It’s been four years since the last James Bond movie, Spectre, was released. In that time, the studio has had a tough time getting a script together for the next one, with directors dropping in and out and the story’s direction constantly changing. But the producers are determined to get it off the ground.
While Daniel Craig was initially reluctant to reprise his role as James Bond – even going as far as controversially telling Ellen DeGeneres he’d rather slit his wrists than play Bond again – the producers have talked him around and he’ll be back for one more sequel. Here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Bond 25.
10 This Will Be Daniel Craig’s Last Movie As Bond
While many fans speculated that Spectre would be Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond – as it gave his character closure on a lot of lingering plot elements, ended with him sparing a life and thus showing maturity, and Craig himself said he didn’t want to do any more – it has actually been confirmed that the as-yet-untitled Bond 25 will be his last appearance in the role.
Having previously said he just couldn't bear to play Bond again, Craig clarified that he felt that playing 007 was “the best job in the world,” although he would be leaving the role after one more movie.
9 The Plot Will See A Retired Bond Called Back Into Action
According to the official plot synopsis for Bond 25 that was released by Eon and MGM, by the time the movie begins, “Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission... turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
So, it looks as though we’ll be seeing an age-old spy movie narrative involving a retired agent being called back into action.
8 A Number Of Familiar Faces Will Be Back
The Bond movies made their name as standalone adventures, with 007 being the only returning character (alongside maybe M or Q or Moneypenny). Aside from that, there would be a new villain, a new Bond girl, and an entirely new story. But since Spectre tried to serialize the plot and tie all of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies together in a connecting narrative, the upcoming sequel will feature some familiar faces.
Those familiar faces include Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw as Q. Even Jeffrey Wright is back to play Felix Leiter. We haven’t seen him since Quantum of Solace, but Bond mentioned him in Spectre.
7 Léa Seydoux Is Back Playing Dr. Madeleine Swann
Léa Seydoux is returning to play Dr. Madeleine Swann, Bond’s love interest from Spectre. While this might not sound like a big deal, it’ll actually mark the first time since 1963 that a Bond girl has appeared in more than one movie in the official Eon canon.
Sylvia Trench appeared in the very first Bond movie, Dr. No, and its sequel, From Russia with Love, but since then, every Bond movie has given everyone’s favorite gentleman spy a new love interest. So, it’s kind of a landmark for this franchise that Seydoux has been signed back on. Has 007 finally found his soulmate?
6 Rami Malek Will Play The Villain
After Javier Bardem played Bond’s nemesis in Skyfall and Christoph Waltz was cast as the iconic Blofeld in Spectre, Rami Malek has been cast to play the main antagonist in Bond 25. So, it seems as though there’s a prerequisite now that if you’re going to play a Bond villain, you have to have won an Oscar.
Malek is following up his star-making turn in Mr. Robot, which will air its fourth and final season this year, and his acclaimed performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, by playing 007’s latest foe. The official plot summary released by Eon and MGM describes Malek’s character as “a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
5 Cary Joji Fukunaga Is In The Director’s Chair
Danny Boyle, the film-maker behind Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, was initially signed on to direct Bond 25. However, after some creative differences over the script with the studio, he dropped out and the job was instead given to Cary Joji Fukunaga.
Fukunaga previously directed every episode in the first season of HBO’s anthology crime drama series True Detective, helmed the Netflix original movie Beasts of No Nation, and created Jonah Hill and Emma Stone’s darkly comic Netflix vehicle Maniac, so it’s safe to say it's in good hands. Fukunaga also has a writing credit on Bond 25 alongside a couple of other writers.
4 Phoebe Waller-Bridge Is Punching Up The Script
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator and star of Fleabag, has been brought in to punch up the screenplay for Bond 25. She has reportedly been asked to add more humor. This has reignited the debate over whether or not there could be a female Bond in the future.
This will make Waller-Bridge the second female writer with a credit on a James Bond movie (and bear in mind that we’re on movie number 25 now). Scott Z. Burns, the writer of The Bourne Ultimatum, was previously writing the movie, and director Cary Joji Fukunaga has made some contributions to the script, too.
3 The #MeToo Movement Will Change Bond’s Attitude Towards Women
Producer Barbara Broccoli has suggested that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, James Bond’s treatment of women will change in Bond 25. No longer will he trick women into bed or view them as objects. Broccoli explained, “The #MeToo movement has had a huge impact – rightfully, thankfully – on society, and these films should reflect that, as everything we do should.”
Daniel Craig has also weighed in on the issue: “Bond has always adapted for the times. But you’re dealing with a character who is flawed, who has issues, and I think that’s something that’s worth still exploring and grappling with.” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s contributions to the script will likely go a long way towards improving the franchise’s portrayal of women.
2 It’ll Be Released Next April
Despite the delays to shooting and last-minute changes to crew, Bond 25 is slated for release around this time next year, with an American release date set for April 8, 2020, and a UK release date set for a few days earlier on April 3, 2020.
The 2020 release will come five years after the release of the last Bond film, 2015’s Spectre. This will mark the biggest gap between two Bond movie releases since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan’s first film in the role, GoldenEye, came out six years after License to Kill, Timothy Dalton’s dark and divisive final Bond movie.
1 Filming Is Already Underway
Although shooting was temporarily suspended for Daniel Craig to undergo ankle surgery after sustaining an injury performing a stunt in Jamaica, production on Bond 25 is still very much underway. The film’s shoot officially began on April 28, having been slated for December 2018 prior to Danny Boyle’s departure from the director’s chair.
The script is being polished during shooting, which sounds hectic, but this is quite common for high-profile Hollywood productions. In addition to the usual shooting location of Pinewood Studios, where a lot of the biggest VFX-laden set pieces are filmed, Bond 25 is set to shoot in London, Norway, Italy, and Jamaica.