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Update: Mendes may be back after all! The Bond director shortlist: Nolan, Refn, Black, Hooper, Lee, and Yates

05.28.2013

Update: Deadline is now reporting that Sony is negotiating with Sam Mendes to return for the next Bond movie after all. From the sounds of it, with Daniel Craig's ongoing contract negotiations, Sony and Eon are willing to wait to get Mendes back. More as it develops.

With the news earlier today that Nicolas Winding Refn was in the mix for the job of picking up after Sam Mendes' great job directing SKYFALL comes the news that he and Christopher Nolan are not the only names in contention for the job. In fact, the list has 6 known names and each one is a critically lauded filmmaker and box office success.

According to Variety, the other directors who are on the shortlist to direct the next Bond film are David Yates, Shane Black, Ang Lee, and Tom Hooper. The assumption of many is that Sony is doing everything they can do get the next Bond in theaters by 2014, but Variety is saying screenwriter John Logan is aiming for a 2016 release. The article also says timing is wonky due to Daniel Craig getting a new deal to cement him as Bond for future films.

Shane Black recently announced his involvement with his dream project, DOC SAVAGE, which would likely take him out if the next Bond were coming in 2014. But, if 2016 is the real expected release, four years after SKYFALL, then any of these filmmakers could do it. The only weak choice here is Tom Hooper who really did nothing special as a director for LES MISERABLES or THE KING'S SPEECH. Ang Lee would do a great job visually and David Yates would be serviceable. I would still go with Nolan, Refn, or Black if I had the choice.

So, for now we know these are the top six choices. Who would you choose?

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Source: Variety

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+1
6:51AM on 05/30/2013
All good names. But no consideration for Kathryn Bigelow? She is head and shoulders above a couple of names on that list.
All good names. But no consideration for Kathryn Bigelow? She is head and shoulders above a couple of names on that list.
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9:01AM on 05/29/2013

:O

Nolan, Refn, or Hooper.

Shane Black and Ang Lee would ruin it.
Nolan, Refn, or Hooper.

Shane Black and Ang Lee would ruin it.
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4:43AM on 05/29/2013

$$$

"$5,000,000"
"I'm not doing it"
"$10,000,000"
"We're negotiating"
"$5,000,000"
"I'm not doing it"
"$10,000,000"
"We're negotiating"
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4:41AM on 05/29/2013

$$$

"$5,000,000"
"I'm not doing it"
"$10,000,000"
"We're negotiating"
"$5,000,000"
"I'm not doing it"
"$10,000,000"
"We're negotiating"
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3:29AM on 05/29/2013

dead against!

Hooper or black.

Any of the others id be very interested to see.
Hooper or black.

Any of the others id be very interested to see.
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+9
12:46AM on 05/29/2013

I would not call Tom Hooper a weak choice

1. Sam Mendes
2. Christopher Nolan
3. David Yates
4. Nicolas Winding Refn
5. Tom Hooper
6. Ang Lee
7. Shane Black -- Bond has finally gotten to the point where the movie is not driven by the action set pieces. We don't need to go back.
1. Sam Mendes
2. Christopher Nolan
3. David Yates
4. Nicolas Winding Refn
5. Tom Hooper
6. Ang Lee
7. Shane Black -- Bond has finally gotten to the point where the movie is not driven by the action set pieces. We don't need to go back.
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12:06AM on 05/29/2013
Big fan of Shane Black and all, but I'm not game to see Bond rip a Crown Vic down Sunset Boulevard.

BRING ON MENDES FOR ROUND 2!
Big fan of Shane Black and all, but I'm not game to see Bond rip a Crown Vic down Sunset Boulevard.

BRING ON MENDES FOR ROUND 2!
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10:05PM on 05/28/2013

HAHA HOOPER?!

I've always wanted to see a Bond shot exclusively in close up with wide lenses! They could film the whole thing in London, but green screen in landmarks from other countries and we'd all feel so transported!

Is there a more inept director working today? Discuss.
I've always wanted to see a Bond shot exclusively in close up with wide lenses! They could film the whole thing in London, but green screen in landmarks from other countries and we'd all feel so transported!

Is there a more inept director working today? Discuss.
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9:47PM on 05/28/2013
Shane Black is a surprising choice. My hope is it's either him or Christopher Nolan.
Shane Black is a surprising choice. My hope is it's either him or Christopher Nolan.
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9:02PM on 05/28/2013
My bad. Double post.
My bad. Double post.
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9:00PM on 05/28/2013
If it was Nolan I'd die happy. His Batman films were pretty much "Batman as Bond".
If it was Nolan I'd die happy. His Batman films were pretty much "Batman as Bond".
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8:47PM on 05/28/2013

Joe Wright would be perfect!!

People really need to start listening to me, I am laying golden drops of knowledge on you fuckers, JOE WRIGHT, British director of HANNA, Atonement, would be perfect. Or John Mctiernan when he gets out of Jail, um, Thomas Crown Affair, Predator, Die Hard, Hunt For Red October, must I go on?
People really need to start listening to me, I am laying golden drops of knowledge on you fuckers, JOE WRIGHT, British director of HANNA, Atonement, would be perfect. Or John Mctiernan when he gets out of Jail, um, Thomas Crown Affair, Predator, Die Hard, Hunt For Red October, must I go on?
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9:01PM on 05/28/2013
Joe Wright would be neat, just to see if he can knock out a one-take action setpiece in a 007 movie.
Joe Wright would be neat, just to see if he can knock out a one-take action setpiece in a 007 movie.
10:05PM on 05/28/2013
You know he totally could.
You know he totally could.
8:17PM on 05/28/2013
From this list, I'd have to go with Mendes simply because I loved Skyfall and his return could give us a better idea of where he'd like to take the story. If not Mendes I'd settle for Hooper or Yates (preferably Hooper). Nolan and Lee should stay away from this! One name I wish I saw on this list was Tomas Alfredson.
From this list, I'd have to go with Mendes simply because I loved Skyfall and his return could give us a better idea of where he'd like to take the story. If not Mendes I'd settle for Hooper or Yates (preferably Hooper). Nolan and Lee should stay away from this! One name I wish I saw on this list was Tomas Alfredson.
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7:25PM on 05/28/2013
I'm just glad Marc Forster is not in this group.
I'm just glad Marc Forster is not in this group.
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7:13PM on 05/28/2013

Refn?

Why all the love for Refn? Drive was alright but far from anything to make me think he's the next big thing. It's like people think he can do no wrong after one ok movie.
Why all the love for Refn? Drive was alright but far from anything to make me think he's the next big thing. It's like people think he can do no wrong after one ok movie.
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7:15PM on 05/28/2013
Have you seen Bronson, Vahalla Rising, or the Pusher trilogy? This guy has more than one good film. Especially Bronson.
Have you seen Bronson, Vahalla Rising, or the Pusher trilogy? This guy has more than one good film. Especially Bronson.
9:00PM on 05/28/2013
The soloist is very wrong, Valhalla Rising was incoherent, Bronson had to no coherent story either, and for such an awesome script, Drive could have been better. You are right, Refn is a pretentious filmmaker without the genius needed to pull off being pretentious.
The soloist is very wrong, Valhalla Rising was incoherent, Bronson had to no coherent story either, and for such an awesome script, Drive could have been better. You are right, Refn is a pretentious filmmaker without the genius needed to pull off being pretentious.
9:45PM on 05/28/2013
Hmmm, seems to me The_Soloist is simply pointing out Refn has been making films since 1996, (Pusher trilogy, Bleeder, Fear X, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, etc.) so it is a bit misguided of somebadhatharry to suggest others claim Refn "can do no wrong after one ok movie", when in fact people, especially those considering paying him to make a film, most likely base their opinions off his entire catalog.

Side note: just because you didn't understand his films or appreciate his technique doesn't
Hmmm, seems to me The_Soloist is simply pointing out Refn has been making films since 1996, (Pusher trilogy, Bleeder, Fear X, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, etc.) so it is a bit misguided of somebadhatharry to suggest others claim Refn "can do no wrong after one ok movie", when in fact people, especially those considering paying him to make a film, most likely base their opinions off his entire catalog.

Side note: just because you didn't understand his films or appreciate his technique doesn't make them incoherent or pretentious.
4:13PM on 05/29/2013
I thought Drive sucked to be honest.
I thought Drive sucked to be honest.
6:17PM on 05/28/2013

Just get Martin Campbell back!

He's made the 2 best modern Bond films. Goldeneye and Casino Royale.
He's made the 2 best modern Bond films. Goldeneye and Casino Royale.
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5:57PM on 05/28/2013
I would be fine with any of these directors getting the job except David Yates. I'm not saying he's a bad director, but his name doesn't get me as excited as the other five do.

The director who I hope gets it is Refn. I would love to see what he could do with a Bond film after seeing Bronson, Drive, and some clips of Only God Forgives.
I would be fine with any of these directors getting the job except David Yates. I'm not saying he's a bad director, but his name doesn't get me as excited as the other five do.

The director who I hope gets it is Refn. I would love to see what he could do with a Bond film after seeing Bronson, Drive, and some clips of Only God Forgives.
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5:48PM on 05/28/2013
I though there had been some sort of unofficial rule that the producers preferred to have a Commonwealth director on the Bond films (aside from Forster doing Quantum), which I can understand. As much as I love Shane Black, I can't see his style fitting in very well with the series. Then again, I enjoyed Quantum, so that shows what I know. And as much as I love Ang Lee as well, if Hulk is any indication, we might end up with a Bond film where Bond doesn't actually kill anyone.

Anyway, of the
I though there had been some sort of unofficial rule that the producers preferred to have a Commonwealth director on the Bond films (aside from Forster doing Quantum), which I can understand. As much as I love Shane Black, I can't see his style fitting in very well with the series. Then again, I enjoyed Quantum, so that shows what I know. And as much as I love Ang Lee as well, if Hulk is any indication, we might end up with a Bond film where Bond doesn't actually kill anyone.

Anyway, of the list, I would love to see Nolan take a stab at it whilst Craig is still in the tux, and if the four year gap is going to be the standard for the next few, he may only have a couple of rounds left in him.
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+7
5:42PM on 05/28/2013
After all the buzz surrounding Skyfall, I went in with high expectations and was soundly let down. It was nowhere near as good as people made it out to be. It had to be the most overrated movie in at least a decade. Whoever directs it, I have very low expectations for any James Bond film.
After all the buzz surrounding Skyfall, I went in with high expectations and was soundly let down. It was nowhere near as good as people made it out to be. It had to be the most overrated movie in at least a decade. Whoever directs it, I have very low expectations for any James Bond film.
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5:45PM on 05/28/2013
Yep, its visually spectacular but the story is paperthin and full of holes. Casino Royale slays it a hundred times over in terms of story, characters, and originality. Its Thunderball disguised as On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Yep, its visually spectacular but the story is paperthin and full of holes. Casino Royale slays it a hundred times over in terms of story, characters, and originality. Its Thunderball disguised as On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
5:41PM on 05/28/2013

This seems to easy...

It should be Nolan. Everything I've read, this is his dream job. Just to imagine what he could do with something he considers his dream job, really gets me excited. I want Refn to get back to The Equalizer with Denzel.
It should be Nolan. Everything I've read, this is his dream job. Just to imagine what he could do with something he considers his dream job, really gets me excited. I want Refn to get back to The Equalizer with Denzel.
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5:40PM on 05/28/2013
Nolan will be too busy with Interstellar to do the next Bond Flick, so of this group I really like Hooper. As visually capable as Mendes but a far better storyteller.

Directing Bond flicks is practically exclusively a British endeavor so forget Black, Lee, or Refn.
Nolan will be too busy with Interstellar to do the next Bond Flick, so of this group I really like Hooper. As visually capable as Mendes but a far better storyteller.

Directing Bond flicks is practically exclusively a British endeavor so forget Black, Lee, or Refn.
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5:36PM on 05/28/2013
Tom hooper is in my short list too.others are Matthew vaughn and Neill blomkamp."Tom Hooper who really did nothing special as a director for LES MISERABLES"?! Well,speak for yourself.he is a wonderful director and he deserves his oscar win.i think he would a great job.iam not much interested in Nolan's Bond film.his Batman films are Bond films in a way
Tom hooper is in my short list too.others are Matthew vaughn and Neill blomkamp."Tom Hooper who really did nothing special as a director for LES MISERABLES"?! Well,speak for yourself.he is a wonderful director and he deserves his oscar win.i think he would a great job.iam not much interested in Nolan's Bond film.his Batman films are Bond films in a way
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5:42PM on 05/28/2013
Its okay for someone to not be a fan of Hooper's flicks, but for Alex to say he "did nothing special" with King's Speech is just silly...dude won Best Director, and even a passing glance at that visually brilliant movie explains why.
Its okay for someone to not be a fan of Hooper's flicks, but for Alex to say he "did nothing special" with King's Speech is just silly...dude won Best Director, and even a passing glance at that visually brilliant movie explains why.
5:33PM on 05/28/2013

I'll get flamed but so what

The only ones I'd be excited about is Nolan and Black in that order. Hooper equals boring. Not familiar with Yates and I'm sorry but the only Refn movie I was really into was Bronson...I'm pretty sure all of these guys except Black (a Pittsburgher) are Brits so I'd keep that going...I don't know how the hell Nolan would pull it off for 2014 with Intersteller, but after Skyfall I can see maybe waiting 3 years...not 4.
The only ones I'd be excited about is Nolan and Black in that order. Hooper equals boring. Not familiar with Yates and I'm sorry but the only Refn movie I was really into was Bronson...I'm pretty sure all of these guys except Black (a Pittsburgher) are Brits so I'd keep that going...I don't know how the hell Nolan would pull it off for 2014 with Intersteller, but after Skyfall I can see maybe waiting 3 years...not 4.
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+1
5:32PM on 05/28/2013
I would prefer Shane Black for it. The only guy I don't think even deserves a look is Refn. He is not right for this franchise. Do not let him direct it. I think Shane Black would do the best job with what Bond is about, even though I think that Nolan is the best in the group.
I would prefer Shane Black for it. The only guy I don't think even deserves a look is Refn. He is not right for this franchise. Do not let him direct it. I think Shane Black would do the best job with what Bond is about, even though I think that Nolan is the best in the group.
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5:31PM on 05/28/2013
Ranked
Nolan
Lee
Black
Refn
Yates
Hooper
Ranked
Nolan
Lee
Black
Refn
Yates
Hooper
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