Ah, Mr Bond. We’ve been expecting you — and for quite some time, too. In fact, when the 25th Bond film, titled No Time To Die, finally hits big screens on 3 April 2020, it’ll be the longest we’ve waited for a 007 instalment since Timothy Dalton left the role in 1989.
Except, as of 4 March, the wait just got a little longer. The film’s producers, along with studios MGM and Universal, announced that the release date of No Time To Die was to be postponed until November amid growing fears over the spread of Covid-19 and the effect this could have on box office takings. The film will now be released on 12 November in the UK and 25 November in the US – much to the disappointment of fans who thought they had less than a month to wait for the next instalment.
And the film hasn’t been without other problems. Development began in 2016, and potential directors including Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve and Danny Boyle all fell by the wayside. The release date was pushed back several times, changes made to the cast and the script went through reams of rewrites. So, with production now in full super-spy swing under the direction of True Detective‘s Cary Joji Fukunaga, let’s undertake some espionage of our own and see what we know.
What is Bond 25 about?
Written by series veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, No Time To Die — a film many thought would be titled ‘Shatterhand’ — has seen several rewrites. Casino Royale writer Paul Haggis, Bourne screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and Killing Eve’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge have all put their polish on the script, the latter at the behest of Daniel Craig himself.
And the official synopsis, released in December, reads as follows:
“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.”
Who is returning to the franchise?
So who’s back? In a much-publicised final run at the role, Daniel Craig will holster up his Walther PPK one final time in No Time To Die, and he will be joined by series regulars Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ralph Fiennes as M.
Also back are Rory Kinnear as MI6 chief of staff, Tanner, and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, reprising his role from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and becoming the first actor to play the CIA agent three times on film. Lea Seydoux is also back, bucking the trend of disposable Bond girls — and Christoph Waltz’s mysterious mastermind Blofeld is also returning.
Which new faces are joining Bond 25?
The big bad here is Rami Malek, fresh off his Oscar-winning turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Malek’s villain, who the actor has stressed will not be connected to any religion or ideology, is named Safin — and will be heavily scarred and wear a mask for many of early appearances. We also know that he will have associates played by David Dencik and Billy Magnussen — and early casting calls also sought out a henchman of Māori descent.
Ana de Armas looks set to play the female lead this time around, after previous roles in War Dogs and Blade Runner 2049. But the real buzz is around Lashana Lynch, who takes over the mantle of 007 when Daniel Craig’s Bond retires from MI6 — a move that will presumably be reversed when the superspy is pulled back into the fold.
Where around the world did Bond 25 film?
It wouldn’t be a Bond film without a wanderlust-inducing, globe-trotting shooting schedule — and No Time To Die has one of the best. First up, there’s a return to Jamaica, a key location in the first Bond film, Dr. No, and one of Ian Fleming’s favourite haunts. But sequences have also been shot in the Southern Italian town of Matera, and along the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway.
At the latter, Land Rover’s bold new Defender made its first foray in front of film cameras.
Back in Britain, there have been weeks spent secretly filming on soundstages in Pinewood Studios. But Bond has also been spotted outside in Whitehall and Hammersmith in London, as well as the Cairngorms National Park and by Loch Laggan in Scotland.
What will Bond wear in the upcoming film?
Unlike the last few films, No Time To Die has switched up its costume designer and brought in Suttirat Anne Larlarb, an art director who has worked on Slumdog Millionaire, Steve Jobs and George Clooney’s The American. But worry not, it looks like Craig’s Bond will keep the style we’ve all come to expect.
That means Tom Ford suiting, as seen from Craig’s many photo-opps on set in London. He’ll still wear his signature Crockett & Jones shoes, Sunspel t-shirts and even slip on a pair of Barton Perreira sunglasses. And, for his watch? A new-for-007 Omega Seamaster, complete with stainless steel case, mesh bracelet, beige numerals and classic Seamaster sword-shaped hands with luminous tips.
What cars and boats will 007 drive in Bond 25?
When it comes to No Time To Die’s garage, it really is the Aston show. With more Aston Martins than you can shake a gear stick at, Daniel Craig looks set to get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5 and the Aston Martin V8 last seen in Timothy Dalton’s The Living Daylights. But the big ticket item is the British brand’s new Valhalla — a stunning supercar that will move heaven and earth.
Other than Astons, you can expect some more classic British carmaking. A Land Rover Series III is set to make an appearance, as is the new Range Rover Sport SVR. And, on the water, Craig has been spotted filming on Spirit’s new 45 yacht.
Looking for more 007 inspiration? Take a look at how to borrow Bond’s signature summer styles…