While nothing is officially known about the plot and cast (apart from a returning Daniel Craig) for James Bond 25, apparent details from a recent casting call have been shared online. If accurate, the character descriptions could point toward what can be expected from the villains of the film, and some possible locations for Bond to visit.
Following the mixed critical reception for Spectre, and Craig's insistence that he wouldn't return to the character, the production date for the 25th entry in the ultimate spy franchise was in doubt for some time. That eventually changed when the actor confirmed he would reprise the role last year. Since that announcement, Danny Boyle has come onboard as the director and pre-production has continued with the target release date of November 2019. Due to the secrecy around the shoot, it's still not known if some regular cast members will return. But there have been some intriguing rumors about certain actors being eyed for key roles, including Helena Bonham-Carter and Mark Strong, all of which have yet to be verified by the studio.
However, the James Bond website MI6 has reportedly seen the official casting call for the movie. As well as apparently confirming the production start date of December 2018 - along with a 5-6 month shooting schedule - it contains all details for male and female "leading" roles, as well as the requirements for a male supporting role. The full descriptions are:
Male Leading RolePlaying age: 30s - 60sRussian. (Also open to suggestions of actors from the Balkans or similar) Must speak fluent English.Characteristics: Charismatic, Powerful, Innovative, Cosmopolitan, Bright, Cold and Vindictive.
Female Leading RolePlaying age: 30 - 45Russian. (Also open to suggestions of actresses from the Balkans or similar) Must speak fluent English.Very Striking. Strong Physical / fighting / stage combat skills required.Characteristics: Intelligent, brave, fierce and charming. She's witty and skillful. A survivor.
Male Supporting RolePlaying age: 35 - 55Maori.Advanced physical / fighting / stage combat skills required.Characteristics: Authoritative, cunning, ruthless & loyal.
Although the descriptions obviously don't allude to their relationships with Bond himself, the most obvious assumption would be that the male lead will be a villain, and a main antagonist in the story. The female lead would likely be a partner to him, and seems to fit the typical criteria of an evil 'Bond Girl' (possibly with a late change of heart?). If accurate this would point to Bond visiting Russia and a modern take on UK relationships with the country, which could be interesting given the current state of geo-politics.
From a Bond fan perspective, there have been several charismatic Russian villains during the franchise. These would include Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in From Russia With Love, the brilliantly deranged Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) from Goldeneye, and General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) from Octopussy. The addition of a 'Maori' supporting character, who may or may not be a henchman, is also interesting. It could indicate a visit to New Zealand, and hopefully suggest some further diversity in the cast.
Of course, this is all conjecture until further reports are released or the above information is confirmed. It could be some misleading tactics from MGM or another source. Even if the details are accurate, the characters may even turn out to be allies of Bond, in the face of some bigger foe or an organization that has yet to be revealed. It's a long wait for fans but no doubt further news on the movie will be forthcoming soon. Hopefully all the ingredients will come together to provide an appropriate finale for Craig's run as the super-spy.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020