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 – who might just be back… in Bond 25)
While we were both shaken and stirred by the gripping finale, fans have been left waiting for Bond’s next outing on the silver screen after a series of disruptions saw the film’s release date pushed further and further back.
But with a new director at the helm, it seems we are set for more scintillating spy thrills sooner rather than later. The team also revealed the title as No Time to Die, but what else do we know about the latest Bond outing?
Update: We finally have a title for Bond 25! No Time to Die. The title was unceremoniously dropped by the film’s Twitter account on 20th August.
There had been plenty of speculation that the new Bond film would be named Shatterhand – something Broccoli herself ruled out when signing an autograph of a fan-made title card. Others suggested it would be titled Eclipse after a crew member used the name on her profile on a jobs website. Looks like everyone was wrong…
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.'”
Boyle has since added to Metro.co.uk: “I learned my lesson that I am not cut out [for franchises] otherwise you’re digging in the same hole. I am better not quite in the mainstream franchise movies, is the honest answer.”
The film was further pushed back when Craig, 50, wanted to help wife Rachel Weisz out at home, after she gave birth to their first child together in September 2018.
The delay also saw him sign up to a second project, playing the lead in murder mystery film Knives Out (alongside Bond co-star Ana de Armas) which filmed in late 2018.
The various setbacks put the new Bond film at a release date of 14th February 2020 – but that was delayed AGAIN, with Bond 25 now set to be released in the UK on 3rd April 2020, almost two months later.
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. Intriguingly, Christoph Waltz has also been spotted on set, fuelling speculation that his Spectre character, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, will be back with unfinished business…
He revealed via video link that he was going to play 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.”
Malek has also revealed that he sought reassurance from director Cary Fukunaga that his character wouldn’t be portrayed as an Arabic-speaking terrorist.
“It’s a great character and I’m very excited,” he told the Mirror. “But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary. I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That’s not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out’. But that was clearly not his vision. So he’s a very different kind of terrorist.”
Alongside Malek are a host of famous names. Captain Marvel’s breakout star Lashana Lynch has joined the cast as a character called Nomi, who will reportedly get the code name 007 after Bond retires (more on that here), while Ana de Armas is believed to be Bond’s love interest – Paloma.
David Dencik will play a character named Waldo who, according to a tweet from the actor’s cousin, is another villain, while Billy Magnussen is reportedly starring as a CIA agent and Dali Benssalah joining the cast in an unannounced role.
The production team confirmed on Twitter in May 2019 that the 007 actor would be out of action for two weeks as he underwent ‘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
Actress Naomie Harris told Entertainment Weekly: “He’s such a trooper and such a strong guy that I think even if he was still in pain, he would just chug along and make sure that we complete it on schedule.”
And by the end of the month, the official James Bond Twitter account had shared a picture and video of the star filming with an Aston Martin V8 in Whitehall, London.
007 star Daniel Craig, director Cary Fukunaga and the #Bond25 crew were out in the sunshine today shooting across a number of London locations, including Whitehall, where Daniel filmed a scene with a classic @astonmartin V8, first seen in a Bond film in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. pic.twitter.com/rhs13nNeyW
After Boyle quit in August 2018, it was announced the following month that US director Cary Joji Fukunaga would helm Bond 25.
Fukunaga was director and executive producer of the 2014 series of 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 acclaimed 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.
News of his hire 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.”
“There’s something about James Bond that always intrigued me in a similar way that Villanelle did,” the Killing Eve writer told The Hollywood Reporter. “They live a fantasy! But it’s a life none of us would ever want, if we’re honest. We don’t want to go put a bullet in someone’s head to sleep with people and have martinis. It’s a kind of fantasy nightmare.”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Getty, SL
Waller-Bridge added: “A lot has been made of me coming on board because I’m a woman, and that’s wonderful. But also I can’t take credit for the movie that was written. It’s Cary’s movie.”
It’s 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.
Early rumours suggested the Bond 25 script was 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 (Liam Neeson’s movie), but with Bond.”
However, more recent speculation has Bond brought out of retirement by Felix Leiter (last seen in Quantum of Solace) to recover a scientist from the clutches of an evil villain.
Naomie Harris, who plays Eve Moneypenny fuelled speculation saying that No Time to Die would be a “tie-up of Skyfall and Spectre” with plenty of shocking moments.
“[No Time to Die has] massive, massive surprises that even had me like, ‘Oh, wow!’ So I think we’re going to really shock people,” she told GQ in an interview.
She added: “We’re definitely seeing a Bond who’s more in touch with his feelings and more open to falling in love.”
Is there a Bond 25 poster?
A simple but effective teaser poster has also been released, with the film’s logo emblazoned over an image of a tuxedo-clad Craig.
How will Bond 25 end?
The producers are taking no chances with No Time To Die plot leaks, with Fukunaga shooting three different endings to the film.
The project is so shrouded with mystery, not even Craig knows which ending will be chosen as the film’s “real” ending.
According to reports, one ending sees a group of people being gassed on a dance-floor, while one source has suggested Bond could be killed off and replaced by a woman in the very final scenes.
“Everyone’s in the dark, the secrecy is off the chart,” a source told The Mirror.
Where is Bond 25 filming?
The film is being shot in Jamaica, Matera in Italy, London and Norway, where early scenes were filmed by a frozen lake. The James Bond Twitter account shared a few photos from Italy.
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.
After claiming he would “rather slash his wrists” than play Bond again, but in August 2017 Craig confirmed he would be back playing Bond for “one last time” in the 25th film.
With rumours rife that Bond may die in the closing moments, fans are now speculating on how the franchise may continue.
While some have thought that the 26th Bond outing will cast a new lead 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.”
Who will perform the Bond 25 theme song?
Ed Sheeran (Getty, EH)
It’s not yet been confirmed which artist has been chosen to record the film’s title track. Rumoured pop stars have included Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey, as well as Adele who has been reported as returning to the franchise after impressing with her 2012 track Skyfall.
Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp confirmed in August 2019 that the star had met with Bond boss Barbara Broccoli two years earlier and that the filmmakers were “interested” at the time in having Sheeran perform the theme.
Though conversations apparently haven’t progressed since, Camp added, “It’s certainly something [Sheeran would] want to do though, it’s a box that’s still to be ticked, for sure.”
What cars are there in Bond 25?
Bond’s car in the new film will be… the Aston Martin Valhalla. The hybrid car is capable of going from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds, and is powered by a specially-developed turbocharged V6 petrol engine.
The Valhalla – which replaces the model used in Spectre – is priced at £1.5 million, and follows in the tradition of Aston Martin naming its cars with the letter ‘V’, this time drawing on Norse mythology.