In 1995, Martin Campbell introduced audiences to a new James Bond when he helmed Pierce Brosnan’s debut Bond film, GoldenEye.
11 years later, Campbell is reportedly in talks to do it again, as The Hollywood Reporter claims negotiations with the New Zealand director are in progress.
Two months ago, MGM announced that the yet-to-be-titled twenty-first Bond film had been delayed past its planned 2005 release date, citing a lack of a director and, of course, 007 himself. However, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Campbell signing onto the project would certainly set the film on track for 2006 release.
According to the trade, Campbell has been under consideration alongside Paul McGuigan (Wicker Park) and Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake), both of whom were revealed to have been considered when MGM postponed the new film.
Campbell, whose pre-007 credits consisted predominantly of TV programmes and telemovies (including Reilly: The Ace of Spies and The Professionals), was put on the directorial map with his critically-acclaimed Bond film, and has since gone on to direct a number of mainstream outings, including The Mask of Zorro, Beyond Borders and Vertical Limit, starring GoldenEye‘s Izabella Scorupco. He’s currently filming the Zorro sequel, due for release in 2005, after which, his schedule appears clear.
Should Campbell sign on for the new film, he would be the first Bond director to return to the series since John Glen’s five-time run throughout the 1980s.
The Hollywood Reporter article also notes that the next script (penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who wrote the last two Bond films, as well as the ill-fated Jinx spin-off) “is said to contain more of the elements of earlier Bond pics than the more recent effects-packed pictures”.
It is also worth noting that this is not the first time rumours of Campbell directing Bond 21 have emerged. Back in July 2003, Campbell was said to be close to signing for the picture, but was later ruled out for the then-rumoured 2004 shoot when he signed onto The Legend of Zorro.
Very little is currently known about the next Bond film, as Eon remain tight-lipped as to its current status. Only Judi Dench seems set to return after John Cleese recently revealed that the script’s current incarnation does not utilise the character of ‘Q’.