Like 007 himself, uncovering details about the upcoming Bond 25 production is like trying to decode a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. We know that Daniel Craig is back for the fifth and final time as the titular secret agent, and that Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation) is replacing Danny Boyle as director following the latter's departure over creative differences, but that's about it for concrete information.
The Playlist reports that writer Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, Contagion) has been hired by Fukunaga to rewrite the current draft of Bond 25's script, which suggests further delays could be coming to the announced 2020 release date. Meanwhile, we've heard that the working title of the movie is Shatterhand, and that newly crowned Oscar winner Rami Malek is considering signing aboard as the villain. You'll find all the information about that and everything else Bond 25 in the our guide to the upcoming film below, including details on its story, cast, and - yes - who might be making the opening theme song.
- Bond 25 release date: February 14, 2020
- Bond 25 director: Cary Fukunaga
- Bond 25 cast: Daniel Craig and more TBA
- Bond 25 writer: TBA
The Bond 25 release date has been delayed to 2020
Originally, Bond 25 was scheduled to release on October 25, 2019 in the UK, and a little later on November 8, 2019 in the States… but Danny Boyle's unexpected departure as director naturally threw several spanners in the works. Luckily, Eon Productions has been quick to find a replacement in Cary Fukunaga (more on that later), and filming is now set to begin at Pinewood Studios from March 4 next year.
That means a pushed back release date to February 14, 2020, though Bond 25 will at least be out in theatres worldwide on the same day, instead of being delayed by several weeks amongst different regions, as was the plan before. Slightly frustrating news for Bond fans, then, but hopefully the wait will be worth it. Until then, you'll just have to rewatch the best James Bond movies. A couple of times.
The new Bond 25 director is True Detective's Cary Fukunaga
Cary Fukunaga joined as Bond 25 director in September 20, announced on the official James Bond Twitter account, less than a month after it was revealed that Danny Boyle had exited the project due to “creative differences”. Boyle, who previously helmed the likes of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, has yet to comment since leaving the project.
Instead, Fukunaga is most known for his work as director of True Detective season 1, but has also given us films like Beasts of No Nation, Jane Eyre, and, more recently, the new Netflix Original series Maniac. In a statement on Twitter, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said: “We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure."
This is exciting news, though somewhat surprising, given that Fukunaga has also been known to similarly leave projects like True Detective season 2 and the It movie amidst creative conflicts with collaborators. You'd think that, after Danny Boyle's conscious uncoupling, the Bond 25 team would naturally resort to a pair of safer directorial hands. Clearly, and admirably, they're committed to making this Bond film as special and memorable as the character himself.
Bond 25 - Daniel Craig is back!
Daniel Craig is back as Bond for the fifth time, following his starring roles in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. It’s now two years since that previous appearance, and there was speculation that we might be getting a new 007 – particularly after an astonishing interview with Time Out in 2015, where Craig proclaimed that “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than appear in another Bond flick.
However, Craig confirmed that his mind had U-turned on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in August 2017. “Yes,” he replied when asked if he was returning. "We've been discussing it, we've just been trying to figure things out… I always wanted to, I needed a break."
However, Craig has openly stated that this will be his final 007 film. "I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait,” he told Colbert.
As regards to his successor once Bond 25 is in the can, Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, and Damien Lewis have all been linked ahead of what will be Bond 26. So we’ve put together a comprehensive feature, wondering aloud who could be the new James Bond.
The Bond 25 trailer is unlikely to appear before 2019
Given that Bond 25 is set to land at the start of the next decade, we won’t be seeing its trailer, poster, or concept art anytime soon. That doesn’t stop anyone predicting its due date, though. Skyfall’s first trailer came in May 2012, five months before the film’s October release, while our first glimpse of Spectre in motion emerged in March 2015, with the film itself out seven months later. Assuming Bond 25 adheres to a similar pattern, we should see its first trailer from November 2019 onwards.
The Bond 25 title could be Never Dream of Dying.
British newspaper The Mirror reports that Bond 25’s working title is Shatterhand, and that the film is based on 2001 novel Never Dream of Dying, but there’s been no confirmation of this from the studio or anyone involved in the project so far. We do know that Fukunaga will be following the Casino Royale plot arc (as all the more recent Bonds have), and that Craig's final appearance as Bond will likely complete it. But does this really fit into Never Dream of Dying? Not really.
Never Dream of Dying was the seventh Bond book written by American author Raymond Benson, after Zero Minus Ten, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Facts of Death, The World is Not Enough, High Time to Kill, and Double Shot. However, the two films on that list you’ll recognise as movies – Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough – were novelisations based on screenplays, as was Benson’s later work on Die Another Day. As yet none of his Bond originals have been turned into movies, so Never Dream of Dying would be a personal breakthrough for him. Particularly as he resigned from writing Bond books in 2003.
Never Dream of Dying takes Bond to Paris and a meeting with seductive film star Tylyn Mignonne, who is at loggerheads with her ex-husband – a volatile movie producer with dastardly connections.
The Bond 25 cast list is uncertain, but Rami Malek could be playing the villain
With Daniel Craig confirmed, it’ll be a few months before other members of the Bond 25 cast are officially announced. But Christoph Waltz and Dave Bautista are both expected to reprise their villainous roles as Ernst Stavro Blofeld (incarcerated, but still alive, at the end of Spectre) and Mr Hinx respectively - if the latest movie continues the story set out in Spectre. Whe quizzed about the return of Waltz and Ben Whishaw (more on him below), Fukunaga said, to Inquirer that "Those are two extraordinary actors, so if there is space for them in the story, I would absolutely want them there. But I don’t know yet what it’s going to be." Although he caveats that by reiterating that the script is yet to be finalized.
More interestingly, a new report from Collider says that Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Robot) is currently in talks to play the role an unnamed villain in Bond 25, and is in the process of hashing out a contract and filming schedule as we speak. The actor has recently been enjoying a wealth of awards success, having just won the best actor Oscar in February 2019, and fans already think he has the off-kilter charisma of a Bond villain in the making. Watch this space...
But what of Bond's allies? During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Ben Whishaw, who has played Q in the Craig-era 007 movies, said: "I’m assuming that I’m not going to be so it will be a nice surprise if they put me in." However, days later he was asked via the Graham Norton show about whether he'll reprise his role, to which he replied "I’m told so, but it is so secretive and weird that I can’t tell you." Ok then. So, that's a kinda confirmation.
Similarly, Naomi Harris, who plays Moneypenny, is uncertain of her future. Speaking on the Graham Norton show, she said that "I know nothing. I don't know if I am in it, but I do know they start shooting at the end of the year. I have cleared my diary in anticipation but I don't know." It'd be a huge shame if the new Bond doesn't carry its up and coming supporting cast with it, as it feels like these characters have only just been established and they have heaps of potential.
In a final piece of casting news, it appears Lea Seydoux will be reprising her role as Dr Madeleine Swann, from Spectre, she confirmed to Variety. Ok then. It's unusual for a non-core cast member to reappear in Bond, so does this - along with the returning villains - suggest we're getting a straight sequel to Spectre? Given how deeply middling Bond's last outing was, let's hope not.
The Bond 25 theme might be Beyonce-made
Securing a Bond theme is one of the biggest achievements in the entertainment business, with the last two going to Sam Smith (Spectre) and Adele (Skyfall). If the UK press is to believed Beyonce is being lined up for the next one. A source close to the singer is purported to have proclaimed this “the only project she is remotely interested in right now.” She’s said to have met with the film’s bosses, “and Adele told her how co-writing and performing a Bond theme gave her an amazing career hike.” As if that pair aren’t already among the greatest female artists of all time…