James Bond is a British franchise behemoth, boasting multiple facelifts and reboots that manage to keep it current without losing the essence of what Bond is – a smooth AF secret agent, serial shagger and international man of mystery who almost always gets his guy. And girl come to that.
The last four instalments have seen "James Blond" Daniel Craig take on the mantle of 007, and now it's been confirmed that he will return for a fifth.
This will be 25th in the James Bond series and news is rather scarce right now but we'll keep this story updated regularly to make it your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Bond, James Bond, 25.
Bond 25 release date: patience is a virtue
The film has switched from Sony to Universal this time around, and production will begin on December 3.
We’ve been expecting you… #Bond25, Daniel Craig’s 5th outing as 007, will be directed by Academy Award-winning Danny Boyle from an original screenplay by John Hodge. Production is set to begin on 3 Dec 2018. MGM will partner with Universal Pictures to release the film worldwide pic.twitter.com/h8fVhyYhyY
- James Bond (@007) May 25, 2018
The film will presumably arrive some time in 2019 – and will be released first in the UK.
Bond 25 Daniel Craig: Will he? Won't he? Yes he will!
The subject of whether Daniel Craig would return was wildly debated for what feels like FOREVER. But finally in August 2017 he announced on the late show that yes, he would be returning, saying, "We've been discussing it. We've just been trying to figure things out. I always wanted to, I needed a break."
Suggesting that Bond 25 may be his 007 swansong, he added: "I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait."
We're glad he's back but we must confess we hope this will be his last for various very good reasons.
For the sake of posterity, the scale of speculation began after the release of Spectre, in particular because of the slightly frazzled and much-reported comment from Daniel Craig that he'd "rather slash his wrists" than do another Bond and that it would "only be for the money".
To be fair to Craig, that was in October 2015 (and no-one is going to let him forget it). Since then he attempted to smoothed the waters a little – a year later in October 2016 he said he has "the best job in the world".
"It was the day after filming [stopped on Spectre]," he explained. "I'd been away from home for a year.
"As far as I'm concerned, I've got the best job in the world. I'll keep doing it as long as I still get a kick out of it."
Other names bandied about were Idris Elba (and that fire has been massively stoked again recently), though he kind of ruled himself out saying "I'm too old for that" (we're pretty sure he was joking, though). Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner, Damien Lewis and Tom Hardy. Better luck next time boys.
Bond 25 director: Creative differences
Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes has stated that he won't be returning for another stint with Craig .
Various directors denied rumours that they were in the running, including Blade Runner 2049's Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan, who "categorically" ruled himself out of the running on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs of all places.
They cite "creative differences" as the reason he's leaving mere months before production was expected to begin, as cameras were expected to roll in December 2018.
In the hunt for a new director, it seems as if Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Grey) is ruling himself out!
Not in a million fucking years of sundays. https://t.co/c2q6DQPqJG
- Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) August 21, 2018
Bond 25 locations: go East!
The 007 franchise is well known for its international locations so there's almost as much excitement about where it'll be shot as who'll be in it.
There will of course almost certainly be production at Pinewood studios, the home of James Bond.
Bond 25 writers: favourites return
Apparently, Neil Purvis and Robert Wade will return as writers. This was announced on Twitter by Daily Mail critic Baz Bamigboye.
- Baz Bamigboye (@BazBam) March 9, 2017
Purvis and Wade have been writers on the Bond franchise since The World is Not Enough, also penning Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
Bond 25 plot: what's it about?
Ok we don't know what the plot is going to involve right now. But Associate producer Gregg Wilson has teased a little bit about how they might begin shaping the story.
"Each script process begins when we ask ourselves the question: 'What is the world afraid of now?'
"In the case of Spectre the theme was global monitoring and utilization of information. So now we are trying to find out what will be relevant in the coming years."
Although Wilson did not give any details as to what sort of new modern threats they were looking at, he did say they were planning to be more original with the character.
"We always want to do something new with the Bond character and see him in situations we have not seen him in the past," he continued.
"We must give the audience something new every time... often it helps to go back to Ian Fleming's novels for inspiration, whether you're talking about grades or mood."
Bond 25 cast – who'll be back?
To be fair, nothing's been officially announced so it's all rather up in the air who exactly will and won't return. Given the Craig is returning though, we'd expect him to be joined by regulars Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Tanner.
Christoph Waltz definitely won't be back as Blofeld, and we don't really expect a return of the recent Bond girls such as Lea Seydoux's Madeleine. With Craig on board, we were expecting further casting announcements but Danny Boyle's exit has thrown a rather large spanner into those works.
Digital Spy did recently learn that Mark Strong likely will not be involved in the film, in spite of rampant rumours. However, Jeffrey Wright has teased that Bond fans may not have seen the last of American CIA agent Felix Leiter, from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
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