With seven years having passed since its release, it’s safe to say that the 23rd entry into the James Bond franchise, “Skyfall,” is the most significant in the series.
Beyond making well over a billion dollars and winning the series its first Oscar since 1965, it established the series’ aesthetic, tone, and action that has led to its resurgence in the last few years. It was also the franchises’ first foray into prestige filmmaking. We can credit a great deal of this to the hiring of Sam Mendes, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind “American Beauty” and “Revolutionary Road.” giving Bond a well-needed edge after decades of the b-movie camp had relegated the super-spy to Hollywood purgatory. But bringing in Mendes, was the final piece of the puzzle, and signaled a step into a much deeper and more complex world for Bond.
However, with 24 installments spanning over 50 years, the franchise finds itself, not precisely in that same limbo it was in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but at more of a crossroads. After the departure of Judi Dench from the role of M and Ralph Fiennes entry into the series, 2015’s “Spectre” was meant to be a sort of passing of the torch, signaling a graceful transition from one era to the next. But with the film underperforming critically and at the box office, Bond is suddenly in a place of uncertainty, which is not the place the Broccoli family thought it would be after 2012.
Enter “No Time to Die,” the highly anticipated 25th film in the franchise and Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 and quite possibly the one that could dictate the future of this franchise. The film finds Bond living in Jamaica, having retired from MI6 when a familiar face in former CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) draws him back into service. Here’s the official synopsis:
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when an 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.
“True Detective” and “Beasts of No Nation” director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, is set to direct the film along with sharing co-writing duties with longtime Bond film screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, and recent Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Scott Z. Burns did a rewrite too, but with five writers originally credited, someones gotta go)
Along with Craig and Wright, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, and Lea Seydoux will return alongside new additions in Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”), Ana De Armas (“Knives Out”), and Oscar winner, Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”). Christoph Waltz will be returning as Blofeld as well. A few details about the new characters have been confirmed with De Armas and Lynch playing critical roles to aiding in Bond’s adventure, and Malek portraying a character named Safin, the film’s main villain.
“No Time to Die” will be released on April 8, 2020. Check out the first full trailer (U.K. and U.S.) for the film below.