What would a James Bond film look like with a woman behind the lens? In the spy franchise's 55 year history, which has spawned 24 films, 18 directors have taken the helm. Not one of those directors has even been a woman, or a person of colour: each one has been white and male. It's a pretty damning track record.
Earlier this year, the announcement that Danny Boyle (perhaps best known for Trainspotting, and for 2009's Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire) had been charged with directing the as-yet-untitled Bond 25, Daniel Craig's fifth outing as the super spy, seemed like a case of business as usual for the films. As talented as Boyle undoubtedly is (let’s not forget the time he pulled off the major coup of recruiting Her Majesty the Queen to appear alongside Daniel Craig’s Bond at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony), opting for someone outside of the usual Hollywood cache of white, male industry figures could have been a game-changer for a franchise that’s feeling increasingly creaky and out of step in the current cultural climate.
Now, though, it's been confirmed that Boyle will be leaving the project, citing that usual catch-all term 'creative diferences' as the reason for his departure. That means the door is once again open for Bond producers to make history and hire a female director. Indeed, executive producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed last year that she would 'of course' be open to giving a woman the top job, telling reporters that 'it's incredibly important to support change in front of and behind the cameras.' We can only cross our fingers that she puts her money where her mouth is, but in the mean time, here's our dream line-up of potential directors. Take note please, MGM Studios...
Ava DuVernay is one of the most exciting directors working right now, full stop, having followed up 2014's brilliant Martin Luther King biopic Selma with Oscar-nominated prison documentary 13th and Disney's blockbuster adaptation of YA classic A Wrinkle In Time. We'd love to see what she'd bring to the Bond universe – and as a prominent advocate for inclusion in film, she'd be sure to bring a diverse array of on and off screen talent on board.
As the first – and only – woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow has already made film history. And with a filmography that features the likes of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, she clearly knows her way around a nerve-shredding action sequence or ten.
Yes, she's best known for visually stunning (and emotionally exhausting) arthouse fare like Morvern Callar and We Need To Talk About Kevin, but with her most recent release, blazing revenge thriller You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay announced herself as a potential contender to direct what'd surely be the most boundary-pushing Bond film yet.
If anything can turn 007's dodgy legacy of misogyny on its head, it's surely a James Bond film with Wonder Woman's director on board. Patty Jenkins is now the highest paid female director ever - thanks to the pay cheque for her Wonder Woman sequel - and has proven that she can bring warmth and pathos to turn around an ailing franchise.
Danish director Susanne Bier headed up the BBC's brilliant Le Carré adaptation The Night Manager, widely regarded as the closest thing we've had to Bond challenger in a while. Plus, like Bigelow, Bier also can lay claim to a whole mantelpiece of industry plaudits, including an Emmy for The Night Manager and the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for In A Better World.