Two days after Danny Boyle exited the 25th installment of the James Bond franchise over creative differences, The Hollywood Reporter now writes that the film has lost its script, with the expected release dates of Oct. 29 (in the U.K.) and Nov. 8 (in the U.S.) being thrown into serious doubt.
The screenplay, penned by Boyle and his Trainspotting partner John Hodge, was said to be the source of the creative dispute with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, as well as star Daniel Craig.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that the impasse was over the casting of the movie's villain, whom Boyle wanted to be played by Polish actor Tomasz Kot. Based on the report, Boyle and Hodge's plot would have revolved around "contemporary political tensions with Russia and a 'modern-day Cold War,'" but supposedly neither this nor Boyle's casting choice was accepted by the producers, who considered Kot "a 'left-field' decision for a Bond enemy."
"Craig has a big say in all the casting decisions. None of the Bond girls have been chosen without his say-so," a source told The Telegraph.
As for the screenplay, Variety reports that "MGM and Eon, the film’s backers, sent out the word that they are looking for a writer or a writer-director to come on to the film." Getting a double-threat filmmaker like that would be the most ideal situation, as they could rework the script and shoot it right afterward.
As for the film's release date, shooting was originally scheduled to kick off this December at England's famous Pinewood Studios, but now there are conflicting reports on whether the film will even hit its target opening date.
According to THR, it's now scheduled to miss its North American debut of Nov. 8, 2019, and may not even arrive in theaters until late 2020. However, Deadline reports that the film has yet to budge from that release date, and that intel about a supposed delay "might be wishful thinking by rival distributors."
Should a replacement director be found within the next two months, the film may still hit a fall 2019 release, per Deadline, which also adds that the purported short list of replacements includes: Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club, Big Little Lies), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), and Yann Demange (White Boy Rick).