I gave up on AMC's limited series The Night Manager after three of its six episodes because I couldn't endure the slow pacing, but it was clear to me that the spy series could serve as a sort of backdoor audition for Tom Hiddleston to play the next James Bond. Hiddleston is apparently meeting with Eon Productions about the role, but a new report from The Radio Times says the actor isn't the only one who's caught Barbara Broccoli's eye: Susanne Bier, who directed every episode of The Night Manager, is now "one of the leading contenders to take over" directing duties on the next Bond film.
Sources close to Bond producers Eon tell RadioTimes.com that Bier is among a “handful” of names making up producer Barbara Broccoli’s shortlist to inherit the directing gig from Mendes.
If Bier gets the job it would make her the first woman ever to helm a James Bond movie –and would also vastly increase the chances of the already hotly-tipped Hiddleston getting the role of Bond thanks to the pair's previous working relationship.
While we aren't sure about the legitimacy of their source or this claim, one thing's for sure: Bier would definitely be the first woman to ever direct a Bond movie. But that piece about if she gets the job, it increases the chances of Hiddleston becoming the next Bond is, to use a British phrase, total rubbish. That's not how franchise filmmaking works, and even though they may have developed a decent working relationship over the course of that miniseries, that's not going to be the deciding factor for Broccoli. She needs a new Bond who's going to stick around for years, and the directors (as history has proven) are far more interchangeable.
Still, if Bier has a good script to work with, she could direct a hell of an action movie. But if it's as slow and plodding as The Night Manager ended up being, it might not turn out as great as everyone hopes.
This comes a few days after further confirmation that Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes won't be back to direct the next installment, so take all of this with a grain of salt. Let's put aside the "choose the best person for the job, regardless of gender" argument for a second. If you could choose the first female director of the Bond franchise, who would it be?