"I learned quite a lot about myself with Bond. I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up. We were working very, very well, but they didn't want to go down that route with us," he said in Empire Magazine's May issue. "So we decided to part company, and it would be unfair to say what it was because I don't know what Cary [Joji Fukunaga] is going to do. I got a very nice message from him and I gave him my best wishes ... It is just a great shame. What [screenwriter] John [Hodge] and I were doing, I thought, was really good."
Boyle (28 Days Later, Sunshine) left the project in August after irreconcilable disagreements with the producers and star Daniel Craig, who is also a producer on the franchise. After that, there was a scramble to find a replacement. In September, Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Maniac) was chosen, but a new script was also being pushed into development. As such, the original fall 2019 release date had to be scrapped. Production will finally begin this summer, most likely in Italy.
Interestingly, Bond wasn't the only "what if?" project that Boyle discussed with Empire. He also talked about how he was seriously considered to direct 1997's Alien: Resurrection.
"I got to meet Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder as a prospective candidate. That meant two very nice lunches ... I was living the life. They didn't bar me from directing them, so I barred myself. I loved the script. It was a Joss Whedon script before Joss Whedon was a real name. It was a really good script ... The problem was the industry was in a transition point," said the Oscar winner, referring to the emergence of CGI. "How much were you going to do for real, as Ridley [Scott] had done? How much would you need to learn about emerging technologies that could portray this world? I realized I was not the right person to be in that transition between those two forces. If CG hadn't arrived, I would have been a decent person to say, 'We are going to do it with wrestlers or with athletes who have physicality.' ... My analog mind does not work nimbly in that CG world."
In the end, the film went to French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and despite a good chunk of change at the box office and a positive reception, Resurrection was not enough to keep the Alien franchise from stalling for a while there.
Boyle's next theatrical release will be Yesterday, a dramedy about a musician (played by Himesh Patel) who, after an accident, discovers that he's the only person on the planet who can remember the Beatles. Using his extensive knowledge of their songs, the musician becomes a world-famous singer-songwriter.
Written by Richard Curtis, Yesterday will premiere at Tribeca in early May before opening in the U.K. on June 28. There's no word on when it might be widely released in the United States.
Bond 25 hits theaters April 8 of next year. It will be the first 007 project not to open in the winter since Licence to Kill in 1989.