23-Aug-2018 • Bond 25
According to a report in The Telegraph today, the departure of Danny Boyle from directing Bond 25 was over the casting of the film's central villain.
MI6 understands there were other, more general, factors in play too, but this dispute may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
Rumours that the film's script was the source of the disagreement have been reported, with producers alleged to be unhappy with the decision to focus on contemporary political tensions with Russia and a "modern-day Cold War". The new script was penned by John Hodge, a long-time collaborator with Danny Boyle, and was part of the deal to bring him onboard. A previous treatment by regular scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade was sidelined.
However, one industry source told the Telegraph the split was due to a fall out over whether to cast Tomasz Kot as the lead villain. The 41-year-old Polish actor stars in Cold War, a love story set in 1950s Europe, and was described as a "left-field" decision for a Bond enemy.
"Craig has a big say in all the casting decisions. None of the Bond girls have been chosen without his say so," a source told the paper. "For example, he chose Eva Green to be the Bond girl when it came to the final four for Casino Royale and that has been the case for all the Bond girls he has worked with."
"It was telling the producers put his [Craig's] name on their release saying that Boyle had been sacked," the source said. "I have heard that they wanted to bring that Cold War element in but update it to the modern day. Danny Boyle was in for that. That wasn't the problem. The problem came in when they were making the final decisions about casting pre-production."