21 Sep 2018

'Maniac' director takes over Bond movies

9:07 am on 21 September 2018

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".

US director Cary Joji Fukunaga

US director Cary Joji Fukunaga Photo: AFP

Bond 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.

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.

Creative license to kill

Maniac comes to Netflix this week and has a stellar cast, which includes Justin Theroux and Sally Field. Speaking about show earlier this week, Fukunaga said he gave 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 reign 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.

Daniel Craig in 007 Bond film Spectre.

Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre. Photo: AFP

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

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 would be his final appearance as 007. The most recent Bond film, Spectre, came out in 2015.

Total Film deputy editor Matt Maytum said Fukunaga was something of a surprise choice for the Bond franchise, given that he was such a distinctive filmmaking voice, and because the producers tended to go for a "safe pair of hands".

"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.

"I'd expect Fukunaga to bring a strong grasp on character and a slightly sinister tone to the upcoming Bond film."


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