First American picked to direct next James Bond film

Producers of the James Bond films say Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct the next installment in the spy thriller series, replacing Danny Boyle. (File/AP)
Updated 20 September 2018
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First American picked to direct next James Bond film

LONDON: US filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct the next James Bond movie, set for worldwide release on February 14, 2020, the franchise’s producers said Thursday after British director Danny Boyle quit the project last month.
Fukunaga, who had not been tipped for the role, will become the first American to direct a movie in the storied spy franchise, which began life on the big screen in 1963.
“We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure,” Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig announced on Twitter.
Fukunaga is best known for directing the first season of Emmy Award-winning series “True Detective” and Netflix’s first feature film “Beasts of No Nation” starring British actor Idris Elba — tipped as a future 007.
The 25th Bond film — confirmed as Craig’s last outing as 007 — will begin filming at Pinewood Studios near London on March 4 next year.
Fukunaga replaces Oscar-winning British director Danny Boyle, who dramatically left the project in August due to “creative differences” with the producing team.
His surprise departure, at the start of the casting process, appears to have delayed the movie, which was originally planned for release in Britain on October 25, 2019.
Boyle, 61, who won an Academy Award in 2009 for “Slumdog Millionaire,” had been due to partner again with screenwriter John Hodge on the movie.


‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

Updated 20 April 2019
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‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

At 35, Jesse Eisenberg has already had an accomplished career, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, a published book of short stories and nearly defeating both Superman and Batman in “Dawn of Justice” (2016). Still, when Salma Hayek walked on the set of “The Hummingbird Project” (2019), his latest film directed by Kim Nguyen, Eisenberg did not know what to do with himself.

“To be frank, she’s intimidating to me. Not only did I grow up watching her, but she’s one of the actresses who transcends the profession. She’s almost more iconic than she is an actor, even though she’s a wonderful actor,” Eisenberg told Arab News.

The feeling was mutual. The Lebanese-Mexican actor, who has also found success as a producer, CEO, and activist, including spearheading an animated adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” saw something in Eisenberg as well.

“In person, she came up to me and said, ‘I suspect you have other ambitions, don’t you?’ I said, ‘yeah, I write plays, books, and I’m involved in other stuff.’ She said, ‘Yes, I can tell. You remind me of myself.’”

“I thought it was so nice, and I really admire what she’s doing. In fact, she’d written a piece for the New York Times about Harvey Weinstein that was coming out the next day and she asked me to take a look at it… It was phenomenal. She was able to write not just about assault, but the humiliating and constant whittling away of her own agency by this horrible person,” Eisenberg explained.

In “The Hummingbird Project,” Eisenberg and Hayek’s characters are competing to create a direct connection to the New York stock market, in order to get a competitive edge in high frequency trading. Hayek plays Eisenberg’s former boss, someone his character is still intimidated by, as art imitates life.

 “My character thinks of her as this icon. The fact that she personally carries so much power was very helpful to me and for the scene,” Eisenberg said.