Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee and Nicolas Winding Refn are in the running to direct the next James Bond film.
'The Dark Knight Rises' director, the 'Life of Pi' helmer and the 'Drive' filmmaker are all hot contenders to take control of Eon and Sony/MGM's next chapter in the action franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The A-list directors - who are all known for their strong cinematic vision - will have a lot to live up to after Sam Mendes' 'Skyfall' became the most successful Bond film of all time, taking $1.1 billion at the global box office.
The film, starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench and Naomie Harris, received five Academy Award nominations and won two prizes for Best Original Song and Best Sound Editing.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are said to be keen to land a director as popular as Mendes, who has ruled himself out of returning to the franchise because of his theatre commitments.
He is staging productions of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'King Lear' in London, and is tipped to take the helm at the National Theatre when Sir Nicholas Hytner steps down in March 2015.
John Logan is currently writing the script for Bond 24, which will reportedly need 12-18 months of pre-production, followed by six months of filming.