disney put an axe on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, he was set to direct the remake of the 1954 film but Disney new chief wanted save some cash. But because he’s American, I don’t think he’ll ever be consider for the gig.

Park Chan-Wook

Another candidate I don’t believe Bond producers will ever consider, but it would be awesome if Park Chan-Wook gets to make a Bond flick. Actually I think the South Korean director should’ve directed Quantum of Solace. Most of his films dealt with vengeance and I think Quantum would’ve been a great film had he directed it. Like Fincher, this man knows how to shoot great looking films, his Vengeance Trilogy are some of the best looking films I’ve ever seen and they’re pretty low budget. So imagine if he has $200mil to shoot a film, it would look spectacular. And with a character like Bond, he could explore the darker side of the character.

Quentin Tarantino

Some may remember right before the producers of the Bond films decided to reboot the franchise, Tarantino was on The Tonight Show and started talking about much he wanted to make Casino Royale (per MI-6 HQ.com). He told Jay Leno, “Just give me $50mil and I can make an awesome Bond flick based on Casino Royale novel.” Well a couple of years after QT made his comments, that movie came out but unfortunately QT didn’t get to direct it. For the next Bond flick, I think the producers should consider QT as their next director and I know it’s very unlikely since they have strict rules against hiring non-European directors. QT is a Bond fanatic so I know he can make a great Bond film but again I don’t think it will ever happen.

Honorable mention:

Kathryn Bigelow – Now here’s a director that I don’t believe the producers will ever consider, she’s an American and well she’s a woman. But look at her resume, she can definitely direct a big action film. Point Break is one of my favorite guilty pleasure action films; she also made another great and very underrated action film, Strange Days. Oh yeah she’s an Oscar winner too. So come on now the Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, let’s put her on the list of the next Bond director.

RUTH’s PICKS:

Christopher Nolan

I know Nolan has expressed interest in directing a Bond movie. In fact, he even admitted on several occasions of that the intense action sequence in the snowy mountain area in Inception was inspired by growing up watching Bond films. Well, considering how astounding his Batman films and Inception were, I think the 42-year-old Londoner could potentially do something very intriguing with this franchise. On his IMDb profile, it’s said that Nolan’s films often have ‘obsessive protagonists with a troubled past,’ well then Bond would be a perfect character for him to tackle. Plus, given his huge fan-base, it’d certainly be a good move financially for the studios as well.

Surely rising star Tom Hardy would be very keen on this idea. He’s even said that he’d do the role if Nolan is directing. He told Metro UK, “I’d love to play Bond with Chris Nolan (as a) director or something, it would be awesome.” Yes indeed!

Matthew Vaughn

Here’s another young, talented Londoner who’s expressed interest in directing a Bond movie. He’s said in many interviews that his X-Men: First Class was partly inspired by the 60s Bond films, describing it as “… part Bond flick and part John Frankenheimer political thriller.” Vaughn quite forthright about his desire to do a Bond movie in this Bleeding Cool article:

I sort of want the Brocollis to regret never hiring me. I was very keen to direct Bond. I don?t know if I am any more, to be blunt, now that I?ve done this. I really love Daniel [Craig], though you know, it might be interesting if they one day decide to cast Fassbender as Bond, then maybe I? ll go ?Hey!?

Fassbender’s Magneto was practically Bondian in his quest for personal vendetta, he even had the strut down pat. It’d be great to see these two team up in a Bond film. Maybe his wife Claudia Schiffer could even have a cameo as a Bond girl 😀

Brad Bird

This is the off-the-beaten path pick as Bird is American, but it’d be great if the Broccolis make an exception once in a while. Somehow they don’t seem to mind about the Bond actor not being from the UK, so why not the director?

The critical and box office success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol proves that Bird could tackle live-action flicks as well as he does animated features. He’s obviously able to take a formidable but stale franchise to new heights with innovative and thrilling action sequences. He’s sort of made an homage to Bond movies with The Incredibles, and given his screenwriting track-record, he’d be able to balance the thrills and gadgets with engaging characters and narrative. Oh, perhaps Michael Giacchino could work on the Bond score? Now, that’d be a winning combo!


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Well, those are our choices, folks. Please vote below and if you pick ‘other’ please let us know who it is and why in the comments.


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47 thoughts on “007 Chatter: Seven directors wishlist for the next Bond movie

  1. Technically speaking, the director of “Die Another Day,” Lee Tamahori, is not European as he was born in New Zealand.

    It would probably be a mistake to hire a director with such a striking visual style as David Fincher because the director would overshadow the series. Just think what Tim Burton would do with Bond! Of this list, I think Matthew Vaughn makes the most sense. He’s still new to directing, so isn’t a superstar filmmaker, but is able to handle action and character development well. Plus, he’s an up-and-comer who can put his own stamp on the Bond series without deviating too far from its own style and format.

    1. All right Jamie! Yes, amen to your rationale. I’m a big fan of ‘First Class’ and given how much he admires the franchise, I think he’d be a great choice.

      1. Btw, good catch about Tamahori, that’s right he’s not from the UK so it’s very possible the producers will once again find someone outside of that region.

    2. Ted S.

      You’re right about Tamahori but I believe his mother is British (Caucasian) so I guess he qualifies. But let’s not discuss Mr. Tamahori any further, his films are atrocious.

      I would have to disagree with you on Fincher, I think with his style and visual, he could bring a new look to a Bond film and heck he might set a new standard on how to make a cool spy flick.

      1. I love David Fincher’s films (even “Alien 3”) and it would be interesting to see what he could do with Bond. The point I was making is that, as with Chris Nolan, it would be his distinctive movie and not have a feel of one of the series. It would almost have to be a stand-alone film (or part of a Fincher trilogy). In fact, maybe that’s what they have to do when Daniel Craig retires, have a series made by auteurs to have a Fincher Bond, a Nolan Bond, a Burton Bond, etc.

  2. All great choices but I’d love to see the direction Fincher or Nolan would take this franchise. Fincher I would rather saved himself for something different and darker- maybe a sci-fi horror as I though Alien 3 showed promise. So my vote goes for Nolan. Perhaps he could put in a gadget that makes Bond able to go into dreams. Yessssssssssss!

    1. Ahah, now THAT’d be awesome Pete! I never thought of that, but man if Q could somehow engineer such a gadget, that’ll be one gadget we’ve never seen before!

  3. sanclementejedi

    Nice topic Ruth and some tough choices. I was going with Fincher till I saw Tarantino on the list.

  4. I’d love to see Fincher doing Bond movie but I hope he will make “The girl who played with fire” first, however unlikely it seems at the moment.

    1. Hmmm, why is it unlikely that Fincher won’t be doing the sequel to Dragon Tattoo?? I’m sure all the fans aren’t happy about that.

    2. Ted S.

      I’m sure he and Craig can work out some kind of schedule to direct both films. 🙂 But of course it’s not up to them.

      @Ruth Sony hasn’t green lit The Girl Who Played with Fire yet because the first film didn’t earn as much as they’d hoped. Also, Sony might have a rough time summer, both their big films Men in Black 3 and Spiderman aren’t getting the buzz like The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises.

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth, Ted and company:

    Excellent choices all around!

    I think Chris Nolan has the imagination and tools at hand to take Bond to the next level and generation.

    Tarantino’s talents feels over the top and in the wrong direction.

    Branagh could pull Bond back into the Spy genre. Where it belongs. And away from the Action Hero arena.

    Brad Bird would bring some humor. A possible Pixar project test flying Bond backed up by The Incredibles.

    Karhryn Bigelow would be loud and flashy. With decent pyrotechnics, explosions and action sequences.

    1. Hey, interesting reasoning on each of the picks, Jack. Sounds like you’re not a fan of Bigelow? 🙂 Glad you like Nolan, I hope that he isn’t too far fetched and we may actually see a Bond movie by him. I mean he’s only in his mid 40s so there’s plenty of time for him to pick up on this franchise.

  6. Nice work, Ruth and Ted! There are some really inspired choices on there, especially Park Chan-Wook. I never would have thought about him, but he could be a really good fit. Fincher, Tarantino and Nolan are all great selections as well.

      1. Ted S.

        I don’t think I can recommend any of Chan-Wook’s films to you Ruth, they’re quite brutal and dark.

  7. Alex Withrow

    The notion of Park Chan-Wook directing a James Bond flick is ungodly satisfying. I’d pay good money to see that. Likewise Bigelow, who I think could do wonders with material like this.

    All great choices!

    1. Ted S.

      You and me both Alex, Chan-Wook has such a different style of film making that I could see him do some cool stuff with a character like Bond. Of course his Bond film will be a little darker than most people are use to.

  8. Pingback: Lady Luck Productions » 007 Chatter: Seven directors wishlist for the next Bond movie …

  9. I am so happy you suggested Kenneth Branagh, I was about to. He would be perfect for it, he is versatile and I love what he did with Thor, I can definitely see him putting his Thor and Shakespeare experience into creating a wonderful Bond movie!

  10. FUNK

    Good choices all, however, I voted other, and for Nicolas Winding Refn, I believe he could put together a very dark, character driven Bond, unlike any we’ve seen.

    1. Ted S.

      Lol, I can see Bond bragging to the villain about how many women he’s been with and that he can blow a lot of shit up and still won’t get arrested. Ha ha.

  11. Great suggestions for a Bond director. I particularly like Park Chan-wook. Brad Bird could also be a great choice given what he was able to do with MI4 but granted his bombastic style wouldn’t fit the current, darker tone of the Bond movies.

    1. Ted S.

      Chan-Wook would be a brave choice if the producers ever wanted to step out of their comfort zone.

      I tweeted Bird asking if he would ever consider doing a Bond flick but never answered me and usually answers most of the questions people asked him on Twitter. Wonder if it’s something he can’t discuss because he may have already been contacted by the Bond producers about the gig?

  12. I could definitely see the likes of either Nolan, Bird or Brannagh taking on the reigns. Each of these directors have their own style, but they’re adaptable. They can adapt their visual style to what they’re working with. While I love Fincher’s work, his films have a certain look and feel. With Bond you need to know that you need to sort of play second fiddle to the legend that is Bond and respect that.

  13. Great post, you know this is something I have written about myself on more than one occasions and have mentioned a few of the same directors as you. I ticker the other box on the vote, my choice: Nicolas Winding Refn

    1. It would be interesting to see how womanizing James Bond would be “handled” by a female director. It could provide an interesting perspective on the character and situations.

      1. @Iba, yeah the tone would definitely be much darker & grittier w/ Bigelow.

        @Jamie, I certainly would like to see a woman tackle a Bond film for exactly the reason you mentioned, though when Judi Dench was cast as M, it’s nice to see her sneering at Bond’s being a chauvinist *dinosaur* ahah

        1. Judi Densch was a great addition to the cast as M and she played off Pierce Brosnan wonderfully. It was strange, however, when the series was rebooted with Daniel Craig that they left her in the role. “Casino Royale” essentially started the series over, as this was Bond’s “first” outing as 007 (which M promoted him to), so Densch is playing a different version of the same character. She definitely has a different dynamic with Craig than she had with Brosnan.

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