Just ahead of Spectre‘s release in 2015, Daniel Craig famously bristled at the idea of returning for another James Bond film. But 14 years after suiting up for the first time in Casino Royale, Craig is taking one final crack at James Bond. The twenty-fifth film in the long-running franchise, No Time to Die, has had a very long road to the big screen. The film is currently set to premiere in April 2021. From the star-studded cast to the many “creative differences” along the way, here’s everything we know about No Time to Die.
Who is Safin?
In a new featurette, Rami Malek and Cary Joji Fukunaga teased No Time to Die‘s enigmatic new villain. The video, which features Safin coming face to face with Madeleine Swann, who has mysterious ties to the villain, and Bond, reveals just how menacing destructive he really is. In the video, Malek said he tried to make Safin “unsettling,” a villain who considers himself to be a hero.
Fukunaga, meanwhile, shares that what makes Safin so “frightening” is his willingness to do whatever it takes to get what he wants—something that’s hits Bond on a personal level and globally. While the character is described as Bond’s most challenging adversary yet, it seems Safin feels a kinship between the two. In the clip he tells Bond, “We both eradicate people to make the world a better place. I just want to be a little tidier.”
What Is It about?
No Time to Die sees James Bond retired from MI6 and attempting to live a normal life in Jamaica (where Ian Fleming wrote the first Bond novel) with his girlfriend Madeleine Swann. That is until his former contact Felix Leiter reaches out for help, and Bond is sucked back into the international spy life.
From the official 007 website:
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. 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.
Daniel Craig’s Return
Daniel Craig, is, of course, returning to his role as James Bond for a fifth and final time. But for a while, it appeared he really was ready to put down the martini glass and leave the Aston Martin in the garage for good. He told Entertainment Weekly that after a particularly brutal leg injury on Spectre that required surgery, he wondered if he was no longer physically up to the challenge of playing Bond. However, producer Barbara Broccoli felt the Craig era of Bond still had something left in the can and was able to convince the Knives Out actor to return for another installment.
Unfortunately, Craig’s final foray into the world of Bond wasn’t injury-free. The actor broke his leg after slipping while filming a running scene on a floating dock in Jamaica. Luckily, the already beleaguered production wasn’t thrown into too much disarray, as the filming schedule was restructured so Craig could have surgery and recover at a seemingly accelerated pace. “I was back at work in two weeks, and in 10 weeks I was throwing myself around like an idiot again,” Craig told EW.
Nicola Dove/MGM Studios
Who Else Is in It?
Craig’s final Bond film is full of familiar faces from across his tenure as 007, including his MI6 team: Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Rory Kinnear as Tanner. Léa Seydoux and Jeffrey Wright also reprise their roles as the aforementioned Dr. Madeleine Swann and Felix Leiter. And, as teased in the trailers, Christoph Waltz will reappear as Ernest Stavro Blofeld, the incarcerated head of SPECTRE who seems to be calling the shots from prison.
Joining the cast are Lashana Lynch as Nomi, a new 00 agent who joined active duty during Bond’s retirement; Craig’s Knives Out costar Ana de Armas plays Paloma, a CIA agent who works with Bond; Rami Malek as Bond villain Safin. The film also stars Billy Magnussen, David Denick, and Dali Benssalah. The first photos of the A-list cast in action can be found in the gallery below. Entertainment Weekly also released a series of images from the upcoming film.
Who Is Directing the Film?
Beasts of No Nation director Cary Joji Fukunaga is helming No Time to Die, taking over from Danny Boyle, who was originally set to helm the project. In early 2018, Boyle signed on to direct the film, writing the script with John Hodges. However, the pair departed in August 2018 after a script dispute with producers.
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who wrote an initial draft of Bond 25, were brought back on to pen the script, with Fukunaga, Scott Z. Burns, and Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge also working on the script. Filming for No Time to Die began in late April 2019, taking place at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., as well as on location in London, Italy, Jamaica, and Norway.
Filming ended in late October 2019, six months before the world premiere but new rumors (which we learned from Birth. Movies. Death.) indicate No Time to Die could be the longest Bond movie at three hours. Spectre currently holds the record for the longest Bond flick at 155 minutes.
Who Is Behind the Music?
The music in Bond films is almost as iconic as the 00 agent himself. Almost. Over the years, many superstars—including Adele, Shirley Bassey, and Paul McCartney and Wings—have helmed Bond themes. Pop sensation Billie Eilish is the latest, performing the currently unnamed theme, written with her brother, producer and songwriter Finneas. The “Bad Guy” singer also becomes the youngest person to take on the Bond song.
In other music news, No Time to Die producers recently announced famed composer Hans Zimmer is scoring the film. He takes over the duties from Dan Romer, who left the project due to “creative differences.” The official Bond Twitter account confirmed the news, with Zimmer also posting about the news on Twitter. The Smiths guitarist is also working on the score, alongside Zimmer.
CONFIRMED: @HansZimmer will compose the score for #NoTimeToDie. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga said: “I’m beyond excited that Hans is scoring #NoTimeToDie. The music of Bond has always been iconic and I’ve already witnessed Hans adding his touch of genius to the Bond legacy.” pic.twitter.com/L3q06ymLyH— James Bond (@007) January 13, 2020
A Classic Bond poster and Updated Trailer
As of right now, No Time to Die is holding onto its lofty goal of premiering in the U.S. in November. But considering marketing for Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie was all directed for its initial April release date, it’s been months since we’ve been privy to new footage for the upcoming film. To celebrate the nearing release date—and, maybe, serve as a tiny reminder— MGM released a brand new poster and explosive new trailer.
Bond is certainly going out with a bang! The action-packed trailer reunites the retired MI6 agent with a bevy of old friends from his service, as well as some new faces, to take down his biggest threat yet. An enemy that leaves Bond and Blofeld on the same side. The trailer gives us a little glimpse into the mind of Safin, whose diabolical plans could kill millions. Bond gave civilian life a real go, but, unfortunately for him and Madeleine, “the past isn’t dead.”
The new poster features Craig looking very dapper—and very classic Bond—in a tux, brandishing a Walther PPX pistol. Not so bad for a (temporary) retiree! Of course, Craig’s Bond has donned his fair share of tuxes on the job. But, especially as his era’s gone on, it’s hard to not remember him looking a little worse for wear.
The Current Release Date
In early March, No Time To Die became the first major film to push its release amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic. Just weeks ahead of its April release—April 2 in the U.K. and April 10 in the U.S.—MGM, Universal, and Eon Productions announced in a series of tweets. Currently, the film set to debut in the U.S. on April 2, 2021.
Feature Image: Nicola Dove/MGM Studios
Originally published on January 24, 2020, with updates on February 2, 2020, March 4, 2020, July 22, 2020, September 1, 2020, September 3, 2020, and September 14, 2020.