One number: 007! Of course, you know his name; Bond…James Bond. There is a good chance most of you are desperately waiting for the blond gentleman (or dark-haired if, like me, you grew up with Pierce Brosnan as the secret agent) to come back to the big screen. Following Spectre in 2015, which left a bitter aftertaste for many Bond fans, we only heard rumours after rumours…without any confirmation on the next film, which will be number 25 in the franchise. Is Daniel Craig back for one final outing? Who will direct? Who has been cast? Where will they shoot? Well, hang tight, we have a lot of sparkling revelations on those! Ladies and gentlemen, it is confirmed, the next Bond film, known simply as ‘Bond 25’ for the time being, officially started production in Norway and stars Craig for one last run. See production photos below, featuring a winterly environment and henchman in a blizzard. A lot of delays and production problems have surfaced, pushing the release to February 14th, 2020, the perfect Valentines Day gift you can hope for.
By the way, the production title for the shoot is Shatterhand, named after James Bond’s main nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the original book You Only Live Twice. Needless to say, we might see a direct continuation of Spectre in this next instalment.
The biggest piece of news surrounding the production is who is directing it and that’s none other than Japanese-American filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga. Who is that you might say? This filmmaker is still pretty unknown to the masses. He was the director of the first season of HBO’s True Detective and most recently the writer of the Netflix TV show Maniac starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. At first, it was confirmed that British director Danny Boyle (the genius behind Trainspotting, Steve Jobs and Trance) was stepping in to direct ‘Bond 25’, but later stepped down due to creative differences with the studios behind 007, Sony, Eon Productions and MGM. I must admit that’s a huge disappointment for me, as I am a huge fan of Boyle’s work. His shaky cam and epileptic atmosphere would have been interesting additions to the franchise. Oh well, why not give Fukunaga a chance; he may bring an original vision to the character of Bond.
We don’t know much about the plot, nor the cast, but we have confirmation that the recurring MI6 team will be back, including Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as the excellent young Q. Also, surprisingly, French actress Léa Seydoux is rumoured to come back as Spectre Bond Girl Madeleine Swann, continuing the narrative of the previous film. Who is the villain….? Well, would you believe me if I told you that Rami ‘Mercury’ Malek was considered? Indeed, the 37-year-old latest Oscar winner for Best Actor in Bohemian Rhapsody, for his quite memorable take on Queen’s lead singer Freddy Mercury, will probably be the next Bond Villain. While younger than Daniel Craig and sporting a more innocent demeanour than the cold stare of Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale, Malek might yet surprise us. I don’t know for you, but I would love to see him as a young shark or angry entrepreneur with a business venture that endangers the world economy, or something similar. Imagine, a young Elon Musk on acid! According to Fukunaga, it wasn’t ruled out that Christoph Waltz’ Blofeld could return as well. Regarding the official Bond Girl, the ladies of our dreams, only rumours exist for now, but the excellent Lupita Nyong’o was mentioned previously but that rumour has since been shot down.
My dream to see a Bond film shot in Canada has not come yet. Even if we have access to absolutely amazing production and fiscal resources, as well as exotic locations. No, the northern environment we will see in the film is located near Oslo, in Norway. Other locations have been confirmed for Bond to maze through, including the town of Matera in Italy and even Kingston, in Jamaica, a nice homage to the first film of the franchise shot in 1962: Dr. No. Good old Pinewood Studios in London, England, will again be of good help for indoor sets.
For now, that’s what I have! I’ll be sure to publish new updates following the release of a first teaser trailer.
James Bond remains, to this day, one of my absolute-favourite characters (yes, way up there alongside Han Solo). I don’t know for you guys, but James Bond season is all year-long for me. Good for a movie date, a boys night or simply to blow off some steam after work to accompany a good scotch (make that Macallan 12 year at least), you have many occasions to watch a Bond film. To finish on a more personal note, I’m pleased to share my top 5 favourite movies of the franchise. All the others are worth your time but start with these to get a sense of the magic behind Bond. If you’re missing one of them, go find it on iTunes now!
- Skyfall (2012) – my absolute favourite!
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
- Thunderball (1965)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
*Honorable mentions: From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Dr. No (1962),
For Your Eyes Only (1981), Goldeneye (1995) and The World is not Enough (1999).