James Bond star Daniel Craig is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle can complete a Richard Curtis Beatles movie musical in time to take charge of the new Bond film by the end of the year.
Craig attended a meeting with James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Boyle and his Trainspotting writing partner John Hodge, where the film-makers pitched their vision for Bond 25.
‘They took the idea to Barbara, never believing for a minute she would go for it. But she’s excited by the concept — and so is her producing partner Michael,’ a closely connected source told me in Los Angeles.
The seed of Danny Boyle's Bond was planted when Danny directed that a short film — featuring Daniel Craig, the Queen and her corgis — for the opening of the 2012 London Olympics
Craig (right) attended a meeting with James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Boyle (left) and his Trainspotting writing partner John Hodge
‘But the most important cheerleader in the meeting was Daniel, and he was pushing for Danny to direct. He loves the fact that it’s something completely different. He has not signed up for more of the same old Bond.’
Hodge has yet to complete his Bond screenplay. Once it’s finished — and if all parties are happy — then and Boyle will hop on the 007 juggernaut.
But first, Boyle has to film All You Need Is Love for Working Title, a movie based on a screenplay by Richard Curtis about a struggling musician (former EastEnders star Himesh Patel) that will revolve around the music of the Beatles. Casting and pre-production is well under way and I’m told filming will begin ‘sooner than you think’.
Broccoli and Wilson’s Eon Productions, and executives at MGM, have formed an unusual alliance with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner to ‘smooth the way’ so that if the Boyle-Hodge Bond idea gets the green light, the pair can move seamlessly from All You Need Is Love to Bond 25.
Hodge has yet to complete his Bond screenplay. Once it’s finished — and if all parties are happy — then and Boyle will hop on the 007 juggernaut (pictured: Spectre in 2015)
Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle star in Danny Boyle's T2: Trainspotting, released last year
‘The seed of Danny and John’s Bond was planted when Danny directed that incredible short film — featuring Daniel Craig, the Queen and her corgis — for the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. That’s where the bond, for want of a better word, was formed,’ one of my big-time sources told me. ‘I’d be shot if I told you the story idea they’ve come up with, but it’s pure movie gold.
‘Everybody is rooting for this to happen. I mean, the idea that Danny might be able to shoot the Curtis film and then be shooting Bond by the end of the year is breathtaking.
‘It’s high-stakes British movie producing of the highest order. Your Queen should give them all medals if they pull it off!’
Meanwhile, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade — the long-time go-to Bond scriptwriters — are sitting on a screenplay they were contracted to do for Bond 25 that now won’t get made, unless the Boyle-Hodge script gets flushed down the loo ... rather like a scene out of Trainspotting.
All my reporting suggests that by year’s end, the man who made Slumdog Millionaire will be putting Craig through his paces as Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent 007.
And who knows, we might even get a royal cameo...
All my reporting suggests that by year’s end, the man who made Slumdog Millionaire (pictured) will be putting Craig through his paces as Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent 007