The new James Bond film will likely not be released next autumn, it has been reported, after a series of delays before filming has even begun.
The 25th installment, as yet unnamed, was due to be premiered in October 2019.
Now sources are telling The Hollywood Reporter that it could be pushed back by as much as a year, following the departure of director Danny Boyle on Tuesday and the scriptwriter quitting.
The British director pulled out of the project due to "creative differences", according to a one-line Twitter statement issued by producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and lead actor Daniel Craig.
"Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25," they said on August 21.
Industry sources speculated that Boyle, 61, disagreed with other senior members of the team – including Craig – over the casting of Polish actor Tomasz Kot as the lead villain.
Boyle’s resignation also lead to the departure of scriptwriter John Hodge, who has worked with Boyle on Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary.
Bond producers were so keen to recruit Boyle as director they agreed to shelve a script already written by longtime Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
It is unclear whether producers will now stick to Boyle’s controversial script, written by Hodge, or revert to the version by Purvis and Wade, thought to be more typical for a Bond film.
It could take months to come up with a script that pleases all parties, including whoever Broccoli and Wilson hire to direct the movie.
A new director is yet to be named, but current favourite is The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, nominated for an Oscar this year for Dunkirk.
Other directors believed to be in contention are Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, Darkest Hour’s Joe Wright, and Paul Greengrass, who helmed the Bourne films.
MGM Studios and EON, the company behind the Bond films, have not commented.