James Bond should have some impressive company for his 24th theatrical outing: Variety reports that several high-profile directors are being considered to helm the next installment of the venerable franchise, due out sometime in 2016.

"Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn revealed in a recent interview that Eon and Sony have already approached him about the gig, and reports indicate that the studio is also considering Shane Black ("Iron Man 3"), Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables"), David Yates ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"), and Ang Lee, fresh off his Best Director Oscar win for "Life of Pi."

Bond's last trip to the multiplex, "Skyfall," nabbed critical acclaim and five Oscar nominations of its own, and went on to become the highest-grossing 007 film of all time. In light of those superlatives, it makes sense that producers want to attract even more top-notch talent to the franchise, and luring in one of the aforementioned big-shot directors should help continue the series' success. ("Skyfall" director Sam Mendes passed on an offer to return to the franchise, citing other commitments.)

Variety notes, however, that a deal could still be far off, since current Bond Daniel Craig's contract still needs to be finalized, and he's most likely due for a big payday -- and possibly director approval. Looks like he has a tough decision to make.

[via Variety]

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CATEGORIES Movies