Apr 25, 2019

Full Cast Revealed for BOND 25 at Goldeneye Press Conference

At a non-traditional press conference today in Jamaica, appropriately held at the resort that used to be Ian Fleming's house, Goldeneye, James Bond producers revealed details about the next 007 movie--the twenty-fifth official entry in the 57-year-old series. One detail they did not provide was a title. This same situation occurred on Daniel Craig's second Bond film; no title was revealed at the commencement of filming press conference for the movie that ultimately became Quantum of Solace.

Goldeneye resort
What was revealed was the cast, confirming some long running rumors and offering some pleasant surprises. Foremost among those pleasant surprises was the news that, after more than a decade, Jeffrey Wright will reprise his Felix Leiter role! The beloved series character was last seen in 2008's Quantum of Solace. With a third turn as 007's CIA friend, Wright will surpass David Hedison, becoming the actor to play the role the most times. And should this untitled film prove to indeed be Craig's swan song as Bond, as he has said, then it will also make him the only Bond actor to date to have one consistent Felix throughout his entire run in the role. History in the making, folks!

Other new male faces include Billy Magnussen (a comedic standout in Game Night who previously worked with Bond 25 director Cary Fukanaga in Maniac), rumored to be playing another CIA agent, Rami Malek (Best Actor Oscar winner for last year's Bohemian Rhapsody), seemingly confirming that he'll be an antagonist by saying, via video, that he'll "be making sure Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it," Dali Benssalah (A Faithful Man), and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Toby Esterhase, David Dencik. The stunning Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), who previously worked with Craig in Rian Johnson's upcoming whodunnit Knives Out, and Captain Marvel scene stealer Lashana Lynch (who is of Jamaican descent) join the hallowed ranks of Bond Girls.

Ana de Armas
As previously reported, for the first time since Eunice Gayson's Sylvia Trench in From Russia With Love, there will also be a returning Bond Girl this time out. (There have, of course, been other returning actresses, but in different roles.) Lea Seydoux will reprise her SPECTRE role of Madeleine Swann, last seen driving happily off into the sunset with Craig's James Bond. Other returning cast members include Bond's entire MI6 support staff: Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner (also setting a new series record, surpassing Michael Kitchen's two turns in the role during the Pierce Brosnan era), and Ben Whishaw as Q.

Lea Seydoux
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson also confirmed some heavily rumored contributors to the screenplay for Bond 25. Series mainstays Neil Purvis and Robert Wade will be joined by Scott Z Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) and, in especially exciting news Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (rumored to have been brought on a Craig's suggestion to inject more humor). Killing Eve is a terrific spy series with a very unique creative voice, and should she end up with a screen credit (something ultimately determined by the Writers Guild), Waller-Bridge will be the first woman to receive one since Joanna Harwood on the first two movies with Sean Connery! As previously announced, American director Cary Joji Fukunaga (who helmed the entire riveting first season of True Detective) directs, having come aboard after Danny Boyle famously left the production. Though not mentioned at today's Jamaica presser, cinematographer Linus Sandgren (La La Land, First Man) was previously confirmed to shoot the movie. As far as I know no composer has yet been announced. Personally, I'm crossing my fingers hard for a David Arnold return to mark Craig's final outing.

Cary Joji Fukunaga
Broccoli revealed a tantalizing outline of the new film's plot. As recapped by The Hollywood Reporter, "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." Besides a triumphant return to Jamaica, the iconic shooting location of Dr. No and Live and Let Die, filming will take place in Norway (where at least one second unit sequence has already been shot, in order to take advantage of the winter weather) London's Pinewood Studios, and scenic Matera in Italy. The press conference (whose only questions were actually chosen from Twitter rather than journalists) concluded by offering us our first glimpse at one of these locations. Presumably this is Bond's house in Jamaica where he's enjoying the soft life (a plot point perhaps borrowed from John Pearson's experimental 1973 continuation novel James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, which had the agent retiring to the island).

1 comment:

night person said...

I appreciate the enthusiasm you bring to the table. Too many in fandom are bringing snark. My only complaint? You do not post nearly enough! Looking forward to some reportage on the new FANTOMAS blu-ray set!