Update: Nicolas Winding Refn Joins Short List of Potential 'Bond' Directors, but Is Sam Mendes Back In?

Update: Nicolas Winding Refn Joins Short List of Potential 'Bond' Directors, but Is Sam Mendes Back In?

May 28, 2013

Skyfall Bond

Update: According to Deadline, the producers of the untitled new Bond film have begun talks for Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes to return to direct the new film (he'd previously announced that he would not be immediately coming back to the franchise). Note that doesn't mean he will be returning just yet, but between Deadline's report and the shortlist below, it's clear that Sony and MGM are keen to get the gears grinding on this one sooner rather than later.


We know that Sam Mendes won’t be returning to direct the next installment in the James Bond franchise, but today we’ve gotten some tantalizing hints about who might be behind the camera the next time the world’s most famous spy hits the screen.

The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider has tweeted that Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been getting consideration from the powers that be at EON and Sony. This comes even after less than stellar reviews of his latest flick Only God Forgives, which debuted at Cannes last week.

However, Refn isn’t the only guy in the mix according to sources at Variety. EON has also reportedly reached out to Ang Lee, Shane Black, David Yates and Tom Hooper. That’s a really diverse mix of filmmakers...

While rumors have abounded that the execs would love to get Christopher Nolan on board, that doesn’t seem likely at this point. The filmmaker appears unwilling to delay his next project interstellar and would be content to wait until the Daniel Craig era ends before launching his own take on the iconic character.

Speaking of Craig, the actor is currently negotiating his new deal – and some suspect that as part of his new contract he’ll have at least some say in who the next helmer is.

Looking at that list, my vote goes to Shane Black. While Nicolas Winding Refn is an intriguing selection, his penchant for somber and quiet lead characters doesn’t really feel like a good fit for Bond. It would be fascinating to see the filmmaker’s take on the character (and I love the idea of him working with Daniel Craig), but it feels like a gigantic risk – and Hollywood is all about minimizing those.

Black, on the other hand, has the success of Iron Man 3 under his belt and seems to get a character like Bond. My one concern here is that Black tends to do his best work with wise-cracking heroes, something the Bond series has moved away from in the Craig era. Because of that, he might not be a perfect fit – but he’s definitely a guy who would be up to the task if he’s given the opportunity.

That being said, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Nolan is no-brainer for this franchise. The Batman helmer feels like the perfect fit – but if he’s not interested at this point, things have to move in a different direction. Refn and Black are preferable to Ang Lee and Tom Hooper (really?) for sure.

What do you guys think? Do any of these filmmakers get you excited about a new Bond film? Do you think Nicolas Winding Refn could actually pull this off if he was given the job? Weigh in with your thoughts below. 

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