Danny Boyle learned a lesson after signing on to write and direct Bond 25 only to exit the project over creative differences with producers: He’s not meant to direct franchise movies. Speaking to Metro, Boyle hinted that he will never take on a big studio franchise again because his mode of development clashes with how giant franchises operate behind the scenes.
“I learned my lesson that I am not cut out [for franchises] otherwise you’re digging in the same hole,” Boyle said. “I am better not quite in the mainstream franchise movies, is the honest answer. I learned quite a lot about myself with Bond, I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up.”
Boyle was originally hired for Bond 25 to co-write the script with his “Trainspotting” collaborator John Hodge. Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli reportedly loved the idea the duo came up with, but things got shaky during development as Boyle wanted to take the franchise to some unexpected places. One report suggests Boyle was intent on killing Daniel Craig’s Bond, wiping the slate clean so the 007 franchise could continue with a new actor playing the role. The producers were not keen on whatever Boyle came up with and wanted him to work more closely with franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the screenwriters who were originally tasked with drafting Bond 25 after working on all of Craig’s 007 movies.
“We were working very, very well, but they didn’t go down that route with us, so we decided to part company,” Boyle told Metro. “It would be unfair to say what it was because I don’t know what Cary [Fukunaga] is going to do.”
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Boyle was eventually replaced by Cary Fukunaga. The “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar winner broke his silence on exiting Bond 25 during an interview with Empire magazine in March.
“What John [Hodge] and I were doing, I thought, was really good,” Boyle said at the time. “It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good. We were working very, very well, but they didn’t want to go down that route with us. So we decided to part company, and it would be unfair to say what it was because I don’t know what Cary [Joji Fukunaga] is going to do. I got a very nice message from him and I gave him my best wishes… It is just a great shame.”
Fukunaga has been in production on Bond 25 in Jamaica and England. Craig suffered an injury several weeks ago that required surgery but has been working with psychical therapists to return to the set. The still-untitled Bond 25 will open in theaters April 8, 2020.