Sam Mendes and company: Ranking the 007 directors

With recent rumors swirling that Danny Boyle could be coming on board to direct the newest James Bond film, what better time is there to look at the directorial history of the franchise? The prospect of Boyle in the world of Bond is enticing, if slightly unexpected and not a match that makes sense on paper. Still, much of the 007 history in terms of directors has been avoiding the A-listers. Maybe in this new era, there’s a different sort of focus? If nothing else, it’s something very interesting to contemplate. The last choice was a big name, so perhaps this is the new normal for the world’s most popular secret agent. To catch you up, the 25th Bond outing has been looking for a new director after Sam Mendes helmed the last two. The initial final three shortlist was Yann Demange, David Mackenzie, and Denis Villeneuve. There was radio silence for a while, then Villeneuve announced he wouldn’t be taking the job, opting to focus on his Dune remake instead. This left Demange as the front-runner and likely choice, up until about a week ago. Then, Boyle was reported to have interest in the job and has pitched an idea with his frequent scribe John Hodge. Now, we await word if the franchise stalwarts choose Boyle and Hodge’s pitch, or if they move back towards Demange and the current script by Bon veterans Neil Purvis and Robert Wade. In the meantime, let us look back on the previous directors of the series… Below is a list of the filmmakers who have worked in the Bond world so far to date. There’s been 11 so far, with more than half having done multiple entries. Interestingly, almost all of the weaker efforts were by one and done directors, so make of that what you will. There’s probably a pretty steady grouping of most of these, but everyone does tend to like different types of Bond movies. For me, this is how I see it. Take a look and keep that in mind. Personal preference and such. Don’t at me, as the kids say these days.This is how I would rank the 11 directors who have tackled official James Bond movies: 11. Lee Tamahori (Die Another Day) 10. Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough) 9. Lewis Gilbert (Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, and You Only Live Twice) 8. Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) 7. Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow [...]

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