Jul 24, 2017

Tradecraft: James Bond Returns November 2019; New York Times Reports Daniel Craig will be Back

Daniel Craig drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz
MGM and EON Productions have set a North American release date for the still untitled Bond 25. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 25th official James Bond movie will hit U.S. theaters on November 8, 2019. The only creative involvement included in the announcement was that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (who have had a hand in every Bond script since The World is Not Enough in 1999) will once again handle writing duties, and Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will, naturally, produce. According to the statement, cast, crew (including a director) and a distribution partner will be announced "at a later date." The omission of one key cast member in particular is, of course, jarring. One might expect such an announcement to come only when the studio had a star nailed down, and if Daniel Craig was indeed on board to reprise the role he's played so successfully in four 007 films to date, it would be logical to think that information would be the leader in such a statement. But at least one outlet isn't worried. The New York Times is confidently reporting that "Mr. Craig’s return is a done deal, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid conflicts with Eon and MGM." I really hope they're right! Not only am I dying to see the actor back at least once more as the world's most famous secret agent; I am more than ready for the constant tabloid speculation of his possible replacement to end... at least until the next movie comes out!

Also essential to nail down is a distribution partner. Sony has partnered with MGM and EON to release the previous four Craig Bond movies. Their contract is up, but of course they are anxious to extend it as other studios vie for the prize. Personally, my money is on upstart Annapurna, Megan Ellison's boutique production company that will branch out into distribution next month, in partnership with MGM, with Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit. The two companies signed a multi-year deal (which currently does not cover James Bond titles) earlier this year.

It could be that MGM was just keen to stake its claim before the prime fall date filled up with more releases from rival companies. It's already been claimed by Disney for an untitled live action fairy tale movie. Hopefully we'll learn more soon!


Unknown said...

Now....what about a director?

Personally - I'd like to see Dennis Villeneuve have a crack at it

Tanner said...

That would be incredible! Particularly if he brought Deakins back with him. But isn't he committed to DUNE?

Unknown said...

In the pipeline, but not committed yet I believe

Unknown said...

Also, can't get away from thinking that nikolaj coster-waldau would be a great Bond - but he's probably too old now unfortunately

Elliot James said...

“I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,” he replied. “No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”

Craig's comment always comes to mind. He'll make a fortune on this next film.

Tanner said...

Well, the fact that the media blew that comment all out of proportion will probably help his team negotiate, yeah.

I still can't believe anyone took that quote seriously. It was asked of him on the last day of a long, difficult shoot on which he'd injured himself. Of course he'll feel that way! Someone I know compares it to asking a woman if she wants to have another baby while she's in the final stages of labor.

Christopher said...

It's hard to believe but with Bond 25 slated for 2019, that brings Daniel Craig's run as Bond up to 13 years with a mere five films. In that same time span, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, and Roger Moore starred in a total nine Bond films.

I miss the manic, two-year production pace of Ion. The classic days when waiting for the credits to show "James Bond will return in ____" was part of the fun.

Tanner said...

Yeah, that's crazy. He's going to have a record for sheer duration in the role, but not the filmography to equal that.

Though from a tenure in a spy role point of view, Tom Cruise in the M:I movies has them all beat now at 22 years come the next film. He'll even have beaten Connery if you measure from Dr. No to NSNA! But of course his output doesn't equal theirs either.