Danny Boyle Counts Himself Out Of Directing James Bond
English director Danny Boyle took on a task few filmmakers before him have dared shoulder with last summer's Olympic opening ceremonies. With the games happening in London, the bar was set high—thanks in part to the awe-inspiring spectacle that Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou pulled off previously in Beijing in 2008—and Boyle has the daunting job of making his country proud while paying tribute to its contribution to world culture.
Though there was much to admire in Boyle's opening ceremony, the element that got absolutely everyone talking was an appearance by British superspy James Bond (played by Daniel Craig), rubbing elbows with Queen Elizabeth II. This outlandish and adored cameo led to murmurs of whether Boyle would ever helm a Bond pic of his own. While the latest Bond venture, Skyfall, is a hit with critics and at the box office, it's still unknown if its helmer Sam Mendes will return to the director's chair for Bond's next adventure. However, before talk of replacements can begin to brew, Boyle is striking himself from any shortlists.
In an interview in BBC Radio 4's Front Row, he was asked directly if he'd consider helming a full-length Bond feature. In response he flat out rejected the idea, insisting he's not to be trusted with the kind of massive budget a Bond film requires, adding:
"Certain people can handle that and I love watching those kinds of films, but I'm much better with a smaller amount of money and trying to make it go a long way."
He went onto explain that he feels Hollywood scale big budget productions aren't a great fit for his style of filmmaking. Something he says he learned directing the Leonard DiCaprio vehicle The Beach, a domestic box office bombthat was panned by critics .
As much as I'd be fascinated to see what a Boyle Bond movie would look like, I have to admit, he's probably right. When left to his own devices, Boyle creates imaginative and exciting cinema, from Trainspotting to Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. But when given an A-list Hollywood star and a big budget of upwards $50 million, he made The Beach, a movie so forgettable it seems we've all agreed as a global community to never mention it again. It seems a major part to the artistic success of Boyle's work is the allowance to follow his vision with abandon. Thereby with all the requisite iconography and expectations inherently attached to Bond movies, it's easy to see why such a project wouldn't appeal to him.
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