Provisionally known as “Bond 25“, the movie was thrown into disarray in August when Danny Boyle left the production over creative differences, purportedly regarding the casting of the film’s Russian villain.
The man taking Boyle’s place shot to fame in 2014 over his bravura handling of the first season of HBO’s Southern Gothic crime drama True Detective starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
Fukunaga directed all eight episodes and was credited with establishing a consistency of tone that its widely-panned second series sorely lacked.
The director, 41, who grew up in California and originally hoped to be a professional snowboarder before turning his hand to filmmaking, made his feature debut with Sin Nombre in 2009.
The film addressed gang violence in Mexico and the plight of a young Honduran girl hoping to emigrate to New Jersey with her family.
He subsequently mounted a handsome adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre in 2011 starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender before working on an adaptation of the Stephen King novel It, slated to star Will Poulter as the killer clown Pennywise.
Fukunaga ultimately left the project after clashing with studio executives but it was eventually brought to the screen by Andy Muschietti and proved the horror smash of summer 2017.
Doing so, however, enabled him to take on True Detective when Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped out.
After the triumph of the Louisiana cop show, in which Fukunaga wowed audiences with a six-minute tracking shot following a police raid on a housing project at close quarters, he turned his attention to another literary adaptation, Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel Beasts of No Nation.
Distributed by Netflix, the 2015 film recounted the ordeal of Agu (Abraham Attah), a young boy swept up by civil conflict in West Africa and put to work as a child soldier by Idris Elba’s charismatic but brutal Commandant.
Featuring a breathtaking performance by 14-year-old Ghanaian actor Attah, the production from Fukunaga’s own screenplay gave the director ample opportunity to juxtapose the natural splendour of his locations with the human atrocities unfolding in the foreground, just as he had in True Detective.
His latest production is also for Netflix, a darkly comic miniseries starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill entitled Maniac that drops on the streaming site on 21 September.
Fukunaga’s appointment represents an inventive choice from Bond custodians Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson and fans have every reason to be excited for the spy’s latest adventure.
As for future instalments, Richard Madden, star of the BBC’s hit drama Bodyguard, is the latest name tipped to succeed Craig as 007, although Idris Elba, who worked with Fukunaga on Beasts of No Nation, has been heavily linked to the part in recent