Bart Layton he wasn’t ready to direct Bond 25

British director Bart Layton, while in Rome last week promoting a film, got asked about Bond 25. He said he turned down the project.

“I was very flattered to be asked about the Bond film,” he said. “For me, it’s too big at this point. I don’t feel ready.”

Layton said he’d consider doing a Bond film “in the future.” Also, he said, “It’s time for a re-invention. I think it’s time to modernize that franchise in an interesting way. It would be exciting to be part of that.The List

Variety reported in early September that Layton was among directors being considered after Danny Boyle exited the project. Layton told a British website called  on Sept. 14 there had been discussions but he didn’t elaborate. Eon Productions said on Sept. 20 that Cary Joji Fukunaga would be Bond 25’s director.

A website called Talky! Media posted a video of Layton. The Bond 25 comments begin around the 2:25 mark.

Variety lists 3 contenders to direct Bond 25

Variety, in a story about the search for a Bond 25 director, lists three contenders.

The entertainment news outlet says that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions ” are showing interest” in Bart Layton, director of American Animals, and S.J. Clarkson, ” who was recently tapped to direct the next ‘Star Trek’ installment.”

Also back in contention is Yann Demange, director of White Boy Rick. Demange last year was reported last year to be a contender for Bond 25. But MGM and Eon got interested in Danny Boyle, who got the job.

“Sit-down meetings are still being worked out for Layton and Clarkson, and the timetable for the meetings is currently unclear,” wrote Variety’s Justin Kroll.

“The producers’ first meeting with Demange went well enough to land him high on the list of contenders, but at the time,” according to Kroll. “‘White Boy Rick’ was unfinished and they were unable to see the movie. A screening will now be set for MGM and Eon officials to see Demange’s final product.”

Variety said Eon wants to keep the currently announced fall 2019 release date for Bond 25. At the same time, the entertainment news outlet said meetings with other directors could still be set up.

Daniel Craig, the 007 film star, is scheduled to begin filming a mystery movie, Knives Out, in November. Bond 25 had been set to begin filming Dec. 3.

(UPDATE, 8:20 p.m. New York Time): Variety’s Kroll put out a tweet saying “there is still a chance Eon and MGM take a Hail Mary shot for a big name like Edgar Wright or (Christoper) McQuarrie.”