Production and distribution details for Bond 25 have been confirmed. One of Hollywood's most storied roles is that of MI6 agent James Bond, one that Daniel Craig has been playing for over a decade now. Craig has made four appearances as the British spy, but it has been an up-and-down journey. While some consider Skyfall to be one of the franchise's best installments regardless of who is playing the character, the turnout of Spectre made Craig ready to walk away.
Craig is returning to the role one last time, but details around his fifth appearance haven't been clear up until now. There was a long director search prior to Danny Boyle's name surfacing as a contender, and EON and MGM spent quite some time searching for a distributor. All of this was going on despite the 25th installment in the franchise already having a November 2019 release. But, finally, it seems everything has been settled just in time for pre-production to get underway.
Deadline reports that Danny Boyle is set to direct Bond 25, with his Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge writing the script (based on a idea from Boyle). After a major bidding war, MGM will distribute the film domestically, while Universal Pictures has landed international distribution rights. As is customary, Bond 25 will release in the UK a week early, on October 25, 2019, with the film hitting the United States on November 8, 2019. Furthermore, now that the director and distributors have been finalized, the plan is for Bond 25 to begin filming on December 3.
These are great steps for Bond 25 to take after months of uncertainty. Boyle should bring a fresh voice to the franchise based on everything he's done prior. It should also speak volumes that MGM moved away from another finished script from Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who've written the scripts for every James Bond film since 1999's The World is Not Enough. Whatever Boyle has imagined for Craig's last appearance must be something truly special then.
MGM will distribute Bond 25 domestically through a joint-venture with Annapurna, who were reportedly close to securing Bond 25's distribution rights last year. Universal, meanwhile, secured the lucrative international distribution rights, which is where a good majority of most Bond movies earn their money.
With the movie set to start filming this December, it's still expected to hit the long-planned November 2019 release date. This will mean that Boyle's current project starring Lily James won't interfere with the future of 007 in any major way. The production start also gives fans some idea of when more announcements will surface. Casting should soon ramp up this summer, which is also when plot details may start to be revealed. Until then, these details (while maybe not the ones everyone is looking for) continue Bond 25's positive momentum.
- James Bond 25 (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2020