James Bond rewind: The first five directors of the 007 franchise

Not only is the 25th James Bond film “No Time to Die” the last 007 adventure thriller starring Daniel Craig, it’s also the first one directed by an American: Cary Joji Fukunaga. The 44-year-old filmmaker won the Sundance dramatic directing award in 2009 for “Sin Nombre,” was the first Asian-American director to win an Emmy for directing in 2014 for “True Detective” and earned a Peabody in 2015 for “Beasts of No Nation.”

He joins other cutting-edge filmmakers to direct Craig as Bond including Oscar-winning English director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) who helmed 2012’s “Skyfall” and 2015’s “Spectre” and indie German filmmaker Marc Forster (2008’s “Quantum of Solace”), who had directed Halle Berry to an Oscar for 2001’s “Monster’s Ball” and Johnny Depp to a nomination for 2004’s “Finding Neverland.”

These three are a far cry from the early Bond directors who were British and had worked their way up the ranks learning their craft as editors and second unit directors before they got their opportunity to helm a film. Here’s a look back at early James Bond history and the directors who guided the franchise in its first three decades.

Terence Young (1915-1994)
Bond films: “Dr. No” (1962); “From Russia with Love” (1963); and “Thunderball” (1965)

Background: The Irish director/writer received his first credit as a screenwriter with 1939’s “On the Night of the Fire” and made his debut as a director with 1948’s “Corridor of Mirrors.”

Post-Bond: He directed Audrey Hepburn to her fifth and final Oscar nomination for the 1967 thriller “Wait Until Dark” and also directed her in the 1979 bomb “Bloodline.” He also directed the 1968 romance “Mayerling” and three Charles Bronson flicks including 1972’s “The Valachi Papers.”

Awards: Young won the Razzie Award for the worst director for the critically lambasted big-budget 1981 “Inchon” starring Laurence Olivier as General MacArthur and was funded by the Unification Church, aka the Moonies.

Final film: “Run for Your Life” (1988)

Guy Hamilton (1922-2016)
Bond films: “Goldfinger” (1964); “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971); “Live and Let Die” (1973); and “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)

Background: The British filmmaker was an assistant director on such films as 1949’s “The Third Man” and 1951’s “The African Queen” before making his directorial debut on 1952’s “The Ringer.”

Post-Bond: Hamilton didn’t make many films after “The Man with the Golden Gun”: 1978’s “Force 10 From Navarone”; two Agatha Christie mysteries (1980’s “The Mirror Crack’d” and 1982’s “Evil Under the Sun”); and 1985’s “Remo Williams: The Adventures Begin.”

Awards: BAFTA nomination best British screenplay for co-writing 1960’s “A Touch of Larceny” and won the Evening Standard for British Film Awards for Best Picture for “Live and Let Die.”

Final film: “Try This One for Size” (1989)

SEE Is there an awards case to be made for ‘No Time to Die’?

Lewis Gilbert (1920-2018)
Bond films: “You Only Live Twice” (1967); “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977); and “Moonraker” (1979)

Background: The British director began his career as young adults in such films as 1938’s “Divorce of Lady X.” He made several documentary shorts when he was with the RAF during World War II and made his feature directorial debut with 1947’s “The Little Ballerina.” Among his pre-Bond films were 1954’s “The Sea Shall Not Have Them”; 1958’s “Carve Her Name with Pride”; and 1960’s “Sink the Bismark!”

Post-Bond: Had success with 1983’s “Educating Rita” and 1989’s “Shirley Valentine.”

Awards: Received an Oscar nomination as producer of 1966’s “Alfie.” He directed Michael Caine and Vivien Merchant to Oscar nominations in “Alfie”; Caine and Julie Walters in “Educating Rita”; and Pauline Collins in “Shirley Valentine.”

Final film: The 2002 comedy drama “Before You Go.”

Peter R. Hunt (1925-2002)
Bond film: “On His Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969)

Background: The British filmmaker edited “Dr. No,” “From Russia with Love” and “Goldfinger” and was supervising editor on “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice.”  He also was an uncredited second unit director on “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” and credited second unit on “You Only Live Twice” before moving up to director on “Secret Service.”

Post-Bond: Hunt directed a few features including 1974’s “Gold” and 1985’s “Wild Geese II,” but mainly did television.

Last film: The 1987 Charles Bronson thriller “Assassination”

John Glen (1932-)
Bond films: “For Your Eyes Only” (1981) ; “Octopussy” (1983); “A View to a Kill” (1985); “The Living Daylights” (1987); and “Licence to  Kill” (1989)

Background: The British filmmaker began his career as an editor and sound editor. He joined the Bond family as a second assistant director on “His Majesty’s Secret Service” and was second unit director and editor on “The Spy Who Loves Me” and “Moonraker.” He made his feature directorial debut with “For Your Eyes Only.”

Post-Bond: Glen directed 1982’s “Aces: Iron Eagle III” and 1992’s “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery”

Awards: Earned a Razzie nomination for worst director for “Christopher Columbus.”

Last film: The 2001 action-drama “Point Men”

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