Danny Boyle reveals the story for his axed James Bond movie

"It would have been very topical now"

Danny Boyle has spoken out about his axed James Bond movie, revealing the story he originally had planned for the 25th instalment of the franchise.

The director was set to helm Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 before departing the project due to creative differences with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Speaking to Esquire UK, the Oscar winner revealed that his proposed story was set in Russia and explored Bond’s origins.


“I remember thinking, ‘Should I really get involved in franchises?’ Because they don’t really want something different,” said Boyle. “They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and we wanted to do something different with it.

“Weirdly — it would have been very topical now — it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word…they just lost confidence in it. It was a shame really.”

Director Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle (Credit: Getty)

Following Boyle’s exit from the film, reports surfaced that the director had fallen out with the producers over the decision to kill James Bond, a plot point that ended up featuring in the Cary Fukunaga-directed No Time to Die.

But Bond’s death wasn’t the only thing Boyle’s film had in common with the one that eventually went out to audiences.

“The idea that they used in a different way was the one of [James Bond’s] child, which [writer John Hodge] introduced [and it] was wonderful,” said Boyle.


In 2020, Bond production designer Mark Tildesley told Total Film that Boyle and Hodge had come up with an “extraordinary” script for their film, but that it “didn’t quite tie up” with what the producers had planned.

“It was definitely a good thing to do,” said Tildesley. “Maybe another time though. I’m revving Barbara up to have another go with Danny. [He had] some extraordinary ideas, they just needed a little pulling together.”