Daniel Craig in Skyfall
Daniel Craig in Skyfall - but will he be in the next Bond film? Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) (Columbia Pictures

Who will direct the next instalment in the James Bond franchise? It's not the only question when it comes to the series that fans have been wondering the answer to for many months now. There's uncertainty whether Daniel Craig will be back as the titular secret agent or which studio is going to back the production. But it does seem to be the question closest to being answered now that Paul McGuigan's name has been linked to direct the project.

According to Screen Rant (via Indiewire), British film and television director McGuigan – whose best-known film titles include Victor Frankenstein and Lucky Number Slevin – is being considered to helm, now that Sam Mendes has bowed out. The publication goes on to state that it was his latest outing, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, starring Jamie Bell and Annette Bening, that convinced veteran 007 producer Barbara Broccoli that he'd be the man for the job.

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool tells the true story of Hollywood star Gloria Grahame's final days, when she fell for a much younger man and moved into his council flat in Merseyside.

Long-time Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are reportedly working on the 007 script currently, so it will only be a matter of time before a director is locked in. Before the series will sign said filmmaker however, it's likely to have to cement a production studio first.

Since 2006, Sony Pictures Entertainment has controlled the distribution rights to the James Bond franchise, overseeing the releases of hugely popular instalments such as Casino Royale and Skyfall. But now, five major Hollywood studios are vying over the rights to upcoming currently-untitled 25th movie in the series.

Sony's contract to market and distribute within the franchise expired back in 2015 after the release of latest outing Spectre. Because of this, the two companies that control the franchise (but do not distribute their own films) — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions – have started receiving pitches from the likes of Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Annapurna and Warner Bros as well as Sony once more.

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