James Bond: Cary Joji Fukunaga to direct next Bond film

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cary Fukunaga directed the first series of HBO's True Detective

The man behind Netflix series Maniac has been named as the director of the next James Bond film.

Cary Joji Fukunaga replaces Danny Boyle, who dropped out last month blaming "creative differences".

Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli praised Fukunaga's "versatility and innovation".

He recently directed Netflix's dark comedy Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and directed season one of True Detective.

Fukunaga's work on the HBO crime drama series won him an Emmy in 2014. He also directed 2015's Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.

And the Elba connection wasn't lost on many commentators.

Cary Joji Fukunaga - what you need to know

He came to prominence when he wrote and directed 2009's Sin Nombre, about the journey of a Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster across the American border.

It won a British Independent Film award for best foreign film, the new director's prize at Edinburgh International Film Festival and picked up three prizes at Sundance.

In 2011, he directed an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which starred Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell.

He also directed and executive produced the acclaimed first series of True Detective in 2014, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

He was also one of the screenwriters on last year's It, Andy Muschietti's adaptation of the Stephen King thriller but then left the project having been due to direct it.

Maniac comes to Netflix on Friday and has a stellar cast which includes Justin Theroux and Sally Field.

Speaking to the BBC about Maniac earlier this week, Fukunaga said he gives his actors plenty of freedom.

"I let Jonah be what Jonah wanted to be, obviously with some guidance," he said. "And the same with Emma. Justin came in with his interpretation of Doctor Mantleray, I didn't rein him in… I was kind of like, this is interesting, it's just the right amount of energy."

Bond's producers added that Fukunaga was an "excellent choice" and they were "delighted" to be working with him.

David Mackenzie, Yann Demange and Joe Wright were among the film-makers tipped to take over the director's chair, so Fukunaga is something of a surprise choice.

Filming will begin at Pinewood Studios on 4 March and the film will be released on 14 February, 2020.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Craig is returning for the new Bond movie

Before Boyle's departure was announced, the film was set for a UK release on 25 October 2019, opening in US cinemas two weeks later.

But the change of director has inevitably led to a delay.

Craig has previously said it will be his final appearance as 007. The most recent Bond film, Spectre, came out in 2015.

What will Cary bring to Bond? By Matt Maytum, deputy editor, Total Film

Cary Joji Fukunaga is something of a surprise choice for the Bond franchise, given that he's such a distinctive filmmaking voice, and the producers tend to go for a 'safe pair of hands'. I was surprised that he was announced after Danny Boyle departed due to creative differences, as Fukunaga left the horror remake It for the same reason.

In his career so far, Fukunaga has proved himself across varied material, including immigration thriller Sin Nombre to Charlotte Bronte adaptation Jane Eyre, and he also directed the critically acclaimed first series of True Detective.

Even though he doesn't have much action movie experience, that's not generally a problem with films of this scale, as he'll be working with world class department heads who'll steer him through that side of the production, while he focuses on the storytelling.

Based on his previous work, I'd expect Fukunaga to bring a strong grasp on character and a slightly sinister tone to the upcoming Bond film.

Fukunaga's Maniac drops on Netflix on Friday and has had a mixed reception from critics.

The series follows Stone and Hill's characters as they take part in a drug trial.

Beasts of No Nation, which was watched by more than three million US subscribers, was Netflix's first cinema-quality project.

The film focuses on child warfare in Africa and to the surprise of many, neither the film or Elba were nominated for an Oscar back in 2016.

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