Villeneuve On Turning Down James Bond

The talk of who will direct the next James Bond film has cooled down in recent weeks. At last report Yann Demange (“’71”) was the front runner, while Denis Villenueve was actor Daniel Craig’s personal choice for the gig.

Villeneuve himself has expressed enthusiasm about doing a James Bond film, but his commitment to his passion project – a new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” has prevented him from doing so. In a recent conversation with Screen Crush, the filmmaker discussed the decision saying:

“I would love to [direct Bond]. I said to [producer] Barbara [Broccoli], I would love to work with you and with Daniel, but I’m engaged. [Laughs] I will love to do it, honestly. I’m a spoiled filmmaker right now… I think Daniel Craig is a fantastic actor and I would like to, but several months ago I came into do ‘Dune’ and I engaged myself. I committed myself and I’m someone that doesn’t step back.

I remember I committed to do ‘Enemy,’ they came with ‘Prisoners‘ I said, ‘I need to do Enemy first,’ and I had to break to bend the schedule. I did the same with ‘Arrival‘ and ‘Blade Runner [2049].’ I did ‘Blade Runner,’ one of my conditions was that I would have time to do ‘Arrival’ first. Once I commit, I commit.

When Legendary offered me to do ‘Dune,’ on a silver plate? Which was like my dream project that I’m dreaming to do for 30 years? I said yes right away. I want to honor that. It doesn’t mean the movie will happen, maybe in six months the movie will – and Bond is an old fantasy of mine, but I can’t be in two places at the same time. It’s a strange year because I would love to do a James Bond. I need to focus.”

Of course the fate of “Dune” seems unclear at present as adult-targeted science fiction seems a no go zone for many studios at present. Whatever happens, the new Bond film is on track for a November 8th 2019 which means it has to begin filming by the end of next year at the latest.