There was considerable excitement when the news was announced. Danny Boyle, the man behind Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours was a popular choice, with fans eager to see what he would bring to the world of James Bond. Of course, it wouldn’t have been the first time he had directed Daniel Craig as 007. Boyle was behind the lens when Craig shared the screen with Queen Elizabeth II in a comedy skit for the London 2012 Olympic Games. A release date of 25 October 2019 had been set for what would have been a slightly more serious version of Bond 25.
But that all changed on 21 August when it was announced that Boyle had left the project. “Creative Differences” was given as a reason but fans were left ultimately wanting more answers. Speculation has been rife with some suggesting that there was a disagreement between Boyle and the franchise’s longstanding producer, Barbara Broccoli over a fairly large plot point: the death of James Bond. Reports vary with some like The Metro suggesting that Boyle was keen on making Craig the final 007 to Broccoli’s disgust while others sources like The Mirror claim it is the other way around. Regardless of which is true, it is a sizeable issue to disagree on.
It only casts further doubt on the long-term future of James Bond on the big screen. Things have changed a lot in Hollywood and wider society since Bond first hit the big screen in 1962. Younger audiences are often shocked by some of the earlier films with their rather old-fashioned attitudes towards women and masculinity. To their credit, the Daniel Craig films have attempted to take Bond in a new, more modern direction but it is unclear how much further things can go without changing the character in fundamental ways.
After production finished on Spectre, Craig stated that he would rather “slash his wrists” than make another Bond film. He did agree to return and became, according to research by Betway, the longest-serving Bond actor in the franchise’s history – even before the release date for the 25th film got pushed back. Perhaps the reason Craig decided to pick up the Walther PPK once more was on the condition that the gentleman spy was killed off at the end of the next movie.
If that were to be the case it would spell the end of Craig’s portrayal of Ian Fleming’s character but it’s highly unlikely that it would be the ultimate demise of James Bond on the big screen. The franchise is amongst the most iconic in film history, something which its modern-day rivals can’t exactly compete with. At the box office, Skyfall was the most successful outing in the franchise’s history, grossing over $1 billion from audiences.
here was a sizeable drop in profits For Craig and director Sam Mendes’ second collaboration, Spectre which was released in 2015. Obviously, it is unclear as to why that was the case. Box office performance isn’t a signifier of quality but some fans were undoubtedly left a little disappointed by Spectre. This could be nothing more than a hiccup, a speed bump in the road for a 50-year-old movie franchise which will outlast all of us. Either that or it was something more.
Things have changed a lot in cinema since Skyfall’s release way back in 2012, especially with regards to the spy genre. Each new project has undoubtedly been influenced by Bond but in some areas, they have surpassed the franchise. The Kingsman series is funnier, Mission: Impossible has jaw-dropping live stunts and action while titles like Atomic Blonde and even Marvel’s Black Panther have used very different characters to 007 in typical Bond-style spy movies. Bond’s biggest selling point is that it is still James Bond. It’s just unclear whether that will continue to be enough for audiences in the coming years.
It remains to be seen why Danny Boyle left Bond 25. Whether there was a disagreement over the death of Daniel Craig’s James Bond or not, the future of the franchise is still uncertain. Nobody really knows whether audiences will still want this version of the character in five, ten or even twenty years, especially so given the changes to Hollywood in the last decade. Bond 25 will be a pinnacle film in the series and will, in many ways, decide whether there will be another 25.