The untitled Bond 25 reportedly starts filming this week. It's been nearly three and a half years since Daniel Craig's last appearance as Agent 007 in 2015's Spectre. While the film grossed a hefty $880 million at the global box office, it was widely regarded as both a step-down from its predecessor, 2012's Skyfall, and an otherwise unmemorable James Bond adventure. Craig seemed pretty exhausted (not to mention, grumpy) when he was promoting the movie, and for valid reason; Spectre's production was infamously rushed and didn't begin until eleven months before the film's release date.
Bond 25 hasn't had an easy go at it either, between its prolonged pre-production, release date delays, and a change in director from Danny Boyle to Cary Fukunaga (True Detective season 1, Beasts of No Nation). If that wasn't enough, the film reportedly got a significant script rewrite by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) just last month. However, despite all that, it appears that Bond 25 is now on-track to begin rolling camera in time to make its current April 2020 release date.
MI6 HQ (a go-to source for unofficial James Bond movie updates) is reporting that Bond 25 will start filming a sequence in Norway this week and continue on through to April 2. In a separate report, Daily Mail confirms that Fukunaga flew out to Norway this past weekend, ahead of the start of production today.
There's still a lot that's unknown about Bond 25, but that's nothing unusual for the James Bond franchise. Eon Productions (the company behind the Bond series) traditionally announces the cast, title, and start of production for their Bond movies all in one go, after filming has unofficially begun. Case in point: at the moment, Craig is the only actor who's been officially confirmed to star in Bond 25. Rami Malek (fresh off his Oscar win for Bohemian Rhapsody) and Game Night's Billy Magnussen are also reportedly onboard for the film, though their involvement has yet to be formally announced. Meanwhile, it appears that Oscar-winner and Us star Lupita Nyong'o will not be playing the next "Bond Girl", despite an earlier report to the contrary.
Bond 25 is slated to mark Craig's final appearance as 007 and his fifth time playing the character overall, going back to his debut in 2006's Casino Royale. The hope is that the film will end his run on a high note, especially after the relative disappointment of Spectre. Fortunately, the movie appears to be in a good position to do just that. Cinephiles are pretty hopeful that Fukunaga will succeed in bringing a high-art sensibility to the proceedings here, to go with all the death-defying spectacle and one-liners that audiences expect from their Bond adventures. Fingers crossed, Bond 25's development woes are behind it and Fukunaga can just focus on giving Craig's 007 the sendoff he deserves now.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020