Quite possibly the best director in the running for James Bond 25 has officially taken himself out of the race. Denis Villeneuve, who most recently directed Blade Runner 2049, has been said to be on the shortlist of directors being eyed for the gig since July, but now he's made it clear that he won't be able to fit the coveted job into his schedule. However, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of directing a Bond movie in the future, and he's eager to work with Daniel Craig. Here's what he had to say about it in a recent interview.

"The thing is I don't now about that, but listen. Daniel Craig is a very inspiring actor and I had some contact and the thing is that I'm busy right now doing 'Dune.' But, I will say to have the privilege to work with him it would be a dream. I would love to work with Daniel and a Bond movie for me would be a treat. It's a matter of timing, I guess."

This is a shame, but it also makes sense. Denis Villeneuve was attached to direct the new version of Dune long before the James Bond 25 news popped up. And, when Dune was announced, the director said it was his dream job, so there's no way he's letting that go, even if he would have the chance to direct a James Bond movie. So the question is, who's going to get the job directing James Bond 25? At the moment, it looks like a two horse race, now that Villeneuve is out.

The other two names that have been said to be in contention for the job are David McKenzie (Hell or High Water) and Yann Demange ('71). In terms of name recognition and current appeal, McKenzie clearly has the edge, but reports have stated that Demange is the frontrunner. It's also worth noting that a report claimed Daniel Craig, who will be done with the role of 007 after James Bond 25, wanted Denis Villeneuve to take the job. He's likely to have some sway in determining who ultimately gets hired. It's also worth noting that Christopher Nolan's name regularly comes up, but he seems like a long shot at this point. Then again, stranger things have happened.

Official plot details for James Bond 25 are being kept under wraps, but there's a lot of buzz suggesting it will be a loose remake of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It was also recently revealed that Christoph Waltz will not be returning as Blofeld, but another actor may be stepping in for the role. Eon Productions has dated James Bond 25 for a November 9, 2019, release date, but they've yet to officially announce a distribution partner, as several studios were bidding for the chance to partner up for future Bond movies. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available, with these latest details coming from The Playlist.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott