Ever since the release of 2015’s Spectre, the state of the James Bond franchise – as well as its current leading man – has been more or less in limbo, but as of a few days ago, James Bond is getting ready to suit up for his next mission.
According to the official 007 website, James Bond will return to US cinemas on November 8, 2019 with a traditional earlier release in the UK and the rest of the world.
Bond 25, the next adventure in the long-running action franchise, will be written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, long time collaborators and writers on previous Bond films including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. The film will be produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Additional details regarding distribution, including international release dates, the film’s cast and director, will be announced at a later date.
Although currently “unofficial”, Craig is back, at least according to TNYT (via Collider): “Two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid conflicts with Eon and MGM,” say that Craig is coming back, and since the Times is pretty trustworthy publication (as opposed to DanielCraigShouldAlwaysBeBond.com), I’m willing to put my faith in their reporting that the actor will make his fifth appearance as Bond in the upcoming sequel.
Back in May of 2016, sources told DM: ‘Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted,’ said the source. Another source told the Mail that ‘executives had finally agreed to let the actor go after growing tired of his criticism of the franchise.’ And let’s not forget that Craig stated that he’d rather ‘slash his wrists’ than play Bond for a fifth time (he said this shortly after the release of Spectre).
Then in April 2017 (via PS), it was reported that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has all but persuaded Daniel Craig to play 007 for the historic 25th movie in the series. Daniel’s talks with Barbara were going in the right direction. They have a script — screenwriting duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade [who’ve penned several Bond movies] are writing and they’ll go into production as soon as Daniel is ready to commit.” The source added, “Plus, Barbara Broccoli doesn’t like Tom Hiddleston, he’s a bit too smug and not tough enough to play James Bond.”
While Broccoli was waiting for Craig’s answer, the media was having a field day about who’d be playing Bond? Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Fassbender (Jobs), Damian Lewis (Homeland), James Norton (War and Peace) and Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) remain firm favorites. Also, Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) was supposedly talking with producers.
The other biggie is: Who’ll be directing Bond? Everyone from Drive’s Nicolas Winding Refn (who is currently working on Avenging Silence, his own take of a spy flick after turning down Spectre) to Guy Ritchie (who penned last year’s similarly themed The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) have been attracted to the idea. Other filmmakers who have expressed interest include Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Chad Stahelski (John Wick: Chapter 2). Even Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) has been the subject of some reports.
From both a critical and financial point of view, 2012’s Skyfall has gone on to become the most successful James Bond film of all time, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Last year’s Spectre, which drew in a lesser audience, plus mixed reviews, took in $879.2 million worldwide. Even though Spectre wasn’t a massive success, it was still a success.
For now, Craig is wrapping up a 20-part TV series called Purity (Mirror reported that MGM was even willing to push Bond 25 back, which would allow Craig to complete the series). Craig can be seen next in Steven Soderbergh’s Lucky Logan, a heist film, which releases in August.
Updates: According to the reliable crew at Deadline, here are the potential Bond 25 directors that are on the short list: Yann Demange (’71), Denis Villenueve (Arrival) and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water). Pick one.
Related articles: James Bond’s connection with Asian and Martial Arts Cinema