Cary Fukunaga, who rocketed to prominence after directing the scintillating first season of HBO’s True Detective, will now make history by becoming the first American director (and second director of color) to helm a James Bond film.
Longtime Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, along with Bond himself, returning star Daniel Craig, announced Thursday morning that the still-untitled Bond 25 will begin production at London’s Pinewood Studios on March 4, 2019, with Fukunaga replacing the departed Danny Boyle at the helm. The film’s worldwide release date—the one bummer in all this—has been pushed back to Feb. 14, 2020. Veteran Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will handle the film’s script in place of the Boyle/John Hodge draft.
“We are delighted to be working with Cary,” said Wilson and Broccoli in a statement. “His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure.”
Fukunaga followed his Emmy-winning work on True Detective’s first season with acclaimed Netflix epic Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, who, of course, has a Bond connection of his own. Fukunaga’s Netflix limited series Maniac, starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, debuts on the streaming service tomorrow, Sept. 21.
Despite his impressive resumé, Fukunaga is a surprising choice: Recent reports indicated that Bond 25 producers were eying a number of potential directors, including Bert Layton (American Animals), Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) and S.J. Clarkson (the forthcoming Star Trek 4), but Fukunaga’s name was not included on that shortlist. Regardless, Fukunaga is a thrilling—not to mention inclusive!—pick, a visionary director who, if given creative freedom, will almost certainly make Craig’s last hurrah as Bond one to remember.
Of course, that “if” is a big one. Bond is a franchise after all, and Fukunaga has found himself at odds with the demands of such a property before: He left the recent It reboot just weeks before the start of production, citing tension with the studio. “I think it was fear on their part, that they couldn’t control me,” he recently told GQ.
Previous Bond 25 director Boyle left the film in August “due to creative differences,” per the producers.
See the official announcement below, and cross your fingers for the True Bond, the Bond of No Nation, the Martini-ac ... the Cary Fukunaga Bond we all deserve.