Marred by scepticism, rumour and doubt, ‘Bond 25’ has taken nearly four years to begin production following 2015’s ‘SPECTRE’ which was satisfying to some, but lacklustre to others. Daniel Craig, now 51, only exacerbated said doubt with his dismissal of the 007 role following his infamous “slashing his wrists” comment, and numerous directors and writers came and went. And just when things were looking up when director Danny Boyle signed up to get things moving in February 2018, no sooner had the contract ink dried, he left production citing “creative differences” in August.
But in September, Cary Joji Fukunaga came on to direct. Veteran writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade returned to rework the script, and Linus Sandgren signed up as cinematographer. And only last week, ‘Killing Eve’ creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought to polish the script and add a unique touch to proceedings, all under the working title of ‘Shatterhand’, a name that references Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s alias in the ‘You Only Live Twice’ novel.
Here is everything we know from the launch, held at the glorious Goldeneye villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote many of the original novels and many of the films were shot on location.
Barbara confirms that 007 will not be in active service when the film begins and we will see him enjoying his life in Jamaica at the start.
Daniel Craig as James Bond; back for his final outing as MI6 Agent 007 that started with ‘Casino Royale’ in 2006. Expect a full arc to be completed by this more brutal, humane Bond. Craig has always been heavily involved with the production of his Bond films and will make sure this is a swan song to remember.
Léa Seydoux as Dr Madeleine Swann; the love interest of James Bond returns, following a relationship formed in ‘SPECTRE’. Léa marks the first time an actor has played the same Bond girl in successive films since Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench in 1962s ‘Dr.No’ and 1963s ‘From Russia With Love’.
Ralph Fiennes as M; returning as the head of MI6 after Dame Judi Dench bowed out in 2012, expect a classic sense of no-nonsense business with that unwavering sense of duty from Bond’s superior.
Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny; returning as M’s faithful assistant after retiring from the field, she will continue to keep 007 on his toes and be his point of contact in MI6.
Ben Whishaw as Q; the young MI6 quartermaster who will once again provide 007 with all the latest technology and tools he needs to save the world in style.
Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner; the MI6 Chief of Staff returns once more to be ever loyal to both M and 007 in their fight against evil.
Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter; 007’s friend and contact who works in the CIA will be back to keep the finger on the pulse of the international dangers ahead.
Dali Benssalah in an undisclosed role; an actor with only a few roles to his name including 2018s ‘Nox’ and ‘Red’.
Billy Magnussen in an undisclosed role; an American actor known for work on film including 2015s ‘Bridge Of Spies’, 2019s ‘Aladdin’ and also TV and theatre.
Ana De Armas in an undisclosed role; of Cuban-Spanish roots, Ana only made her acting debut in 2006 but has gone on to international fame from films such as 2015s ‘Knock Knock’ and 2017s ‘Blade Runner 2049’.
David Dencik in an undisclosed role; a Swedish-Danish actor who has been in many domestic and international films such as the original 2009 ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, 2011s ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ and 2014s ‘Serena’.
Lashana Lynch in an undisclosed role; an English actress who has been in film and TV including 2016s ‘Brotherhood’ and 2019s ‘Captain Marvel’.
Rami Malek in an undisclosed role; the Academy Award and multiple award-winning Egyptian-American actor best known for his TV work of ‘Mr.Robot’ and his breakout role as Freddie Mercury in 2018s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
Rami commented: “I’m not jealous one bit that you’re on the absolutely stunning setting of Ian Fleming’s iconic Caribbean home, Goldeneye, on the island of Jamaica. No. Not at all. I’m stuck here in New York in production but I am VERY much looking forward to joining the whole cast and crew so very soon. I promise you all I will be making sure Mister Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this, his 25th outing. I can’t wait to see you all soon. Cheers.”
Cary Joji Fukunaga, director; the first American to helm a 007 film in the current 57 year run. Best known for directing TVs ‘True Detective’ and the movies ‘Sin Nombre’ and ‘Jane Eyre’, he also wrote the 2017 film ‘It’ and has a number of accolades under his belt.
Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli, executive producers; with Michael being the half-brother of Barbara, who in turn is the daughter of original producer Albert R. Broccoli, and having worked on 007 films between them since 1972, the series continues to move forward in safe hands.
Scott Z. Burns & Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writers; a wealth of international talent, American Scott has written movies such as ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ and ‘The Informer!’, while Brit Phoebe has written award-winning TV such as ‘Fleabag’ and ‘Killing Eve’, as well as acting in ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ and ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’.
Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, screenwriters; veterans to the 007 franchise, Brits Neal and Robert have written and co-wrote screenplays for every Bond film since 1999s ‘The World Is Not Enough’, often teaming with others such as Paul Haggis, John Logan or Jez Butterworth.
Linus Sandgren, cinematographer; Academy Award and BAFTA-winning for his work on 2016s ‘La La Land’, Swedish born Linus has also worked on acclaimed films such as ‘First Man’, ‘American Hustle’, ‘Joy’ and ‘Battle Of The Sexes’.
London and Pinewood Studios, England
EON have no revealed the title as yet, but filming will commence imminently for an expected release date of April 2020.
Welcome back, Mister Bond…