After months of mystery, plans for the 25th James Bond film seem to be taking shape. We have a star, a director and even a title. We’re beginning to get a sense of the film that has, until now, felt as elusive as its eponymous hero.
No Time to Die
The official 007 Twitter account broke the news in August that the film will have a relatively old school name, after a few years of the cryptic modern offerings of Sceptre and Skyfall.
Daniel Craig will play Bond
After boldly claiming back in 2015 that he wanted to “move on” from the franchise, and that slashing his wrists would be preferable to making another Bond movie, Daniel Craig will be returning to play the iconic role for a fifth time.
Not quite a Bond veteran like Roger Moore or Sean Connery (who starred in seven films apiece), Craig will overtake his predecessor Pierce Brosnan, who played the character four times.
This is expected to be Craig’s last hurrah as 007. Having once claimed, “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money” his reported $25 million salary seems to have lured him back.
It is now due to be released on April 8 2020
The film was initially set to arrive in UK cinemas on October 25 2019, but we can now expect to see Shatterhand in the spring of next year. It has been reported that the script - by longtime Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade - needed some rewrites from Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z Burns.
Danny Boyle will no longer direct
In May of last year, it was announced that Danny Boyle (of Trainspotting and Olympic opening ceremony fame) would be directing this latest 007 movie. But Boyle unexpectedly quit the project just weeks before filming was due to begin, citing the showbiz platitude, “creative differences”, as the reason for his departure.
An industry source told the Telegraph that the split came down to a disagreement over the casting of a lead villain. Other reports suggest that there was a quarrel over the script’s focus on current political tensions with Russia. There were further rumours that Boyle’s departure came down to a divide in opinion over whether or not Craig’s Bond should be killed at the end of the 25th film.
All this uncertainty behind the camera contributed to a delayed release. Boyle has now been replaced by the True Detective director Cary Fukunaga, who also directed the Netflix series Maniac. He will begin filming at Pinewood on April 6.
‘Shatterhand’ is an alias
The film’s working title alludes to a character from Ian Fleming's 1964 novel You Only Live Twice. The name is the alias of supervillain Ernst Blofeld, who was played by Christoph Waltz in the last Bond film, Spectre. Speaking to The Inquirer, Fukunaga seemed to suggest that Waltz might be returning in the upcoming film.
Rami Malek could be our bond villain
According to Variety, producers are hoping to cast the recent Oscar winner as James Bond's antagonist. The actor himself has fuelled rumours by telling Entertainment Tonight, “It would be nice to play a villain, that would be an actor's dream, another dream role for me.”
Initially, Malek’s involvement in ‘Bond 25’ seemed unlikely: the schedule would have clashed with commitments to the last season of Mr. Robot. But a string of delays have put the actor firmly back in the running for the coveting role of Bond’s nemesis.
Shatterhand is still shrouded in mystery, but it looks like the 25th installment of world’s most famous spy series will be worth the wait. Our interest has been stirred, not shaken.