Bond 25 - Everything We Know So Far

James Bond is this week shaking and stirring its way into production, ready for the 2020 release of the 25th instalment in what is the biggest, most successful non-superhero, non-intergalactic-warfare, non-school-age-wizardry franchise to hit the big screen.

Despite many rumours to the contrary, including a few less-than-enthusiastic interviews with the man himself, Bond stalwart Daniel Craig is returning to play the iconic British superspy one last time. Upon the film’s release, Craig will become the longest serving actor to play 007, with it being an unbelievable FOURTEEN YEARS since he first re-adjusted the world’s most famous cufflinks in the excellent Casino Royale.

After peaking with the critical and commercial smash-hit that was Skyfall (becoming the first Bond film to break the billion dollar barrier), its hugely anticipated follow-up, Spectre, was something of a damp squib. The latest entry already hit a few snags before cameras even started rolling (it was originally intended for a 2017 release). We’ll have to wait with baited breath to see if Craig, Daniel Craig, can bow out on a high, hopefully without a surf board in sight (what were you thinking Pierce?).

Let’s take a look at everything we know so far about the next James Bond film…

Oooh, this is the one Danny Boyle's directing!

Erm, no. The Oscar-winning director was attached to direct, but left soon after coming on board, citing a disagreement over the script, which he was co-writing. Rather than shelve the script entirely and work with a new writing team, Boyle decided to part ways with the production. His replacement, Cory Joji Fukanaga, is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young directors working today, and if his 6-minute, single-take shootout from the first season of True Detective is anything to go by, we could be in for a pretty thrilling ride.

So, is it a sequel to Spectre?

Also no. Originally, this was intended to be a direct sequel to Bond 24, something of an unprecedented move for this franchise, with both films even being considered for back-to-back filming. Daniel Craig was rumoured to have been against this due to the enormity of the project, so those plans were scrapped. Unsurprisingly, given the early stages of the process, the production team are remaining fairly tight-lipped regarding the overall plot. The little that we know so far is that the film will see Bond enjoying some deserved recuperation, soaking up the sun and no doubt enjoying a few martinis, whilst chillaxing in Jamaica. As ever, trouble runs into him in the shape of one-time friend and CIA agent ‘Felix Leiter’, with Jeffrey Wright reprising the role he last played in 2008’s heavily criticised Quantum of Solace (I’m going to admit to loving this film). Bond helps Leiter hunt down a new, mysterious villain, who has armed himself with some incredibly dangerous new technology. Yep, that’s pretty much all we know so far.

Just who is this technologically advanced baddie?

In a nutshell, we don’t know. But we do know who is going to be playing him, so yay us! Fresh from his Oscar win for the portrayal of rock legend Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek will be the latest in a long line of psychopaths intent on ensuring Bond bites the dust (sorry, couldn’t resist). In the recent Bond 25 announcements, Malek proclaimed that “he would not make life easy” for Bond. Will he be the one to finally retire the world’s most famous Walther PPK wielding lothario?

Any other familiar faces returning?

A few, yes. Ralph Fiennes will reprise his role as ‘M’ after replacing Dame Judy Dench, who failed to make it out of that church in Skyfall. Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw are also back playing ‘Miss Moneypenny’ and ‘Q’ respectively. As is Lea Seydoux as ‘Madeleine Swann’, the daughter of one-time Bond enemy ‘Mr White’, and that rare commodity: a woman who stole the heart of Bond himself, and the reason he now whiles away his time building a love nest in the heart of Jamaica.

So, when can I book my cinema ticket?

Pump the brakes there, you Bond-loving eager beaver! You’ve got a while to wait yet, what with cameras only officially rolling for the first-time last Sunday. Currently scheduled for release on 8th April 2020 here in the UK, the next thing we can expect is an official title – Shatterhand is rumoured, although it has been said that this is just a shooting title. Whatever happens, you can be sure that we at the Film Club will be keeping our Goldeneye on proceedings and our Goldfinger on the pulse (too much? Yes or Dr.N…I’ll stop now).