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Danny Boyle will no longer be leading 007 on his next mission. The producers of the James Bond franchise and star Daniel Craig made the announcement Tuesday that Boyle was exiting the project, which he had been set to direct.
“Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25,” the official James Bond Twitter account tweeted.
Boyle revealed in March that he was eyeing the next Bond film, which he was set to tackle after directing an untitled comedy starring Lily James and Kate McKinnon, which opens in September 2019. The filmmaker is a longtime 007 fan, and included Craig’s Bond in the opening of the 2012 London Olympics, which Boyle directed. Boyle’s Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge was writing a script for the next Bond pic based on an idea from the helmer. A previous draft was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who penned Craig’s Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
The director shake-up comes as developments in the Bond franchise continue to capture the public’s attention. The next Bond is expected to be Craig’s last as the secret agent, and speculation about who could replace him after Bond 25 sets the internet ablaze on a semi-regular basis. Upon being tapped as director, Boyle was seen by some as a natural choice, due to his Oscar pedigree as the filmmaker behind Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. But it was also viewed as a surprise, given that the filmmaker, who had avoided franchises in the past, would board the Bond machine after crafting idiosyncratic genre films such as 28 Days Later and Sunshine.
Production on the next James Bond film is currently set to begin in December for a U.S. release date of Nov. 8, 2019. It is scheduled to hit the U.K. on Oct. 25, 2019. Universal is distributing the film internationally, while MGM, which is making the movie with Eon Productions, is handling domestic rights.
Sam Mendes directed the previous two installments of the James Bond series, with 2012’s Skyfall earning a franchise best $1.1 billion and 2015’s Spectre bringing in $880 million.
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