Why We're Glad Danny Boyle Isn't Directing the Next Bond Movie

Clarisse Loughrey

Ah, the rumour mill. An ever-turning cacophony of misquotes and half-heard whispers; where every young actress has expressed an "interest" in starring in the adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey and Michael Bay is making a movie out of every single one of your childhood toys. It's also the kind of place where Danny Boyle can be "in line" to direct the next James Bond movie; that is, until somebody actually bothers to ask him and he says: "no". Which is a good idea for everyone, as the director of Trance (out now) is not the ideal man for the job. Here's why...

1. It might be...too good?

Let's, for a second, imagine this world where Danny Boyle directed the next James Bond. The man hasn't (arguably) made a dud of a movie since over ten years ago with The Beach (who agrees?). Meaning chances are heavily in his favour for a Boyle Bond movie to turn out kind of amazing, with complex psychological intrigue that boggles our minds and makes us ask the Big Questions, along with kinetic directing and visual flair. The bottom line is this: It would probably win a bunch of Oscars. The problem? IT WOULD MAKE ALL OTHER BOND MOVIES IRRELEVANT. Everyone would only ever watch Boyle's Bond and the memory of Madonna's performance in Die Another Day would dwindle and die. And I frankly don't want to live in that world.

2. Danny Boyle's Top Gun call sign would be 'Maverick'. 

OK, OK, I'll get serious here. The real issue with Boyle at the helm of a Bond movie is that it, by the end product, wouldn't be a Bond movie, which points to why the man has yet to take on a franchise. He's spanned a lot of genres in his work, and almost consistently succeeds in turning said genre on its head, standing over the genre's broken corpse and laughing hysterically. One need only look at what he did to the zombie genre in 28 Days Later. Before 2002, we could always take consolation in the fact we could probably outrun those dumb, slow zombies. Then Boyle came along, decided to make them fast and ruined EVERYTHING. With Sunshine, he took the tired plot of "astronauts are Earth's last hope, must explode a bomb on asteroid/planet/star" and managed to turn it into a treatise on human existence. 

Where does Bond fit in? The character has already been somewhat re-invented throughout the Daniel Craig years. He no longer drinks martinis (blasphemy) and the Bond girls no longer have innuendos for names (meaning the death of such classic lines as "I thought Christmas only comes once a year"). But who knows what Boyle would make him do? He ended Slumdog Millionaire with a Bollywood dance scene and made a Ewan McGregor dive into the Worst Toilet in Scotland in Trainspotting. To put it brutally: I don't trust him. 


Watching James Franco cut his own arm off in 127 Hours? Never again, thank you very much. Danny Boyle might be king at successfully building tension; however, his movies leave me with a deep, deep anxiety. Even the Olympic Ceremony was very loud and had a lot of things going on at the same time. Around about the moment when the gigantic inflatable Voldemort appeared I was ready to go lie down in a sensory deprivation tank for a few hours. For his newest film, Trance, our reviewer used the movie's own metaphor to describe Boyle's direction: it makes you "feel that you are in the driver's seat, that is only because it has tied your hands to the steering wheel" – which is a situation I would realistically scream and cry a lot in. And screaming and crying are two things I don't necessarily associate with a Bond movie.  

4. Ewan McGregor is too nice to be James Bond.

And why do I reckon Boyle would cast the former Trainspotting star? Well, the pair famously fell out over Boyle's fourth movie The Beach. Before then, McGregor had starred in each of Boyle's previous feature films (Shallow Grave, TrainspottingA Life Less Ordinary), yet Boyle unceremoniously dumped the actor in favour of a more well-known Hollywood star (Leo "Baby-Faced" DiCaprio), a move he deeply regrets to this day. So you just know McGregor would play this card hard when it came to the possibility of casting a new James Bond, because, I mean, who doesn't want to be James Bond? I'm using the above picture as heavy evidence that he would be a terrible choice for Bond as the man exudes sunshine out of his face. 

5. Everyone would insist on a cameo from the Queen.

Oh God. It would be a nightmare. There would be people demanding corgis on jet skis left, right and centre.

Disagree? Think Boyle would make the perfect Bond director? Or have you got someone else in mind? Let us know in the comments!

Follow Clarisse on Twitter: @clarisselou 

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