Bond 25 has quickly become one of the most mysterious upcoming blockbusters, and true to the nature of its central, tuxedo-clad character, the finer points of the film's development have become difficult to pin down. We know that Daniel Craig is returning, but a director has yet to be announced. Because of this, many rumors about possible filmmakers have entered the equation, such as Blade Runner 2049's Denis Villeneuve, Hell Or High Water's David McKenzie, '71's Yann Demange, and, perhaps most notably, Christopher Nolan.
The possibility of Nolan stepping behind the camera for Bond 25 has become even more plausible based off of a recent rumor floated by Hollywoodlife suggesting that he's the top choice for the job. This report already has many fans wondering if this is the right move for the Bond franchise, and as such, we have taken it upon ourselves to lay out the pros and cons of his potential involvement. With that in mind, let's dive in and talk out whether or not Nolan is the right man to bring 007 into his twenty-fifth installment.
Pro: His Knack For Spectacle Is Unmatched
James Bond movies have some of the most significant and insane stunts of any major franchise in existence, and when it comes to spectacle, there are few filmmakers with more inherent skill than Christopher Nolan. Known for his use of practical effects and stuntwork to achieve jaw-dropping moments on screen, the man has proven time and time again that he can break new ground in the world of action. From the plane hijacking in The Dark Knight Rises to the spinning hallway fight in Inception, Nolan would nail the larger set pieces.
Con: He's Not Great At Filming Smaller Action Scenes
Despite Christopher Nolan's ability to bring some spectacular large-scale set pieces to life, he has developed a reputation as someone slightly less adept at smaller fight sequences. The Dark Knight trilogy is full of these moments, as much of the fight choreography is pretty sloppy. That's important to note because the Bond franchise isn't just about explosions; some of the best scenes involve Bond grappling with an opponent in a small room. If Nolan does sign on for Bond 25, then he will need to work on his ability to show a character throw a clean punch.
Pro: His Involvement Would Get Fans Excited
At this point, Christopher Nolan movies have turned into major events in the world of cinema. The marketing campaigns for films with his name on them start far earlier than other films of a similar ilk. His name was even at the forefront of the marketing for Man of Steel -- albeit as a producer credit. Many moviegoers who don't typically gravitate towards specific filmmakers know who Christopher Nolan is, and his presence behind the scenes in a James Bond movie could go a long way towards ramping up enthusiasm as the eventual release date draws near.
Con: It Could Turn Into A "Nolan Movie"
There's a certain case to be made that a James Bond movie needs to feel like a James Bond movie, and that very distinct tone and style could potentially conflict with the tone and style of a Christopher Nolan movie. It's no secret that Nolan likes to collaborate with the same people from movie to movie, and as much as we like actors like Michael Caine and Cillian Murphy, or cinematographer's like Wally Pfister, we also want to make sure that this will feel more like a Bond movie than a Nolan movie when all is said and done.
Pro: He Works Well With Anti-Heroes
If there is one consistent throughline that seems to connect all of Christopher Nolan's films, it's the fact that they all seem to focus on damaged protagonists with anti-hero streaks. We see this in Insomnia (still one of his most underrated films); we see this in Memento; we see this in Inception, and we defnitely see this in The Dark Knight trilogy. Daniel Craig's Bond has fit within this archetype ever since we first saw him on screen during the events of Casino Royale, and it's hard to deny that this version of the super spy feels tailor-made for the Nolan treatment as his final outing.
Con: His Female Characters Aren't Great
Although this certainly isn't true 100% of the time, it needs to be said that Christopher Nolan doesn't have a phenomenal track record with female characters. Yes, Anne Hathaway's Catwoman has a strong fanbase, but a disproportionate number of female characters in Nolan movies are villains, sounding boards for the main protagonist or ghosts from the past who (literally or figuratively) haunt the main character. Bond movies have come a long way in their treatment of female characters, and Bond 25 needs a filmmaker with a solid track record of great female heroes and villains.
Pro: He Has Revitalized Franchises In The Past
At this point, there is little question that the James Bond franchise needs a serious shot of adrenaline after the somewhat mixed response to Spectre. With a guy like Nolan, fans could rest easy knowing that the property is in the hands of a man with a proven track record in the world of reboots. Nolan successfully reinvented The Caped Crusader with Batman Begins back in 2005, and he changed an entire genre for years to come. If he can do the same for the 007 franchise with Bond 25, then the spy genre may similarly never be the same.
Con: His Films Are Often More About Ideas Than Characters
Inception is about dreams. Batman Begins is about fear. The Dark Knight is about chaos. The Prestige is about obsession. You get the idea. Over the course of his career, Nolan's films established one apparent pattern: they're far more about themes or ideas than they are about the arcs of the characters who inhabit them. James Bond is one of the most iconic and beloved action heroes ever committed to celluloid, and after all of the development that we have seen through the Daniel Craig years, Nolan would need to remember to keep him three-dimensional.
Pro: He Has Never Made A Bad Movie
Opinions of Christopher Nolan and his filmography vary greatly among moviegoers, but many fans generally seem to have come to a consensus that pretty much all of the films he has directed have been good. Even Interstellar (his worst reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes) hold firm at a 71% Fresh rating. Nolan generally makes good movies when he steps behind the camera for a project, and after the Bond franchise suffered a blow with the mixed reception to Spectre, a good film is precisely what that series needs going into its twenty-fifth installment.
Con: He Has Never Made A Movie Like Bond
Sure, Christopher Nolan has cited On Her Majesty's Secret Service as a significant influence on his skiing scenes in Inception, but actually stepping into the Bond franchise could represent a major challenge for him because he has never helmed a franchise quite as beloved as this. Batman was mostly defunct when he took on Batman Begins, and the rest of his films have mostly been original stories. Couple that with how publicly protective the Broccoli Family is of Bond, and Bond 25 could restrict him in ways we have never seen before.
Should Christopher Nolan direct Bond 25?