JAMES Bond director Danny Boyle quit the franchise in a row over killing off the spy.
Daniel Craig — who is said to be filming his final 007 movie — and producer Barbara Broccoli are believed to have wanted to Bond to die in a “spectacular finale”, according to sources.
“There were discussions about killing off Bond in dramatic fashion at the end. It would be a final hurrah for Daniel, and leave fans hanging,” an insider revealed.
“It would also leave it open for a twist in the next instalment — either Bond hadn’t died or there could be a Doctor Who-esque regeneration with a new actor. There were clashes over budget and there’s pandemonium among crew with people leaving the production left, right and centre.
“There are fears the film will be put back months and backroom staff are worried about where their next pay cheque is coming from.”
Boyle, a longtime fan who included Craig’s Bond in the opening ceremony he directed for the 2012 London Olympics, was reportedly just beginning the casting process for the movie, slated for release at the end of next year.
“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,” the site said, referencing the producers and star of the long-running British spy movie franchise.
There was no announcement on Boyle’s replacement, but the producers were said to be interested in Scottish director David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) and Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) before the Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director was hired.
Boyle, who also directed 2015’s Steve Jobs and 28 Days Later in 2002, had previously said he was working on “a great idea” for a James Bond script but was unsure if it would be made.
Craig is set to make his fifth appearance as the legendary British spy in the 25th, as yet untitled film in the storied 007 franchise.