With Daniel Craig seemingly done with the role, the world eagerly awaits the announcement of who will be the iconic James Bond. Idris Elba? Tom Hiddleston? Damien Lewis? Aidan Turner? All have been widely thrown around, and all would be interesting in their own way. For my money it’ll be someone with a lower profile — someone like Henry Cavill pre-Superman.
But there’s also the teeny, tiny matter of who’s going to take up the reins behind the camera. Sam Mendes is bowing out alongside Craig, having helmed the last two 007 excursions (the wonderful Skyfall and the less wonderful Spectre), so there’s a big, important role to be filled.
Here’s a few directors who could (and realistically might) do it.
7. Kathryn Bigelow
Bigelow would be perfect for Bond. She’s already done action (Point Break) and taught, globe-trotting thrillers (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) to superlative effect, with a devotion to character serving as a constant thread through her work. I imagine her version of Bond would be an intense one — an old-school thriller full of broiling characters, compelling ideas and high stakes.
6. Christopher Nolan
He basically made a Bond movie during Inception’s third act, and he demonstrated that has the finesse for telling a great story, so it’s a no-brainer. Nolan has admitted he’s interested in Bond in the past, but whether he would actually want to buckle down and do one is a little unclear at this point. I’d love to see it, but I won’t complain as long as he keeps making movies like Interstellar.
5. Quentin Tarantino
OK, the “realistically might” probably doesn’t apply to QT anymore, but we still want to see it. Tarantino famously wanted to make Casino Royale, which, according to him, would have retained Pierce Brosnan and been set in the '60s. Sure, it probably would have been polarizing and thrown the whole Craig era into nonexistence, and we never would have gotten my favorite Bond movie (Craig’s Casino Royale), but until we get one I just won’t be able to help but wonder what a Tarantino Bond would be like.
4. Damien Chazelle
Should MGM take a page from Marvel’s book and hire a lesser-known director to make a massive Bond movie, it could just be a stroke of genius — and Damien Chazelle sure knows how to wrestle an audience into submission. His upcoming La La Land looks like a charming treat, but based on the strength of Whiplash alone (which is about as close as you can get to an action movie without actually having any action) he would do a damn fine job. If he directed a Bond chase with half the bravura as he can direct a guy smashing the hell out of a drum kit.
3. James Wan
As much as I’d love Wan to stay exclusively in horror, I can’t begrudge him for branching out once in a while — and while this is probably a long shot, it’s also exactly the kind of film I can see him making somewhere down the line. After Universal snapped him up for Furious 7 (which made tons of money as well as being unashamedly fun), Warner Bros. shifted him between departments to handle Aquaman and hopefully get their DC Extended Universe back on track. During The Conjuring 2’s press rounds he was also talking about The Conjuring 3 (hallelujah!), so yeah, it’s unlikely we’ll see him stepping into Bond just yet. But I imagine it’s something he’d enjoy doing (and it’d be a whole lot of fun).
2. Denis Villeneuve
I wouldn’t suggest Villeneuve is a natural fit for Bond based on his previous work, with films like Prisoners, Sicario and Enemy being such intense, down-beat dramatic pieces tackling the torments of kidnapping and allegories for totalitarian states. However, he is a naturally brilliant filmmaker who likes to twist through stories and make the audience think — and it could just be a way to have fun and let off some steam. This is before mentioning the fact that he’d “love to do a James Bond movie one day.”
1. Lynne Ramsay
Like Villeneuve but even more so, Ramsay’s previous credits don’t exactly scream James Bond, but that’s exactly one of the reasons she would be an interesting choice. Barring any ramifications of her working on a studio movie after she dropped out on the first day of shooting Jane Got A Gun, Ramsay could do a fine job of restarting the 007-verse with her skill at delving into her characters’ minds.
Here's to hoping that whoever takes over the Bond franchise peppers their script with plenty of Bond-worthy one-liners:
What do you think? Is it likely we'll see any of these folks taking up the Bond reins or am I way off base?