Wed 10 November, 2004 09:48
By Liza Foreman
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Martin Campbell, who helped to revive the James Bond franchise with the 1995 hit "GoldenEye," is in negotiations to direct the 21st instalment in MGM's spy series.
Although MGM recently said the Bond film will not arrive in cinemas next November, as originally scheduled, the project would be on track to meet a 2006 release date should Campbell come aboard.
Campbell, who is filming another major franchise -- Columbia Pictures' "Legend of Zorro", the sequel to "The Mask of Zorro" -- introduced Pierce Brosnan to audiences as James Bond in "GoldenEye".
Brosnan has said that he will not be returning as Bond, so Campbell could find himself introducing yet another actor in the role. Neither MGM nor producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have commented on casting plans for the new instalment.
Campbell's contribution to reviving the series in the mid-'90s made him the man for the current job, sources said Tuesday. Other directors who had been mentioned as candidates for the assignment were Paul McGuigan, who recently directed MGM's "Wicker Park", and Matthew Vaughn, Guy Ritchie's longtime producing partner, who made his directorial debut this year with the British crime thriller "Layer Cake".
Campbell followed his first "Bond" outing by directing 1998's "The Mask of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, followed by "Vertical Limit" and "Beyond Borders".
Broccoli and Wilson have been keeping the next Bond under wraps. Its script -- by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the duo that contributed to both "Die Another Day" and "The World Is Not Enough" -- is said to contain more of the elements of earlier Bond films than the more recent effects-packed pictures.