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James Bond 21 director chosen? Martin Campbell strongly linked with the project again

10-Nov-2004 • Casino Royale

Martin Campbell, who helped to revive the James Bond franchise with the 1995 hit "GoldenEye," is in negotiations to direct the 21st installment in MGM's spy series - according to trade paper The Hollywood Reporter.

Although MGM recently said the Bond film will not arrive in theaters next November, as originally scheduled, the project would be on track to meet a 2006 release date should Campbell come aboard.

Campbell, who is filming another major franchise -- the sequel to "Legend of Zorro" for Columbia Pictures -- introduced Pierce Brosnan to audiences as James Bond in "GoldenEye." However, Brosnan has said that he will not be returning as Bond, so Campbell could find himself introducing yet another actor in the role. Neither MGM nor producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have commented on casting plans for the new installment.

Campbell's contribution to reviving the series in the mid-'90s made him the man for the current job, sources said Tuesday. Other directors who had been mentioned as candidates for the assignment were Paul McGuigan, who recently directed MGM's "Wicker Park," and Matthew Vaughn, Guy Ritchie's longtime producing partner who made his directorial debut this year with the British crime thriller "Layer Cake."

Campbell followed his first "Bond" outing by directing 1998's "The Mask of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, followed by "Vertical Limit" and "Beyond Borders."

Broccoli and Wilson have been keeping the direction of the next Bond under wraps. Its script -- by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the duo that contributed to both "Die Another Day" and "The World Is Not Enough" -- is said to contain more of the elements of earlier Bond pics than the more recent effects-packed pictures.

MI6 readers may recall Martin Campbell being linked to Bond 21 back in July 2003. Shortly after the rumour broke, Eon Productions denied the Campbell link.

Thanks to `Mathewww` for the alert.

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