Cary Joji Fukunaga Becomes First American Director of James Bond Franchise

“True Detective” director replaces Danny Boyle, who dropped out of franchise’s 25th film last month due to “creative differences”

Cary Fukunaga alienist Tokyo Ghost
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Cary Joji Fukunaga, the American filmmaker best known for directing the Emmy-winning first season of HBO’s “True Detective,” will direct the untitled 25th film in the James Bond franchise, longtime producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced Thursday.

He replaces Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” director who dropped out of the project last month citing unspecified “creative differences.”

Fukunaga, whose feature credits include “Sin Nombre,” “Jane Eyre” and “Beasts of No Nation,” also becomes the first American director in the decades-long history of the franchise under MGM. (American Irving Kershner directed Warner Bros. 1983 Sean Connery entry “Never Say Never Again” — which was not produced by Wilson and Broccoli’s Eon.)

He most recently directed the Netflix dark comedy “Maniac” starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.

The new film, in which Daniel Craig returns for his fifth (and presumably final) outing as secret agent 007, will begin shooting on March 4, 2019, in the U.K. for worldwide release on Feb. 20, 2020.

“We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure,” longtime series producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement.

Sam Mendes directed the last two films in the franchise: 2012’s “Skyfall,” which grossed $1.1 billion worldwide, and 2015’s “Spectre,” which reached $880 million.

MGM, which is producing the film with Eon, will distribute the film domestically with Annapurna Pictures, while Universal handles international territories.