Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in ?Skyfall,? which hit theaters in 2012. The world?s most famous British spy is in better shape than ever as the franchise marked its 50th anniversary.
Ever since "Skyfall" -- the most commercially successful James Bond movie ever -- opened in November to praise from critics and fan boys alike, the debate has been raging on as to who would and should direct the next film.
On Wednesday, it was announced that "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes would not be returning to helm what will be the series' 24th installment, obviously cooling down any speculation he would return, but only heightening the anticipation as to who could possibly fill his shoes.
While many people were pining for Mendes to return and were saddened by the news - he did direct the film to two Oscar wins and also made people forget about "Quantum of Solace" - I can't help but think it is a blessing in disguise.
Aside from Martin Campbell, who directed "Goldeneye" and "Casino Royale," no other director has helmed two Bond films, and I'd argue that's what makes the films so enjoyable. Each film brings a new perspective on the character and the filmmaking techniques used are consistently changing. It makes each film unique, even when at times the plot necessarily isn't.
A number of people would love to see the perspective that directors such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Alfonso Cuaron, Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher could bring to the franchise, but to my previous point, a Bond film's director needs to bring a new perspective. While the previously mentioned directors might be the best around, we know their perspective because they are auteurs.
Placing Bond in a Spielberg makes it a Spielberg movie, not a Bond movie. Same goes for Nolan - who I'd rather see stick to his original ideas a la "Inception" or continuing to improve the superhero universe. The PG-13 world of Bond would tie down Tarantino too much to make it work. Don't get me started on the idea of Paul Greengrass jumping on board after filming two Jason Bourne movies. Let's just leave M. Night Shyamalan out of this. And never put "Bond" and "Michael" and "Bay" in the same sentence like I just did.
With me suggesting we steer away from so many auteurs, though, who does that really leave to direct the film? Here are the five directors I would like to see make the next Bond movie:
Kathryn Bigelow - My No. 1 choice, though sadly I think it's the one most likely not to happen. Bigelow has made two movies worthy of an Oscar for Best Picture, yet they are so different in terms of technique and execution that her being a director wouldn't overshadow Bond. It's about time a female director got the chance to direct the franchise most known for its male gaze, and Bigelow has proven time and time again she can handle the type of subject matter that Bond dives into in every film he's in.
Ben Affleck - Affleck proved he could make a great and compelling action sequence in "The Town." He proved he could film an effective scene of suspense while balancing humor remarkably well in "Argo." Give the guy a bigger budget and a film that is known for its action, humor and suspense, and it's amazing to think of the possibilities.
Joe Wright - Not an auteur, but certainly someone who loves to play around with cinematic technique and was most notably successful with "Atonement." While I didn't much care for his film "Hanna," I would say it showed he could probably excel when it comes to making a Bond film. Plus, he is English and could always get the equally as English Keira Knightley to be a Bond girl, which I'd definitely be open to.
Matthew Vaughn - He did a great job of directing with "X-Men: First Class," and while I was happy to see Bryan Singer get back to the X-Men franchise with its next installment "X-Men: Days of Future Past," I felt bad Vaughn wasn't going to be able to complete what he had built up. This would be a great opportunity to put his creativity to good use while once again helping out a franchise continue its reign of excellence. Plus he directed Daniel Craig in "Layer Cake," and that worked out nicely, so what could go wrong here?
Neill Blomkamp - His film "District 9" was an incredibly pleasant surprise. His follow up movie, "Elysium," has been getting strong reviews from early screenings ahead of its Aug. 9 release date. While he begins filming his next project "Chappie" this month, by the time filming on that has wrapped, the script and everything should be good to go on what could be an excellent film if he directed.