These directors should direct a James Bond

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There is an ongoing debate about who should be next James GoodD, but not who should direct the next film. After Daniel Craig wraps up his tenure as an MI5 spy, it’s time for a new actor and director to transform the franchise and take it to new and interesting places.

Over the years, most James Bond directors were technicians without a vision of their own. They knew how to create spectacular action scenes, but character development or setting composition were not their primary interests. Over the past twenty years, that has changed. With Craig as Bond, directors with a specific point of view became interested in making the character. Sam Mendes did it, Danny Boyle almost did it, and Cary Fukunaga ended the Craig saga with his own version of the character. Who should be next? Let’s grab our martinis (shaken, not stirred), undo our tuxes, and talk about some directors we think would do a great job leading the globe-trotting, sexy, action-packed franchise:

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Christopher Nolan

The director of films like Creation and The black Knight would be a perfect candidate for new Bond films. He has the chops as an action director, he knows how to work in a multi-million dollar budget movie and understands how to change and renew a franchise. He did it with Batman and could do it again with Bond.

If you don’t think about all the time travel and time loop shenanigans, Principle is the best audition tape ever made for a Bond film. It’s a shame that John David Washington isn’t British, because he could have been a good lead. In all of his films, Nolan has proven he has the mastery of creating incredible action sequences, the imagination for captivating stunts, and the eye for traveling to spectacular locations. Add some martinis and cool gadgets, and it could perfectly define a James Bond movie.

Related: Christopher Nolan’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Steve McQueen

After directing films like Hunger or Shame, McQueen would give the Bond franchise a different look and flavor. As a bold storyteller and critically acclaimed director, his film could offer a new perspective on the character; one that reflects the differences between the spy created during the British Empire and the 21st century. Showing how the spy should continue to evolve and be reshaped for our times should give the film and the actor new ideas and emotions to play with.

widows proved that McQueen can use his voice and lend it to adrenaline-filled scenes, giving hidden depths to his protagonists and with a big bad guy (we haven’t had one since Javier Bardem in celestial fall). All of these ingredients would make an interesting James Bond movie.

Olivia Wilde

With only two movies under his belt (and we haven’t even seen the second one yet), it might seem like an odd choice. But, Olivia Wilde has already proven she has the leadership chops for a big franchise. In Library, she showed inventiveness, empathy and an all-encompassing philosophy that could work wonders for our favorite spy. Watch the trailer of don’t worry darling, you can see that she knows how to do action and how to direct intimate scenes. Both are staples in Bond movies.

In the past, Barbara Broccoli said that Bond would never be female, but could be led by one. Olivia Wilde could be that first-time director, adding a female perspective to the franchise and, perhaps, showing a different side of James Bond.

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson always plays with popular genres and changes the ideas we have of them to create something new and unique. He did it with film noir (Brick), poles (Knives out) and time travel (looper). It could do the same for the spy genre and James Bond.

When he was leading Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he’s shown he can work big movies on tent poles, and also that he’s not afraid to change things that some fans deem sacred; creating the most interesting film of the new saga. If the Bond franchise wants to stay relevant, maybe a little change isn’t such a bad idea, and Johnson would be the perfect director for that.

Related: Best Rian Johnson Movies, Ranked

Quentin Tarantino

As one of the most iconic directors of the 21st century with a lifelong interest in pop culture, Quentin Tarantino directing a James Bond movie would make a lot of sense. In the past, he admitted that he had an idea for Casino Royale and even introduced himself to Pierce Brosnan (over martinis, obviously) for directing his next James Bond movie.


Tarantino knows how to do amazing action sequences and would likely have thousands of homages to old Bond movies and the spy genre itself. He should probably cut back on the gore and faulty vocabulary, but would be a unique creator for the franchise. We haven’t seen a Tarantino movie set in the present since Kill Bill, and it would be pretty fun to see what he’s able to do with all of Q’s gadgets and tech at his disposal. Maybe we could even get a scene with Bond talking about pop culture or British cinema while eating a Big Kahuna burger? For now, we can only dream of it.


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