'James Bond 25' Cast Unveiled But Still No Title
What has been known for several years simply as Bond 25 is now … still Bond 25.
In a special announcement on Thursday, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, together with director Cary Joji Fukunaga, revealed who would be joining Daniel Craig in his fifth and final 007 outing. They teased elements of the plot but didn't unveil a title.
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Rami Malek, fresh from his Oscar-winning turn in Bohemian Rhapsody and rumored as the main villain for some time, was officially confirmed, alongside Lea Seydoux, reprising her role as Dr. Madeleine Swann from the previous Bond outing Spectre, plus Ben Whishaw who returns as Q., Ralph Fiennes as M. and Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny. Also returning are Spectre's Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright, who appeared in Quantum of Solace, while newcomers include Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Billy Magnussen (Game Night), Dali Benssalah, Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) and David Dencik (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
However, for those hoping for a title — the subject of much online speculation — Wilson said that keeping it a secret was "a tradition" (although Spectre's title was revealed during its official launch).
Instead, fans were given details of the plot in which Bond is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica after leaving active service. But his peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter 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.
Fukunaga said the locations would include Jamaica, Norway (where the team has already shot), Pinewood and London before finishing in Italy.
Bond 25, from longstanding 007 gatekeeper and producer Eon, is set to be released in the U.S. on April 8, 2020, by MGM through its United Artists Releasing joint venture with Annapurna, as well as through Universal and MGM in the U.K. and internationally on April 3, 2020.
Rather than the usual press conference at the U.K.'s Pinewood Studios, considered 007's spiritual home, the announcement was made via live stream from Jamaica, the scene for iconic titles such as Dr. No and Live and Let Die and the home of Bond creator Ian Fleming's Goldeneye villa. Most of the cast were in attendance, with the exception of Malek, who recorded a message from New York.
"I promise you all I will be making sure Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this, his 25th outing," the actor said. Speaking later on ABC's Good Morning America, Malek described Bond as "the perfect follow-up to Bohemian Rhapsody, going from one iconic Brit to an iconic British franchise."
Although the wheels now seem to be fully in motion, the 25th Bond has already been through more ups and downs than most 007 titles.
Trainspotting director Danny Boyle was originally set to helm from a script he had put together with his longtime collaborator John Hodge. But they parted ways with Eon over "creative differences." Fukunaga was announced in late 2018, with regular Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade returning to the writing team and later joined by The Bourne Ultimatum's Scott Z. Burns. Just last month, reports emerged that Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge had been brought on board to liven up the script. Waller-Bridge's involvement was confirmed by Wilson.
The various changes have seen the release of the film — which has already begun some preproduction work in Italy, Norway and Jamaica, and at its regular base at Pinewood — get pushed back from late 2019 to February 2020 and now April 2020.
by Richard Newby
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