New James Bond director Cary Fukunaga is an exciting choice, if producers let him make the film he wants


Danny Boyle dropping out of the next James Bond film — often referred to as “Bond 25,” since the project doesn’t have an official title yet — was a disappointing setback for fans eager to see what a director of Boyle’s talents would do with such a property.

However, Eon Productions — the producers of the Bond series — appears to have recovered nicely with Boyle’s replacement. According to multiple outlets, Cary Fukunaga will direct Bond 25, providing the next 007 movie with one of the brightest young filmmakers currently working.

This is a surprising pick, considering directors like Bart Layton (American Animals) and Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) were perceived as front-runners. Besides Fukunaga’s body of work, what makes him a notable choice is that he’ll be the first American filmmaker to direct a James Bond film. Will that irritate some diehard Bond fans, who feel that Agent 007 is a distinctly British property and should have an English caretaker? Maybe. But that’s probably more of an aesthetic concern.

Fukunaga is probably best known for directing every episode of True Detective’s first season. (Season 2 really seemed to miss him, if for no other reason than the season lacking a cohesive vision behind the camera.) TV viewers can sample more of Fukunaga’s work when the 10-episode series Maniac debuts on Netflix this week.

Additionally, Fukunaga has directed the films Beasts of No Nation, Jane Eyre, and Sin Nombre, demonstrating his variety of interests in subject matter and storyline. At one point, Fukunaga was attached to direct It, but eventually left the project due to creative differences. (By the way, that’s the same reason cited for Boyle leaving Bond 25. In both cases, there were disagreements over the movie’s script.) Yet adapting Stephen King’s novel showed the director’s interest in taking on larger projects with devoted fanbases.

On the second episode of the Amusement Park Podcast, we discussed whether or not this development ultimately mattered to James Bond fans. Chris is more of a “mainstream” moviegoer who just wants a good Bond film. I’m more of a “film snob” who gets excited about accomplished filmmakers taking on iconic characters and genre stories.

We’ll likely talk about this on the next podcast, but I presume Chris would probably tell you that he has no idea who Fukunaga is and the choice won’t influence whether or not he sees a James Bond movie. I’ll also see the next Bond flick regardless of who directs it. I love those movies, particularly Daniel Craig’s version of 007.


The Bond series hasn’t been known for utilizing a variety of A-list filmmakers. Sam Mendes — who directed the last two films, Skyfall and Spectre — is a notable exception as an Academy Award-winning director. Michael Apted, Marc Forster, Martin Campbell and John Huston are also relatively known to diehard movie fans. But Eon apparently wants to continue hiring acclaimed directors for the Bond films, rather than journeymen who might know how to helm an action movie.

Since Fukunaga has previously dropped out of a mainstream project when he and a studio couldn’t agree on a story direction, it’s worth questioning whether or not he’ll eventually run into the same problem with Eon and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Will they let Fukunaga take some chances and follow a more unconventional approach? Or will they lean on the director to stick with a typical formula for these movies? That could be the difference between Craig’s final Bond film being merely good or possibly great.

Bond 25 is scheduled for a Feb. 14, 2020 release, pushed back from the Oct. 25, 2019 date that was scuttled once Boyle left the project. Production is expected to begin next March.

6 takeaways from the first Captain Marvel trailer: It’s the 90s, she’s from space, and everybody’s younger


All we needed was a little patience. When Brie Larson and Entertainment Weekly promised to “break the internet" with a big announcement and followed that up with a reveal of an EW cover with 10 photos from the upcoming Captain Marvel film, some fans were a little bit disappointed that we weren’t getting a trailer.

(Put Chris Cox in that group, as we discussed in Episode 4 of the Amusement Park Podcast.)

We just needed to wait about two weeks.

Taking the same path that Marvel typically follows with their movie releases, the studio built anticipation with the EW story before setting its other machinery in motion. With Disney owning ABC, the Captain Marvel trailer was sure to debut on either Good Morning America or Jimmy Kimmel Live.

GMA got the nod, as announced Monday evening.

And ABC’s morning show had an event set up for the trailer’s debut, having Ginger Zee with Brie Larson at Washington D.C.’s National Air and Space Museum, along with a few dozen STEM students. (Hopefully, my little niece was watching. She’s already a great dancer, but get into science, kid!)

Now that we’ve finally gotten a look at Captain Marvel in action, here are some takeaways from the two-minute introduction to Marvel’s first headlining female superhero.

Remember, it’s the 1990s


The trailer makes it clear right away that the story takes place in the 1990s with Carol Danvers (Larson) crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster Video. Nice nod to the past.

Would it have been too on point to see surveillance video of Danvers crashing through the ceiling, as we’ve seen recently with burglars in convenience stores? Probably.

Shortly thereafter, we get a Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) voiceover explaining that this visitor is a renegade soldier. Is Danvers fleeing the Kree Starforce to which she belongs? That sets up a flurry of story possibilities while possibly establishing the driving plot of the movie.

Captain Marvel goes “Pew Pew!” with her hands!


Fans of Marvel Comics know what abilities Captain Marvel has. (Super-strength and speed, flight, invulnerability, photon blasts, etc.) But regular moviegoers who don’t know that stuff get a glimpse of the character’s powers with the Captain shooting energy blasts from her hands at an off-screen adversary.

At the very end of the trailer, we see Captain Marvel loading up with plenty of power, presumably ready to be unleashed on a bad guy.

Flashbacks are a big part of the story


We’ve been told Captain Marvel won’t be an origin story. At least not in a traditional, linear sense, as the trailer demonstrates. “It’s hard to explain,” says Danvers to (a much younger) Nick Fury.

Danvers will experience plenty of flashbacks as her memories come back upon her return to Earth, which will provide us background information on the character, such as her childhood and military experience. Surely, that’s how we’ll find out how Danvers gets her superhuman abilities (which, if the movie follows the comic books, will come from alien DNA).

Oh, that’s why she has no memories


Were Carol Danvers’ memories erased — or repressed — as part of her programming upon joining the Kree? Maybe discovering that her brain was being tampered with is what compels her to flee from the Kree and return to Earth.

Having her memories hidden would give her something in common with the Winter Soldier. If those memories haven’t been restored in current time, maybe she’ll eventually have to go to Wakanda and have Shuri fix that, just like Bucky did.

Captain Marvel just hit an old lady!


One of the biggest surprises or most shocking moments of the trailer comes when Danvers (who doesn’t yet appear to be Captain Marvel, judging by the teal color of her uniform) punches an old woman on the subway. That’s not very superheroic!

But the villains of the story are the Skrulls (of which we get a very brief glimpse in this trailer), and comic book fans know that their primary ability is to change their shape and disguise themselves as another life form. So that old lady is probably a Skrull. Let’s hope she is, anyway. Otherwise, Danvers has some explaining to do. Not even Drax would do that. man.

Agent Coulson has hair!


Again, this story takes place at least 20 years ago, presuming that the current Marvel Cinematic Universe is happening in modern times. That gives Marvel an opportunity to present much younger versions of familiar characters.

We see Nick Fury (with two good eyes) earlier in the trailer, and also get a glimpse of young Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). And since he’s younger, he also has a full head of hair. (Gregg must’ve loved that special effects benefit.)

As mentioned on the podcast, someday we’ll have to rank all of the de-aged Marvel characters we’ve seen on screen, such as Michael Douglas’s Henry Pym, Kurt Russell’s Ego, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne, and Fury and Coulson (or “Son of Coul,” as Thor once called him).


This first trailer is very much a teaser, not revealing very much. That’s to be expected. Captain Marvel has to be introduced to a wider audience. Plenty of devoted comic book fans might not be entirely familiar with her (I know I’m not) because for most of her Marvel Comics existence, she’s been a C-List character.

(Even Iron Man and Thor were B-List, ranking below the A-List properties Marvel Studios didn’t have, such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and X-Men.)

Subsequent trailers and promotional appearances will fill in more blanks and explain more of the story in the months to come. (Hopefully, without too many spoilers.) Marvel doesn’t typically spoil too much, though may feel the need to if the potential audience still isn’t sure what they’re getting. But that wasn’t necessary with Guardians of the Galaxy and it surely won’t be needed here.

Captain Marvel flies into theaters on March 8, 2019.