Danny Boyle is in talks to direct the new James Bond film. Granted in Hollywood this could mean anything from ‘They’re doing it but the salary hasn’t been finalized yet’ to ‘We haven’t even talked but only because we don’t know their twitter handle and so this was the only way to get their attention.” ‘In talks’ is a catch-all term used for any number of perfectly reasonable or hilariously absurd situations.
So with that in mind, I repeat, Danny Boyle is in talks with the producers of the James Bond franchise, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, to direct the next James Bond film. What the Bond film would be about is anybody’s guess but given Danny Boyle’s career, we’re likely to see some bizarre hybrid where Bond gets an Indian sidekick from the slums of New Delhi as they battle a small-time drug cartel filled with lively and caustic characters. Oh, and the sun may blow up.
In all seriousness though if the ink ever dries on the contract and Boyle is the new Bond director he would easily be the biggest artistic name ever linked to the Bond franchise. Besides George Lazenby of course. Or if you’re one of those who count the 1967 Bond film Casino Royale, then John Houston would be really the only other contender, for biggest name.
Michael Apted, who directed, 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, is probably the only other director with the artistic pedigree to match Doyle’s. Apted is a funny beast. A crappy filmmaker but a brilliant and esoteric documentarian. His Up series is one of the most fascinating and noble uses of the medium of the latter half of the twentieth century. Contrast his empathy and immense talent for getting the best out of his subjects to The World Is Not Enough and the news about Danny Boyle seems less exciting. After all The World Is Not Enough asked us to believe a bullet was lodged in a man’s brain and was slowly moving it’s way to the center and thus he was numb to ‘feelings’ and that Denise Richards was a ‘nuclear physicist’.
We can do one or the other but asking us to believe in both is really pushing the boundaries of suspension of disbelief. Lest we forget the name of Richard’s nuclear physicist, Christmas Jones. When fans of a franchise are fine with names as ludicrously vulgar and pun-filled such as Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) or Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood) but groan at a Christmas Jones you’ve reached full tilt.
But maybe that was Apted’s problem? After all, Apted was a hired gun of sorts stuck with whatever script by committee the producers approved. What separates Boyle from the rest is that he’s working with longtime collaborator John Hodge, who wrote both Trainspotting movies for Doyle. The two are said to be writing the script together and if Broccoli and Wilson approve it then they’ll more than likely sign on the dotted line. As to what a Danny Boyle James Bond film would like is anybody’s guess. All I know is if it doesn’t have Jonny Lee Miller doing a Bollywood number with Aishwarya Rai while Daniel Craig is rescued from the clutches of the evil Blofeld by married spies Idris Elba and Lupita Nyong’o then I don’t wanna see it.