Tom Hiddleston Collaborator Susanne Bier Is a Contender to Direct the Next 'James Bond'

Acclaimed "The Night Manager" director Susanne Bier is reportedly "one of the leading contenders" to direct the next "James Bond" film, now that "Skyfall" and "Spectre" director Sam Mendes is departing the franchise. If hired, Bier would make history as the first female "Bond" director.

According to Radio Times, Bier is one of a "handful" of names producer Barbara Broccoli has on her shortlist to direct "Bond." The possibility of Bier seems particularly likely because of her experience working with Tom Hiddleston -- who reportedly met with Broccoli to discuss the part -- from BBC1's "The Night Manager."

On replacing Bond, Mendes said, "Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero."

Bier has spoken positively of her experience with Hiddleston, telling a reporter, "There's a certain incredibly enigmatic quality to [Hiddleston's] eyes...You aren't sure you can trust him, but you are sure there is a pain there that he doesn’t show. He's so immaculate and fun and elegant and charming, and there is somewhere inside of him a painfulness, which I think for most women, is irresistible."

Still, Hiddleston's yet to close the deal -- and has yet to admit to his meeting with Broccoli: "The thing is the position isn't vacant as far as I am aware. No one has talked to me about it," he told Graham Norton.

The next 'Bond" film hasn't been given a release date.

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