Back in 2018, director Danny Boyle was slated to make the 25th James Bond film along with his screenwriting partner John Hodge. After some creative differences the filmmaker left the project, which would go on to became No Time To Die and Daniel Craig’s final bow as Bond. Now we know what Boyle’s never-made take on the franchise might’ve been like.
Recently in an interview with Esquire UK, Boyle opened up about what his 007 picture would have been about. “Weirdly—it would have been very topical now—it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War,” Boyle said. “It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word… they just lost confidence in it. It was a shame really.”
His departure, Boyle said, was because he would not have been able to make a film that challenged the franchise, noting “They want you to freshen it up a bit.” Asked if he’d ever again want to handle a huge IP like Bond, the auteur known for multi-genre spanning films like 28 Days Later, Trainspotting, and Yesterday responded, “I don’t think so … I learned my lesson that I am not cut out [for franchises], otherwise you’re digging in the same hole. I am better not quite in the mainstream franchise movies, is the honest answer. I learned quite a lot about myself with Bond, I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up.”
Despite not seeing himself take on the spy series, he did throw out suggestions of actors he thinks could take on the 007 role: The Batman star Robert Pattinson “would be a great Bond,” as well as Paapa Essiedu from I May Destroy You.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.