The Bond 25 news just keeps on coming. On the heels of the movie’s release date announcement (November 8, 2019) and news that star Daniel Craig is a “done deal” to return as Agent 007, Deadline now reports the three frontrunners to direct the next film are Yann Demange, Denis Villenueve, and David Mackenzie. Although there is online speculation that Christopher Nolan could step in, it appears the three names as reported by Deadline are the most likely contenders at this point. Variety even calls Demange the lead frontrunner.
Should Villenueve head behind the camera for Bond 25, it would mark the latest high-profile gig in a career that is slowly dominating Hollywood. The director has made critical favorites like “Prisoners,” “Sicario,” and “Arrival,” all of which earned Oscar nominations in various categories, and now he has “Blade Runner 2049” set for release on October 6. The only potential roadblock here is that Villeneuve is also attached to a “Dune” reboot, though he may have time to squeeze in a Bond movie since “Dune” is still only in development at this point.
Yann Demange is currently in production on the crime movie “White Boy Rick,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, and Bel Powley. He earned acclaim in 2014 for his intense feature debut “’71,” which followed a British soldier (Jack O’Connell) who becomes separated from his unit during a riot in Belfast. Demange’s grounded realism would be a big departure from Sam Mendes’ more polished approach to the last three Bond movies.
Last but not least is David Mackenzie, who is riding high off the success of Best Picture nominee “Hell or High Water.” The director has a Netflix movie in development with Chris Pine and Ben Foster about Robert The Bruce, so directing Bond may depend entirely on his shooting schedule. Fans have been widely hoping Nolan would pick up the camera for Bond. The director is an outspoken Bond fan and currently has nothing lined up now that “Dunkirk” is in theaters.
No official announcement has been made, but with a release date and Craig already set, it should only be a matter of time before MGM and Eon Productions confirms a director. Since Villeneuve and Mackenzie already have projects lined up, it would appear Demange would be the likeliest candidate of the three.