James Bond fans have been forced to be exceedingly patient when it comes to the release of No Time To Die, with the 25th 007 flick having been delayed on countless occasions already.
Even before the pandemic hit, the film had already been beset by numerous production woes, and the coronavirus has wreaked further havoc on the release – originally pushing it back from April 2020 to November, before delaying it even further to 2021.
And even that date isn’t quite certain at this stage, with director Cary Joji Fukunaga refusing to rule out another No Time To Die delay and suggesting the film “will come out when it’s right and it will perform in the context of this new world, in which no-one really can define what success or failure means”.
The saving grace for Bond aficionados is that while they’re having to wait, all signs point to the film itself being a real treat, with new villain Safin (and his mysterious connection to Léa Seydoux’s Madeline) in particular provoking intrigue.
And Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek, who is bringing the antagonist to life, recently revealed the character was not a psychologically easy one to play, teasing some details about Safin in an interview with GQ.
“When I think about Safin I think about someone who is meticulous but measured, and there is something about that that is really unnerving and unsettling,” he said.
“He’s someone that at times I feel gives you the sensation that you’re being watched and that again is quite unsettling. He asks you to question what you think is right, what you think is wrong and is your interpretation of those two things as accurate as it seems to be?”
The movie has already been through a significant journey to get to where it lies now – after Danny Boyle quit the project 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, and was also at the helm of Netflix’s acclaimed mini-series Maniac, plus the feature film Sin Nombre and the 2012 film adaptation of Jane Eyre.
He also worked on the script for No Time to Die alongside regular Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (part of the franchise writing team since 1999’s The World Is Not Enough) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Everything you need to know about No Time to Die.
When is James Bond’s No Time To Die release date?
Bond 25 was initially scheduled to be released on 3rd April 2020 in the UK and 8th April in the USA.
The film’s official Twitter account then released the shock news that No Time To Die would be postponed until November 2020, on account of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, a fresh delay has been imposed on the film which will now be released on 2nd April 2021 “in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience”.
A tweet from the official James Bond account read: “We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing NO TIME TO DIE next year.”
Filming for No Time To Die eventually wrapped, funnily enough, on the day it was originally supposed to hit cinemas.
Although there’s been a big enough delay to allow time for substantial edits to the upcoming Bond film, Director Cary Joji Fukunaga said in July that he has resisted the urge to “tweak” No Time To Die during the pandemic, telling Empire that he had “mentally finished the film” before its original spring release date.
“You could just fiddle and tweak and it doesn’t necessarily get better,” he says. “For all intents and purposes, we had finished the film. I had mentally finished the film. Mentally and emotionally.”
Is there a No Time To Die trailer?
Thanks, in part, to the prolonged delay, there are several trailers for No Time To Die.
One was unveiled during the Super Bowl, suggesting that the 25th Bond film will “change everything”.
The first trailer showed the return of Bond arch-nemesis Blofeld (once again played by Christoph Waltz).
It also hints at a dark secret being concealed by Bond’s love Madeleine Swann and introduces us to Rami Malek’s villain, known only as “Safin”. (There’s some speculation that “Safin” is actually a cover and that Malek is playing an updated version of classic Bond villain Dr. No, though that’s as yet unconfirmed.)
Then there was a No Time To Die preview trailer teasing Billie Eilish’s new theme track for the film.
On 3rd September, Bond bosses unveiled the latest trailer full of geared-up spy vehicles (planes, cars, you name it), ominous statements, eye-popping stunts and allusions to Safin’s plan and his links to Swann.
Luxury watch company Omega, who have been partnered with the James Bond brand for nine films now, also released this short teaser.
The clip shows off some of the pieces featured in No Time To Die, as well as offering fans a few all-new shots to chew over.
Who sings the Bond 25 theme song?
It was confirmed in January 2020 that 18-year-old Billie Eilish would write and perform No Time To Die, the title track, making her the youngest artist ever to perform a 007 number – she’s co-written the song with her brother, singer/songwriter Finneas.
“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” Eilish said. “To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honour. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”
No Time To Die producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, meanwhile, described the song as “incredibly powerful and moving”, adding that it has been “impeccably crafted to work within the emotional story of the film”.
You can watch the moody music video for the track – which premiered on the 1st October 2020, some seven-and-a-half months after the track first debuted in March – below.
Alongside black-and-white shots of Eilish performing the song, we get to see glimpses of Bond and Madeleine’s love affair and subsequent split, with her departing on a train following a dramatic chase in 007’s Aston Martin. There’s also an intriguing snippet which shows Madeleine burning a mystery piece of paper while a stony-faced Bond looks on…
Prior to the Eilish announcements, the rumour mill had suggested that Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and Beyonce might be recording the No Time To Die theme song, while Adele was also reported as potentially returning to the franchise after impressing with her 2012 track Skyfall.
Ed 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.
“It’s certainly something [Sheeran would] want to do though, it’s a box that’s still to be ticked, for sure.”
Looks like Ed will have to wait for his shot…
It was also confirmed in January that Oscar winner Hans Zimmer would provide the score for No Time To Die, replacing original composer Dan Romer who left the project in December 2019.
And in a recent conversation with Variety, Zimmer revealed that he would be bringing guitars back to the score – a decision he reached after a conversation with The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr.
He said, “I’ve known Barbara Broccoli for a long time, and we’re friends. I never thought we would work together on something like that, so it was surprising just to get the call.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. So I phoned Johnny Marr and I said, ‘I have two questions to ask you. First question is: what’s the only guitar part worth playing in a movie?’ And he said, ‘The Bond part’.
“And I said, ‘Yeah right. Second question: Do you think I should do the movie and would you play the guitar part?’ So that sort of settled that. Johnny was right.”
James Bond: No Time To Die cast
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.
This new still from the film, released on 18th May, shows Harris, Kinnear and Whishaw in action, in what looks like some sort of control room. They don’t look hugely impressed – perhaps Bond has gone rogue again.
While another snap shows us Bond drinking at a Jamaican bar with Felix Leiter (no word on whether their drinks were shaken and/or stirred). The pair are teaming up to search for missing scientist, Valdo Obruchev.
The main antagonist? After months of speculation, Rami Malek was confirmed to be joining the No Time To Die cast in a live reveal in April 2019. He will play a character called Safin.
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. Ana de Armas will play an engimatic gun-toting character named Paloma, while Captain Marvel’s breakout star Lashana Lynch has joined as a character called Nomi, who will reportedly get the code name 007 after Bond retires.
In an interview with Tech Radar, Lynch said that No Time To Die fixes the problematic depiction of female characters that James Bond films have suffered in the past.
She said: “I think with women’s current agency, [it’s] the way in which they view themselves and the way in which they portray themselves as being – with the women that I’ve been in contact with – completely authentic and completely knowing that they’re enough.
“You see that oozing through the characters in this, both the female characters that have [already] existed within the franchise, and the brand new ones like myself. You just have this whole sense of empowerment that is really important to feel when you’re going to work, but also important to show younger generations coming up.”
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.
Intriguingly, Ernst Blofeld (played Christoph Waltz) will be returning to the Bond franchise, the villain from Spectre (and many classic Bond films prior) making a comeback in the film’s first full trailer.
What is Bond 25: No Time To Die about?
No Time To Die has been written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-bridge, based on a story by Purvis, Wade and Fukunaga.
With Phoebe Waller-Bridge part of the No Time To Die writing team, we’re hoping for a sparky Fleabag-inspired script this time around.
“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.”
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.”
According to director Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film will kickstart not following Bond, but Léa Seydoux’s Madeline. Viewers will be plunged into a memory in which Madeline is chased by Safin (Rami Malek) across a frozen lake.
After 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,” executive producer Barbara Broccoli said.
The film’s official synopsis reads: Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.
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.”
A behind-the-scenes sneak peek from director Cary Joji Fukunaga revealed that Bond will have been in retirement for five years at the start of No Time To Die.
“Where is he? After five years of retirement, who has he become?” the director asks in the clip.
“He is sort of a wounded animal, struggling with his role as a 00. The world has changed, the rules of engagement aren’t what they used to be, the rules of espionage are darker in this era of asymmetric warfare.”.
He also appears to tease the threat posed by Malek’s Safrin: “There is someone new out there, more dangerous than anyone he has ever encountered, and whoever they are is smarter and stronger than Spectre.”
We know the film opens with a car chase (we wouldn’t expect anything less) with Bond accompanied by lover Madeleine Swann, the French psychologist we met in Spectre, played by Lea Seydoux. We also know from the trailer that Bond discovers a shocking secret about Madeleine early in the film.
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.
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.
Asked by The Late Show host Stephen Colbert if he was “done with Bond” in November 2019, Craig confirmed, “Yes – it’s done.”
How did Daniel Craig injure himself during filming?
During an action shoot on set in Jamaica, Daniel Craig slipped while sprinting, sustaining an injury to his ankle.
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”.
However, the tweet added that the film should still be on course for its April 2020 release date.
Just a few weeks later, in June 2019, an explosion caused a minor injury to a crew member, and destroyed some of the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.
But by mid-June, things looked back on track when the official Bond Twitter page shared a photo of Craig hitting the gym in preparation to restart shooting.
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.
How will Bond 25 end?
The producers are taking no chances with No Time To Die plot leaks, with some reports suggesting Fukunaga has shot three different endings to the film.
“Everyone’s in the dark, the secrecy is off the chart,” a source told The Mirror.
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.
“Aston Martin model names always attract a lot of attention,” explained Aston boss Andy Palmer. “They do so because they invariably capture an emotion or tell a story.
“Norse mythology contains such powerful language and rich storytelling it felt only right that the AM-RB 003 (as it was formerly named) should follow the Valkyrie’s theme.”
The classic Aston Martin DB5 – first featured in 1964’s Goldfinger and reintroduced for the Daniel Craig era in 2006’s Casino Royale – will also play a part in the film.
A new guide to the classic James Bond car, the Aston Martin Db5, is set for release on 14th April, 2010, but you can pre-order it already.
Plus, it has now been revealed that another old favourite will be making an appearance, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Eagle-eyed Bond impresarios have already clocked the number plate: they have seen it before in 1987 Bond film The Living Daylights, in which Timothy Dalton played 007.
Behind the scenes of the new Bond film
The team has released a snazzy behind the scenes look at Bond 25. Take a look at Fukunaga and Craig in action on set below.
An official picture from No Time To Die, featuring a bloodied Bond, was also released in early November 2019.
No Time To Die’s filming locations
The film was 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.
— James Bond (@007) September 9, 2019
The 007 Instagram account teased fans in July 2020 by posting a picture of Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Ralph Fiennes) having a tense conversation by Hammersmith Bridge in London – a scene filmed a year ago.
No Time To Die posters
A poster arrived for the film in early 2020, teasing its original release date, which would ultimately be scrapped due to the coronavirus lockdown.
In September, another poster was unveiled to drum up excitement for the film’s release in November, with Daniel Craig in another classic Bond pose.
Who will be the next James Bond?
With Daniel Craig set to hang up his Walther PPK following the release of No Time to Die, the ongoing conversation around who’ll replace him as 007 has inevitably intensified.
The rumour mill has continued to throw up a rotating roster of familiar names – Henry Cavill, Tom Hardy, Idris Elba – who’ve been linked to the role several times in the past, though in July 2020, a RadioTimes.com poll of more than 80,000 Bond fans from all across the globe saw Outlander actor Sam Heughan emerge as top contender.
Heughan – who scored almost 30 per cent of the total vote – previously played a Bond-type character in the 2018 film comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me and has admitted that playing Ian Fleming’s super spy would be “a dream role“.
The top 10 fan favourites for the next James Bond, as voted for by fans in our poll, are:
- Sam Heughan (30 per cent)
- Tom Hardy (14 per cent)
- Henry Cavill (11 per cent)
- Idris Elba (10 per cent)
- Tom Hiddleston (five per cent)
- Richard Madden (four per cent)
- Michael Fassbender (three per cent)
- Aidan Turner (three per cent)
- Cillian Murphy (three per cent)
- James Norton (three per cent)
No Time To Die will be released in the UK on 2nd April, 2021. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV guide.