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Despite Skyfall being the most successful movie in the Bond series, grossing over $1 billion dollars and earning excellent critical notices, director Sam Mendes has decided not to return to the series. “Bond 24” has instantly become of the biggest gigs around, and with that in mind, here are ten directors we think would do justice to the series and the world of Daniel Craig’s Bond.
Cuarón is always a fan favorite for any series, and he has been loosely linked to many projects, but he is a very independent director and chooses his projects carefully. He has handled two films based on British sources, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men. He brought his own visual flair to them, provided fantastic action, and most importantly, brought us character-driven movies with excellent stories. And a little footnote: Cuarón had a cameo in Quantum of Solace as a helicopter pilot.
Oliver Hirschbiegel is a proven director in Germany, making the psychological thriller Das Experiment and the World War II movie Downfall. While he fumbled badly when he made The Invasion (with the Wackowskis and James McTeigue taking over the production), he found redemption with the British/Irish movie Five Minutes of Heaven. Hirschbiegel is known for bringing psychological depth to his characters, including one of the most complex and honest versions of Hitler put to screen. Hirschbiegel also knows how to shoot a fistfight and a gun battle.
Before Sam Mendes got the Bond gig Joe Wright stated he wanted to direct a Bond movie. Wright is best known for making period pieces, like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, but he also made an excellent action-thriller, Hanna. Hanna was a great example that a dramatic director can handle action movie. He delivered on the action, story, and pacing and a Bond movie by him would probably have a similar feel. Just imagine one of his long tracking shots in a Bond movie.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn has worked very hard in the Danish and British film industries before making it in America. He is mostly known for the Pusher Trilogy, but he also made Tom Hardy into a star in the low-budget hit Bronson, and of course, he filmed the popular neo-noir crime thriller Drive. Refn has a striking style and the neon look he brought to Drive would be a fantastic fit for the Bond series. Bronson had a very British feel to it, and Refn’s approach would certainly the Bond series to a tee.
Starting his career as the producer of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Matthew Vaughn has shown that he is a very talented director in his own right who can tackle any genre. He made the excellent crime movie Layer Cake (the movie that pretty much got Daniel Craig the Bond gig), the fantasy adventure Stardust, the darkly comedic superhero movie Kick-Ass, and of course X-Men: First Class. He was linked to direct Casino Royale before Martin Campbell was hired, and he is not returning to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past, so he is perfectly free to direct a new Bond movie. He would certainly bring a classic, yet stylistic approach to the movie.
Hailing from Brazil is Fernando Meirelles, the director of City of God and The Constant Gardner. He has obviously shown he can deliver visually striking movies, yet very different movies in the crime and spy thriller genres and his movies are filled with fantastic acting. Whilst he career has been shaken after the release of Blindness and 360 there is no denying his talents and he would certainly be able to bring Bond to new locates.
Rupert Wyatt has only made two feature length movies in his career, but he skyrocketed to the top. He is most well-known for making Rise of the Planet of the Apes, turning a project that was derided into one of the best movies of 2011. He gave us character driven movies and while Rise of the Planet of the Apes has fantastic special effects, it was essentially a sci-fi drama that explored characters and ideas. He was attached to direct The Equalizer but he has now left that project, so perfectly free now for a Bond movie.
There is an unwritten rule that Americans are not allowed to direct a Bond movie. If the producers (who are Americans themselves) decide to break this rule then they may as well go for one of the best director around, David Fincher. Fincher has an incredible body of work and is a master of the thriller genre. His movies are visually striking, complex and well thought out. He also has experience working with Daniel Craig and we have seen a sample of what Fincher style Bond title sequence would look like in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Pete Travis has had a solid career on British television making The Jury and Omagh before he moved into feature films. His first movie, Vantage Point, was a dud, but he was able to redeem himself with the political drama Endgame and the very loyal adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic book series with Dredd. Despite Dredd being a box-office flop it is quickly earning a cult following because the excellent action sequences, gruesome violence and looks good for a sci-fi movie made on a $45 million budget. He is a man with potential and now Dredd is unlikely to receive a sequel his slate is clear at the moment.
Christopher Nolan is a fanboys’ favorite and the most famous and talented directors around. It would be a big ask to get him involved but it is not impossible. Nolan has stated he is a Bond fan, his favourite movie in the series is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the series has been an influence on him; he avoids CGI as much as possible and for Batman Begins he hired a number Bond stunt veterans. He has mentioned he would like to direct a Bond movie in the future. He has shown he can handle excellent action with practical effects and his experience with thrillers makes him a very good fit for the Bond series. He would certainly deliver a complex story, fitting for the espionage world.