Danny Boyle opens up to Esquire about his departure from Bond 25

The Trainspotting director talks about how the producers lost confidence in his vision for Bond.

Danny Boyle in 2017. Photo by Maximilian Bühn. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

We recently reported on comments made by Danny Boyle’s long term writing partner, John Hodge, regarding their sudden exit from the 25th James Bond film back in August 2018.

Now Danny Boyle has broken his silence. In an interview with Esquire to promote his new six-part TV show about the Sex Pistols, Boyle touches on the reasons for them leaving. At the time there were some tabloid reports that he had left because he insisted on killing Bond. And there were others that were the exact opposite. Obviously we now know that Daniel Craig insisted on killing off his iteration of 007.

Speaking about what was then just Bond 25 Boyle says:

I remember thinking, ‘Should I really get involved in franchises?’ Because they don’t really want something different.[..] They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and we wanted to do something different with it. Weirdly – it would have been very topical now – it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word… they just lost confidence in it.[..] It was a shame really.

His reluctance to get involved seems curious considering he and Hodge are supposed to have pitched their idea to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. But they departed when the film was gearing up for filming just a few months later – soon delayed when Cary Fukunaga came on board – and sets were constructed in Canada and Pinewood that would never actually be used.

The one concept from Hodge’s script that did make the film was Bond’s child. However, maybe that is giving Hodge too much credit. At the end of the novel You Only Live Twice Kissy Suzuki is pregnant with Bond’s child, something later developed by Raymond Benson. And Paul Haggis wanted Bond to look after Vesper’s child in Quantum of Solace, an idea shot down by the producers.

Anyway, you can read the entire interview below.

Source: Esquire

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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5 Responses to “Danny Boyle opens up to Esquire about his departure from Bond 25”

  • Alex

    Very difficult to believe someone would be able to do something worse than NTTD.

  • Thomas

    Absolutely, Alex. They blew the chance to improve in reviving SPECTRE and Blofeld by getting that rather small, effete German actor and setting up the absurd premise that Blofeld was a jealous childish jerk haunting Bond’s life because “Mein Papa always liked you better.” NTTD is an abomination. Since when does an bitchy arrogant actor get to dictate plot to a billion dollar enterprise? Craig was by far the worst Bond ever. Too small, too blond and looked more like one of the villain’s goons or a thuggish London cabby than Bond. He made one good film, Casino Royale, which was great not because of him but because they adhered so closely to Fleming’s story. I’m done with the whole business.

  • Robyn

    Well said. I dislike NTTD.Why kill off the main character. Did you create him, Barbra Broccoli, Daniel Craig, No! You did not. Ian Fleming did. It was a disgrace to his creation and memory. Craig was not the best Bond. Casino Royale was the best because, they did stay close to the novel Fleming wrote, which was his first Bond book. I don’t know how Bond will return. Good Luck with that Broccoli and Michael Wilson. After NTTD I could care less.

  • tony

    One can only surmise that the producer’s went along with the idea to kill Bond because they are thinking it might allow another reboot.
    In actuality, I agree with others, when I say that they missed the boat with SPECTRE and again with NTTD. Everything at the end of Skyfall was prepping for a return to the charm and magic of classic Bond films. Remember the volcano in YOLT? Piz Gloria in OHMSS? The Atlantean ship HQ in TSWLM? Here was a great idea to dream a little, making the Bond stories larger than life once more. Bond is a story-driven franchise – I don’t believe a character arc is needed for him, although I found some of the arcs interesting since Casino Royale. Unfortunately, they were disjointed, not compelling as a whole, and largely unnecessary. SPECTRE was wrong in so many places, and NTTD was very disappointing. I’m open to the child idea, but that ending left me empty.

  • Firoze Sameer

    High time the James Bond saga ends, instead of a repetitious overplay of implausible episodes for commercial gain.