Nicolas Winding Refn, Shane Black, and More Being Considered to Direct Next Bond Movie

By May 28, 2013

UPDATE: Now Deadline is reporting that Skyfall director Sam Mendes is back in talks to direct the next installment, proving once again that anything is possible in Hollywood (even when someone flat out says they’re not going to do something). Original article below.

While Sam Mendes left the Bond franchise in a very good place (last year’s Skyfall is the series’ most successful entry to date), the director won’t be returning for the next movie. We previously wrote about how the producers of the Bond films have met with The Dark Knight and Inception director Christopher Nolan about possibly helming an upcoming installment of Bond, but since he’s busy with Interstellar, who will direct the upcoming Bond 24?

FirstShowing scored an interview with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn at the Cannes Film Festival to talk with him about his divisive new film Only God Forgives, and when they asked him if there was any truth to the rumors that he’d been approached to direct a Bond movie, the director smirked and would only say, “I love Bond.” Not exactly confirmation, but it’s enough to get the blogosphere speculating. Refn seems like an excellent choice to direct a Bond film, especially given the fact that he loves films about masculinity and lone badasses shot in a highly stylized way. His movies are often extremely violent, so he’d have to tone it down a bit for the PG-13 rating, but he’s definitely capable of handling a franchise of this size. Whether he actually wants to is another story altogether; he recently told Variety that working on Hollywood blockbusters is like prostitution.

If the talks with Refn end up falling through or turn out to be just rumors, Variety has a few more big names that are in contention to direct the still-untitled Bond 24: Shane Black (Iron Man 3), Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables), and David Yates (the last four Harry Potter films). Quite the selection of names, and it’s no surprise that after snagging someone with prestige in Mendes last go-around, the folks at EON would be after someone with equal heat. (Daniel Craig, who’s contract negotiations are currently being reworked, will likely have a say in who directs. Skyfall writer John Logan is tackling the script.)

Black would be a good choice if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing buddy movie, Lee and Refn would be the arthouse choices, and I think Yates might be the most mainstream of all of them. (I’m not even considering Hooper as a real option, because DEAR GOD NO, KEEP HIM AWAY FROM BOND.) But honestly, this is James effin’ Bond we’re talking about. People are going to line up around the block at the theater regardless of who ends up directing it. We’ll have to wait a little longer to get confirmation on who will actually be sitting in the director’s chair for the next installment, but it’s interesting to think that the future of the franchise may lie in the hands of one of these men. Thoughts?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.