It’s been a long time since we last saw Daniel Craig suit up as James Bond in the sensational Spectre, going toe-to-toe with the brilliantly eccentric Ernst Blofeld (a superb turn from Christoph Waltz).
While we were both shaken and stirred by the gripping finale, fans have been left waiting for Bond’s 25th outing on the silver screen after a series of disruptions saw the film’s release date be further and further delayed.
But with a new director at the helm of the project, it seems we are set for more scintillating spy thrills sooner rather than later.
Here’s everything you need to know about Bond 25…
When is the new James Bond film released in cinemas?
Bond 25 was initially billed to be released on October 25 2019, leaving a four-year gap between the new film and the release of Spectre.
But the schedule was thrown into jeopardy when original director Danny Boyle pulled out of the project, citing ‘creative differences’.
It was previously reported by the Sun that Boyle, 61, quit as director over a reluctance to kill off Bond at the end of the film.
A source explained, “Daniel Craig… and producer Barbara Broccoli are believed to have wanted Bond to die in a ‘spectacular finale’, according to sources. But Oscar-winner Boyle, 61, refused to kill off the secret agent, labelling the idea ‘ridiculous.'”
The film was then further delayed when Craig, 50, wanted to help wife Rachel Weisz out at home, after she gave birth to their first child together in September.
The delay saw him sign up to a second project, playing the lead in murder mystery film Knives Out which is due to start filming in November – a month before Bond 25 was meant to go into production.
The subsequent delays put the new Bond film at a release date of 14th February 2020 – but now that’s been delayed AGAIN, with Bond 25 now set to be released in the UK on3rd April 2020, almost two months later. The film is slated for release in the US on 8th April.
As well as Craig in his final outing as Bond, Ralph Fiennes (M), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) and Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) will all be reprising their roles for the new film.
While the actor was not present during the live reveal, he did seem to hint via video link that he was going to be a Bond villain, saying, “I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond doesn’t have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing.”
He later added on Good Morning America: “This is just a perfect follow-up to Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Queen biopic which saw him win his first Oscar in February 2019. “Going from one iconic Brit to an iconic British franchise.”
Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, David Dencik, and Captain Marvel’s breakout star Lashana Lynch will also be joining the cast.
The production team confirmed on Twitter that the 007 actor will be out of action for two weeks as he undergoes ‘minor surgery’.
BOND 25 update: Daniel Craig will be undergoing minor ankle surgery resulting from an injury sustained during filming in Jamaica. Production will continue whilst Craig is rehabilitating for two weeks post-surgery. The film remains on track for the same release date in April 2020. pic.twitter.com/qJN0Sn4gEx
However, the tweet confirmed that the film should still be on course for its April 2020 release date.
Who will direct the next James Bond film?
After Boyle quit in August this year, it was announced in September that US director Cary Joji Fukunaga will now take the helm.
Fukunaga was director and executive producer of the first season 2014 HBO series True Detective, which saw him scoop the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. He is also at the helm of Netflix’s hotly anticipated mini-series Maniac.
Cary Joji Fukunaga will now direct Bond 25 (Getty)
The 41-year-old has previously directed feature film Sin Nombre and the 2012 film adaptation of Jane Eyre, both of which garnered positive reviews from critics.
The news was confirmed by the official James Bond Twitter account by producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
The statement read, “We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure.”
It’s also been announced by Barbara Broccoli that the film will start with Bond living in the Caribbean, no longer working for Her Majesty’s Service.
“Bond is not on active service when we start the film, he is actually enjoying himself in Jamaica. We consider Jamaica bond’s spiritual home. He starts his journey here,” she said.
The film is also set to film in Matera, Italy, London and Norway.
While the title was not confirmed in the reveal, speculation has been rife that the new Bond film was to be titled Shatterhand – something Broccoli herself ruled out when signing an autograph of a fan-made title card.
Others are speculating the film will be called Eclipse after a crew member used the name on her profile on a jobs website.
The script is reportedly based on 1999 novel Never Dream of Dying by US writer Raymond Benson.
A plot leak in September 2017 saw US gossip publication Page Six report that Bond 25 will see notorious womaniser 007 get married to Dr Madeleine Swann (played by Lea Seydoux) after quitting MI6.
But his domestic bliss with Swann is short-lived after she is killed, seeing Bond come out of retirement to avenge her death – a plot not dissimilar to classic Bond caper On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
An insider claimed, “The film’s like ‘Taken’, but with Bond.”
Will this be Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007?
Since taking the reins from Pierce Brosnan as the secret agent in 2005, Craig has garnered universal praise for his portrayal as Bond in the last four films.
But after claiming he would “rather slash his wrists” than play Bond again, in August 2017 Craig confirmed he would be back playing Bond for “one last time” for the 25th film.
With rumours rife that Bond may die at the end of the film, fans are now speculating on how the franchise may continue.
While some have thought that the 26th Bond outing will cast a new actor with the explanation 007 didn’t actually die at all, the Sun have speculated that there could be “a Doctor Who-esque regeneration with a new actor.”