James Bond 25 Loses Director Danny Boyle

It appears that we have more trouble with Bond 25. Director Danny Boyle has left the project.

Deadline is reporting that Boyle made the decision to leave the project due to creative differences, citing a tweet from the official social media account for the franchise, which reads:

The new installment is currently slated to hit theaters in November of 2019, though this is clearly a date that could change due to a director shuffle.

Personally, I am disheartened to hear this news. I was very excited at the prospect of another auteur filmmaker putting his stamp on the seasoned franchise. I feel like the recent direction of artful directors to the franchise has been a large part of its rejuvenation in the collective culture.

The report goes on to state that Boyle had a very specific idea for his Bond film, utilizing his screenwriting regular John Hodge, and the previous screenplay by Bond alums Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, had been tossed out. It is not currently known if producers will choose to honor Hodge’s script, or that of Purvis and Wade, or even a new writer altogether.

I would imagine that the team behind Bond 25 will likely go with the formula that has worked in Purvis and Wade, assuming that Hodge’s script contributed to the creative differences leading to Boyle’s exit.

So now the question remains: Who will helm Bond 25? The shortlist had previously included a number of different directors who are in various stages of production on other films. I think the studio will want to keep the release date, but now there time is limited. My pick would be Gore Verbinski, known for his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and most recently A Cure for Wellness. I think Verbinski handles action extremely well and can also reel in slower character moments. He also potentially fits this artful approach to the Bond franchise.

So who do you think belongs on Bond 25? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

[31 Days of Horror: The Final Chapter] Day 25 – The Ring (2002)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox

Screenplay: Ehren Kruger

115 mins. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references.

 

I don’t know if you remember (I sure didn’t), but fifteen years back, The Ring was one of the first big films to explore viral marketing. In fact, the first “trailer” for The Ring was just the cursed tape from the movie with no credits or title card. Viewers had to look online for insight or wait with anticipation for a month to find out what the hell was going on.

Seattle journalist Rachel (Naomi Watts, King Kong, TV’s Gypsy) is tasked with uncovering the truth involving her niece’s death. When her investigation brings her to an old shack and a strange videotape with disturbing images, she receives a phone call telling her she is going to die in seven days. Now, in a race against the clock, Rachel and ex-boyfriend Noah (Martin Henderson, Everest, TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) must find the origin of the tape and learn how to keep themselves alive as time slowly runs out.

The Ring is the first in a long string of Western remakes of Asian horror films, and it is arguably the best one. This writer has found that it isn’t really a classic of the genre, but director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, A Cure for Wellness) weaving an expertly crafted experience and Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ghost in the Shell) turning in a well-written albeit severely bloated screenplay, The Ring holds well.

I think, in addition to the gorgeously-striking visuals on the screen, Verbinski is blessed with a force of nature in lead actress Naomi Watts, who elevates this genre film with a nuanced, layered performance as Rachel. Rachel is flawed, instinctive, smart, and cunning.

My biggest frustration with the film is the ending. I think The Ring ends on a confusing and unexplained note. It doesn’t really tell you what’s going on, and if forces a lot of inference. There was a bookend of scenes with actor Chris Cooper that sounds like it would have helped here, but test audiences didn’t respond well to it, but I think that was a mistake.

The Ring is fine genre horror and very creepy when taking its PG-13 rating into consideration. It’s an entertaining but somewhat crowded narrative and its characters are interesting and engaging. Overall, it’s a staple for many even if I found its ending to be heavily flawed.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of F. Javier Gutierrez’s Rings, click here.

 

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