EXCLUSIVE: My pal Justin Kroll at Variety is on to something with his speculative report that Danny Boyle is high on MGM’s list to take the helm of James Bond. But the scenario is complicated and fascinating, my sources said. When he directed the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, Boyle helmed Daniel Craig in a filmed bit that involved an action scene with a cameo from Queen Elizabeth II, so there is history between the actor and filmmaker. Boyle had an idea for a very specific 007 movie, and he and his Trainspotting partner John Hodge have teamed up to work out the beats. Hodge is writing that version and if it all works out, that would be the 007 film that Boyle would helm.

It is similar to the way that Quentin Tarantino set up to potentially direct an R-rated Star Trek film being scripted by The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith. MGM and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson sparked to Boyle’s idea enough to engage Hodge, who has quietly been writing their version.

Danny Boyle John Hodge
Boyle and Hodge

Hodge won’t be done for a couple of months, but when he turns in the script, one of two things will happen. MGM and the producers will like it enough to shelve the movie they were contemplating — the listed writers are Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, whose 007 credits include Skyfall, Spectre and Casino Royale — and they will instead make the version that was cooked up by the Trainspotting team. Otherwise, Boyle won’t direct the film and it will be back to the other script, for which MGM and the producers had assembled a short list consisting of a trio of cool directors Deadline told you about last summer:  ’71 helmer Yann Demange, Blade Runner 2049 helmer Denis Villeneuve and Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie.

The opportunity for Bond 25 to be fueled by a story line and the energy, edge and invention of the Trainspotting team sounds kind of irresistible though. So if I was placing a bet, it would be that Boyle once again finds himself behind the camera with Craig as 007. Maybe they can get Craig’s Olympics sidekick, Her Majesty, to reprise. Stay tuned. No comment from MGM.