Danny Boyle, who had signed on to be director of the next instalment in the James Bond franchise, Bond 25, has exited the production, the producers have announced.

The franchise’s official Twitter account made the announcement on behalf of producers Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig, confirming that it was Boyle’s decision to leave the project:

At this time, it is unclear how this will impact the film’s production schedule, as distributors MGM and Universal were hoping to release the picture near the end of 2019.

Craig is returning as Bond for a fifth time, with a script that Boyle’s Trainspotting partner John Hodge wrote, based on the director’s idea – however, it was revealed to Deadline that Boyle was only interested in participating if he was able to tell that specific story in his way. There’s no news on whether the studio are planning to continue on with Hodge’s script, or if they are to return to the version written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the writing team behind all of Craig’s previous Bond films, which was put to one side when producers were gripped by Boyle’s pitch.

Unfortunately, this also means that Bond 25 must go back to the drawing board in terms of director. At one point, producers were looking at Blade Runner 2049’s Denis Villenueve, Hell or High Water’s David Mackenzie, and ‘71’s Yann Demange, but right now it could be anyone’s game.

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