US filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct the next James Bond movie, set for worldwide release on February 14, 2020, the franchise's producers said Thursday after British director Danny Boyle quit the project last month.
Fukunaga, who had not been tipped for the role, will become the first American to direct a movie in the storied spy franchise, which began life on the big screen in 1963.
"We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure," Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig announced on Twitter.
Fukunaga is best known for directing the first season of Emmy Award-winning series True Detective and Netflix's first feature film Beasts of No Nation starring British actor Idris Elba -- tipped as a future 007.
The 25th Bond film -- confirmed as Craig's last outing as 007 -- will begin filming at Pinewood Studios near London on March 4 next year.
Fukunaga replaces Oscar-winning British director Danny Boyle, who dramatically left the project in August due to "creative differences" with the producing team.
His surprise departure, at the start of the casting process, appears to have delayed the movie, which was originally planned for release in Britain on October 25, 2019.
Boyle, 61, who won an Academy Award in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire, had been due to partner again with screenwriter John Hodge on the movie.