Danny Boyle departed the production of Bond 25 in a dispute with Daniel Craig over the movie’s Russian villain, according to reports.
The announcement that the Slumdog Millionaire director was stepping down arrived on Tuesday, with Bond producers EON Productions, and notably Daniel Craig, citing ‘creative differences’.
It came following rumours of disagreements over the plot, which is said to be focussing on escalating tensions with Russia and the notion of a ‘new Cold War’, echoing current events.
But a source has told the Daily Telegraph that the friction actually arose over plans to cast 41-year-old Polish actor Tomasz Kot as the movie’s villain, which was reportedly viewed as a ‘left field’ decision, and may have rankled Craig, who has a say in casting matters.
Kot was seen most recently in the movie Cold War, which won Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director accolade at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The source added: “Craig has a big say in all the casting decisions. None of the Bond girls have been chosen without his say so.
“For example he chose Eva Green to be the Bond girl when it came to the final four for Casino Royale and that has been the case for all the Bond girls he has worked with.
“It was telling the producers put his [Craig’s] name on their release saying that Boyle had been sacked.
“I have heard that they wanted to bring that Cold War element in but update it to the modern day.
“Danny Boyle was in for that. That wasn’t the problem. The problem came in when they were making the final decisions about casting pre-production.”
Boyle had brought in his long-time screenwriting collaborator John Hodge in to pen the script for the movie, dislodging Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have penned every Bond movie since The World Is Not Enough in 1999.
It’s thought that the pair have another completed script ready to go.
But how things progress from here is not yet known, though a director will have to be sought quickly if the movie is to hit its planned released date in November, 2019.
Currently Yann Demange, who directed military thriller ’71 and TV series Top Boy, is the bookie’s favourite to take over.