Before director Cary Joji Fukunaga took over the Daniel Craig's swan song James Bond film No Time to Die, Danny Boyle was all set to direct and develop the script with his Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge. In a new interview with Esquire UK, while promoting his upcoming Sex Pistols series Pistol, he finally got to talk about what he had planned before his version was scrapped. Up until now, all that had been known was that the director-writing duo left the project due to "creative differences". He even recalls thinking, "Should I really get involved in franchises? Because they don’t really want something different." Though, part of Boyle's idea was he wanted to return Bond to the Cold War origin that had defined the character for the first 30-plus years of his existence. Still, his statement indicates that he wanted to balance the classic Bond with something new:
“They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and we wanted to do something different with it. Weirdly — it would have been very topical now — it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word…they just lost confidence in it. It was a shame really.”
What's interesting is anything that might be deemed fresh in the new film probably did come from Boyle's original idea. There had been rumored drama between Boyle and producers over the idea of killing off Bond which turned out to be Boyle's idea. That was not the only part of the scrapped version that made it into the film either. Boyle confirmed it was originally Hodge's idea for the biggest bombshell in the film saying, “The idea that they used in a different way was the one of [James Bond’s] child, which [Hodge] introduced [and which] was wonderful.”
The new Bond film ended up getting strong reviews along with making $774 million at the box office. Still, it's a wonder what Boyle would have brought to the film given his meticulous approach to any project he does. Still, Boyle has often strayed away from studio films, famously sticking to indie productions after the tumultuous conflict he faced while making the 2000 film The Beach. Ultimately, Boyle seems to have been proven right again. Stay tuned!