LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Acclaimed British director Danny Boyle has pulled out of the latest James Bond movie due to “creative differences,” the producers of the multimillion-dollar film franchise said on Tuesday.
“Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25,” said a statement on the official 007 website and Twitter account.
The tweet gave no details of the differences and no information on who would take over from Boyle, or whether production on the 25th film in the MGM spy franchise would be delayed.
Boyle’s representatives in Los Angeles and London did not respond to a request for comment on his departure.
Production on the as yet untitled movie was due to start in London in December with a British release date of Oct. 25, 2019, and a U.S. release two weeks later.
Boyle, who guided the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire” to eight Oscars, was announced in May as the director of the next Bond movie, when producers Broccoli and Wilson described him in a statement as “exceptionally talented.”The producers also announced that Craig would play the suave British spy for a fifth time.
The Bond franchise is one of the most valuable in the movie industry. The last movie, 2015’s “Spectre,” directed by Sam Mendes, made $880 million at the box office worldwide, while “Skyfall” in 2012, also directed by Mendes, grossed more than $1 billion globally.
Boyle’s exit follows speculation over who will take over from Craig after what is expected to be his last stint as the Martini-loving secret agent created by author Ian Fleming in 1953.
British actor Idris Elba stoked rumors earlier this month that he was set to be the first black actor to play Bond, posting a cryptic Twitter message along one of the character’s best-known lines. “My name’s Elba, Idris Elba,” the actor tweeted.
But Elba on Tuesday sought to shut down the conversation. Asked at the London red carpet premiere of his new crime movie “Yardie,” which he directed, whether he was going to be the next James Bond, he told television reporters, “No.”
He also admitted causing the latest speculation. “Apparently I did by telling people my name. Amazing, isn’t it?.”
Additional reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Tom Brown