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'Moon' Helmer Duncan Jones' Next Project Is Biopic Of 007 Creator Ian Fleming, Film Shoots This Year

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 19, 2012 8:59 AM
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Duncan Jones is a man who's had his fair share of suitors. The one-time commercials director made one of the most exciting directorial debuts in recent memory with 2009's "Moon," and followed it up with last year's hugely enjoyable sci-fi thriller "Source Code," a film that managed to be a modest little hit ($150 million worldwide on a $30 million budget). And as such, he's since been courted for some pretty major Hollywood projects, taking meetings to direct "Man Of Steel," "The Wolverine" and "The Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire," but ultimately not taking any of them. Indeed, things have been quiet on the Jones front: he may have been developing passion project "Mute" and a secret sci-fi project inspired by "Blade Runner," but all we've seen from him in the last year was a commercial for a bank.

But now there's firm word on what Jones' next film will be, and it's not only a surprise, it's also a new kind of picture for the director. Jones' fan-site Man Made Movies has a press release that reveals that the director is attached to direct a biopic of Ian Fleming, the wartime intelligence officer who would later create the most famous spy in fiction, James Bond, with his 1953 novel "Casino Royale," and across thirteen subsequent books. The currently untitled film is based on Andrew Lycett's biography "Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond," and will be a 'period action film' that shows that Fleming's adventures weren't that far away from those of Bond.

Jones says in the press release that "Fleming lived through one of the most perilous periods in world history, in a position that allowed him a unique vantage point of all the players, all the stakes.  He witnesses true heroism first-hand.  And he saw the evil men could do.  Then, when the war ended, he went off to write fiction. The essential question for me is; where did Ian Fleming end and Bond begin?” It's unclear from the release who's writing the script, but a little digging reveals it's by Matt Brown (who also penned a script about bodyguard Two-Gun Cohen for Doug Liman), and the project has the full approval of the Ian Fleming Estate. K5 Films (the upcoming Gaspar Noe pic "The Golden Suicides") are producing along with PalmStar Media ("Celeste and Jesse Forever"), Jim Young's Animus Films ("The Words") and Jones' Liberty Films.

There have been other attempts to bring Fleming's life to the screen before now, with one take set up at Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company, but the idea of Jones stepping away from sci-fi for the first time for a based-in-fact wartime espionage thriller is enough to convince us that this is likely to be the definitive take. The involvement of Fleming's estate does make us a little concerned that it could turn out to be a hagiography, but we trust the director not to pull his punches. Casting is currently underway (Michael Fassbender, anyone?) and shooting is planned to begin before the year is out.

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More: Duncan Jones, Untitled Ian Fleming Biopic

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  • Jules | May 21, 2012 1:28 PMReply

    Don't see Fassbender as a good fit for this, but I have to agree with the other comments.
    that this would be perfect for Cumberbatch.

  • Wills | May 21, 2012 1:24 PMReply

    1st choice: James McAvoy. 2nd: Benedict Cumberbatch. Save Fassbender for Bond.

  • Alan | May 20, 2012 6:59 AMReply

    I just hope that Jones keeps things credible. A Bond film in all but name would not be all that interesting.

  • jingmei | May 20, 2012 1:25 AMReply

    Duncan Jones is just fucking awesome,whomever is gonna be directed by him just go alongside this director's way, so look forward to this project due to Duncan Jones just.

  • Max | May 20, 2012 1:10 AMReply

    Agreed with RICH; I thought it is Geoffrey Rush in the photo at first glance. If the movie features the young Fleming, I think Benedict Cumberbatch is a good fit; both are public school educated, around the same height, long face and small eyes, and Cumberbatch has a strong onscreen presence; he's no stranger to period dramas, which may be a bonus considering Jone's sci-fi background.

  • Vince | May 19, 2012 11:24 PMReply

    Hope they do it better then the very dull and boring TV movie with the otherwise fine Charles Dance which ends with his going to the premier of Dr No with nothing said about Sean Connery playing Bond

  • Rich | May 19, 2012 10:13 PMReply

    If it features Fleming as an older gentleman at any point, Geoffrey Rush would be perfect.

  • Mike | May 19, 2012 6:09 PMReply

    Didn't Jones decide he couldn't do Mute? I thought his plan was to release it as a graphic novel, Darren Aronofsky style. Which is a shame, as it was supposed to be in the same universe as Moon.

  • Qu4rterman42 | May 19, 2012 3:44 PMReply

    Better question... Who will play Christopher Lee

  • Jason Framkiun | May 19, 2012 3:00 PMReply

    "Indeed, things have been quiet on the Jones front: the actor's been developing passion project 'Mute' and..."

    Please change this to "the director's been developing." It is very confusing.

  • will | May 19, 2012 1:28 PMReply

    James McAvoy is definitely the best choice, followed by Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, and Michael Fassbender. Fassbender might be better for Bond himself, though, once Daniel Craig's done.

  • Travis Hopson | May 19, 2012 1:11 PMReply

    Isn't this the same one that McAvavoy was signed on to back in 2009? It's the same producers, afterall.

  • The Playlist | May 19, 2012 3:44 PM

    You never saw the Pajiba update based on your original source.

    "Update: According to an interview that Collider did with James McAvoy, he is not actually attached to the below Ian Fleming project. Apparently, he read the script, but that’s as far as it got. He never even spoke with the producers. "

  • ISLAND | May 19, 2012 12:37 PMReply

    James McAvoy would be the perfect actor to cast as Ian Fleming

  • Marty | May 19, 2012 12:19 PMReply

    James McAvoy does both period and action; Tom Hiddleston (or too busy with Thor?); not Michael Fassbender--it's Ian Fleming, not James Bond

  • Rah-al | May 19, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    Michael Fassbender would be perfect casting.

  • Sky | May 19, 2012 9:33 AMReply

    would be interesting if Benedict Cumbercatch is in this..

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