Director Susanne Bier ‘shortlisted for next Bond film’

Susanne Bier could be the first woman to direct a James Bond film after the Radio Times reported that the Danish director’s name was among the handful of film-makers being considered for the next 007 outing.

If chosen for Bond 25, Bier would replace Sam Mendes, who, after the blockbusting successes of Skyfall and Spectre, has announced he will not return for a third Bond film.

Bier is best known as a feature director for her Oscar-nominated drama In a Better World, a thriller about a Swedish doctor working in a Sudanese refugee camp. Her other films include Things We Lost in the Fire, an addiction drama starring Benicio del Toro and Halle Berry and Love is All You Need, a sunny comedy in which former Bond Pierce Brosnan woos a cancer patient while on a getaway in Italy. A spokesperson from Eon Productions, the company responsible for the James Bond franchise, offered no comment when asked about Bier’s potential appointment.

More recently Bier helmed the BBC spy drama The Night Manager, which went some way to establishing her credentials as an action director. The series, based on the novel by John le Carré, starred Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, a hotel concierge who is recruited by MI5 and drawn deep into the world of dangerous espionage as he attempts to win the trust of an illegal arms dealer, played by Hugh Laurie. The series, in which Hiddleston was shown dressed in a dinner suit ordering a martini, was described by some Twitter users as Hiddleston’s “job application” for the role of Bond.

Since The Night Manager aired, speculation has been rife that Hiddleston would replace Daniel Craig as 007. Craig, who has yet to confirm that he will not return to active duty, once joked that he would rather “slash his wrists” than play Bond again. Other actors linked to the role include former Homeland star Damian Lewis, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba. Hiddleston has denied that he’s been offered the role, Elba – who would be the first black actor to play Bond on screen – has said he’s sick of the speculation, while Hardy has remained tight-lipped. Meanwhile Mendes has suggested that it will not go to any of the above.

“It’s not a democracy,” he said earlier this week. “It’s not The X Factor, it’s not the EU referendum, it’s not a public vote. [Producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who’s going to be the next Bond: end of story. I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what she’s been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive.”

Rumours about Bier’s involvement follow a campaign calling for the British secret service agent to be played by a woman and renamed Jane Bond. Gillian Anderson and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke have both said they would like a shot at the role.

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