It’s been four years since we’ve last seen James Bond on our screens, yet the world’s most famous spy is finally set to make his grand return.
The film is set to be the 25th instalment in the long-running franchise and, although production has seen its fair share of troubles, there is no doubt fans will aching for a new international adventure from 007.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming film.
Who is playing James Bond?
Daniel Craig will officially star as Bond, although it’s expected to be his very last outing as the spy. The actor had previously been hesitant to return, having said during one interview while promoting Spectre that he would “rather slash my wrists” than play the character again.
Who will direct the film?
Danny Boyle was attached to develop the script and direct, but soon dropped out over creative conflicts with Craig and the studio, purportedly regarding the casting of the film’s Russian villain.
In September 2018, True Detective showrunner Cary Fukunaga replaced Boyle as director and hired Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Scott Z Burns and Fleabag star-creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge to re-write the script, which had reportedly ruffled up feathers with producers. Fukunaga is the first American filmmaker ever to direct a Bond movie.
Who else will star?
Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris will all return, as well Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright. “You have some of the best actors in the world here,” Fukunaga said. “Why wouldn’t I have the best coming back?”
Seydoux played Dr Madeleine Swann in Spectre, the most recent Bond film, which was released in 2015. Fiennes has starred as M since 2012 in Skyfall and again in Spectre. Whishaw stepped in as Q for those same two films, which also saw Harris make her debut as Eve Moneypenny.
Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar-winner Rami Malek has finally been confirmed to appear after months of rumours. He confirmed he’ll be playing the film’s villain.
Speaking about his appointment, Malek said: “I am very much looking forward to joining the cast and crew very soon. I will be making sure that Bond does not have an easy ride on his 25th outing, I can’t wait to see you all soon.”
Malek had previously said in response to the rumours: “We’ll have to see about that. It would be nice to play a villain, that would be another dream role for me, I’ve got to play so many great ones so far so who knows. I’m keeping tight-lipped.”
New cast members include Game Night star Billy Magnussen, David Dencik, Dali Benssalah, Ana de Armas and Captain Marvel breakout Lashana Lynch.
Magnussen is rumoured to be playing a CIA operative that crosses paths with Bond.
What is the film’s name?
The film has an official working title. Subscribers to Production Weekly noticed in a new update listing that the next 007 outing will shoot under the title Shatterhand , but there is no indication whether this will be the final title for the film.
“Shatterhand” is the alias used by Blofeld – who was played in the last Bond film, Spectre, by Christoph Waltz – in the You Only Live Twice novel.
What is the film about?
Reports suggest that the film would be based on the 2001 novel Never Dream of Dying by Raymond Benson. The story sees Bond start a relationship with Tylyn Mignonne, a film star whose husband is connected to The Union, a recurring crime organisation within the 007 novel series.
Fukunaga confirmed the story will bring things full circle for Craig by continuing the arc first presented in Casino Royale, his first outing as 007.
“In terms of what I can bring to change the character, Bond is on a character arc that started with Casino Royale, and I will be carrying that on,” he said. ”There will be changes, I am sure. As in any story, a character has to change in order [to have] a narrative.”
Broccoli confirmed that the film’s locations include Jamaica, London, Italy and Norway.
She said: “Bond is not on active service when we start – he’s enjoying himself in Jamaica. We consider it Bond’s spiritual home. He starts his journey here – we’ve built an extraordinary house for him. We’ve got quite a ride in store for Mr Bond.”
We also know that Bond’s peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Wright) 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 will write the script?
On top of Fukunaga, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have drafted a version of the script, though studio executives were reportedly unhappy with the results.
Scott Z Burns, who scripted The Bourne Ultimatum and wrote the upcoming Steven Soderbergh film The Laundromat, joined the project in February as a script doctor alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
When will the film be released?
Production on the film is set to begin on 6 April in London’s Pinewood Studios before heading to Matera in Italy.
Bond 25 was originally scheduled to be released on 8 November before moving to 14 February 2020. The film will now be released on 8 April 2020.