James Bond 25 has finally gotten an official cast and team of writers. It's been nearly 57 years now since Sean Connery made his debut as 007 in 1962's Dr. No, in the process kicking off one of the most lucrative (and long running) film series of all time. More than half a dozen actors have played James Bond in the years since then, beginning with Connery and carrying on through to stars like Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig, starting in 2006.
As popular as Craig's take on Bond has been, however, his movies have been a bit of a roller coaster in quality, going from the highs of Casino Royale and Skyfall to the lows of Quantum of Solace and Spectre. For that reason, there's been extra pressure on Bond 25 - which will mark Craig's final apperance as 007 - to deliver the goods. This may account for the film's creative struggles in pre-production, which include a change in director from Oscar-winner Danny Boyle to the equally prestigous choice of Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation).
In the time since he signed on, Fukunaga has reportedly recruited Rami Malek to play the movie's villain, gotten early production going, and hired Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve) to punch up the screenplay. Now, thanks to this morning's livestream reveal by Eon Productions, Bond 25's official cast includes returning players Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Whisaw, Rory Kinnear, and Naomie Harris, in addition to series newcomers Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Billy Magnussen (Game Night), Dali Benssalah (Nox), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), David Dencik (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Malek. Waller-Bridge was also confirmed as a writer, along with Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), and franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. However, the film is still without a title for the time being.
Fukunaga further revealed that, when the film picks up, Bond is not in active service and starts his journey in Jamaica. It only makes sense, considering that Spectre ended with James and Madeleine (Seydoux) driving off together for destinations unknown. The director also confirmed that production on Bond 25 has already begun in Norway and that shooting will later take place in Italy, in addition to the sound stage and location work in the UK. This lines up with a previous report that claimed Bond 25 will feature a massive action sequence in Southern Italy, possibly even the movie's climax. The plot summary was later unveiled online, along with the news that IMAX is partnering with MGM on the film:
“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 to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
Between the returning cast and new additions, it sounds like the plan is for Bond 25 to serve as a proper conclusion to Craig's run on the franchise, while still providing all the globe-trotting action, extravagant locales, and (hopefully, memorable) A-grade supporting players that audiences have come to expect from the Bond property. It's been a bit of a hectic journey following the project's development (recall that Spectre came out about three and a half years now), but so far the film seems to have come together nicely, with a talented director and ensemble joining Craig on his final mission. Here's to hoping that Bond 25 ultimately delivers the good when it hits the scene next April.
Source: Eon Productions
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020