No Time to Die

With Bond 25 fast approaching, City Countdown presents its guide to 007's latest big screen escapade. Peter Gray reports on a cultural phenomenon.

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in 'No Time To Die' (Credit: Nicola Dove/Danjac LLC/MGM)

After 24 outings, you’d think the formula would be getting pretty stale, but if anything, Bond 25 is the most eagerly awaited movie in the series. With the secrecy surrounding No Time to Die currently more stringent than that around Area 51, the rumour mill has had to take up the slack, with a seemingly neverending series of rumours and theories about Bond’s latest mission.

So, does Bond lose his heart, his job or even his life in Bond 25? You’ll have to read on to find out. 

The name’s Craig, Daniel Craig

The 2010 announcement that Daniel Craig would be slipping on the legendary tux had Bond fans the world over up in arms.  Craig has proved an astute choice however, with the franchise going from strength to strength with the British actor in the iconic role.

Casino Royale was both critically acclaimed and successful at the box office, while 2016’s Skyfall has proven the biggest success in the series to date. It’s no surprise then that expectation has reached fever pitch ahead of this latest installation of the Bond story.

So, what’s No Time to Die about?

“In No Time To Die, 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,” says MGM’s plot synopsis.

The MGM synopsis seems to hint at some sort of development in Bond’s private life and the internet has been awash with rumours of Bond getting hitched in this latest installment in the series. To add fuel to the fire, a US gossip publication called Page Six recently reported that No Time to Die would see Bond marry Dr Madeleine Swann (actress Lea Seydoux). 

The same publication has also alleged that this happy turn of events will end with the newly christened Mrs Bond (it sounds weird, doesn’t it|?!) getting bumped off. 

One thing seems certain – and that is that Bond 25 will contain some earth shattering events. No Time to Die’s Ms Moneypenny (actress Naomie Harris) has let slip that the movie would likely surprise people. “[No Time to Die has] massive, massive surprises that even had me like, ‘Oh, wow!’ So, I think we’re going to really shock people,” the actress told GQ magazine. Harris also informed the publication that No Time to Die would be a “tie-up of Skyfall and Spectre”.

When is the new James Bond film released in cinemas?

The long awaited Bond 25 will be out in the UK on the 30th of September 2021 (we hope!!). This is more than a year after the film was originally scheduled to be released but unfortunately Bond has not had as much luck with the pandemic as he has had with the world’s megalomaniacs. 

What’s in a name?

Well, quite a lot, obviously. Rumours about the title of the new movie has had internet film buffs working overtime with a plethora of suggestions (Shatterhand, Eclipse) before the actual title was released. So, why No Time to Die?

Why has Bond 25 taken so long?

Err, yes, it has. Well, one issue was the Danny Boyle situation. The director of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire was attached to the project for quite a while, but the production was thrown into jeopardy when Boyle pulled out, citing “creative differences”. Some have suggested that the real reason Boyle left the project was a reluctance to kill the superspy off at the end of the movie. This has never been confirmed. However, a “source” said “Daniel Craig… and producer Barbara Broccoli are believed to have wanted Bond to die in a ‘spectacular finale’, according to sources. But Oscar-winner Boyle, 61, refused to kill off the secret agent, labelling the idea ‘ridiculous.’”

The film was also delayed after Craig’s wife Rachel Weisz gave birth to the couple’s first child with the actor requesting time off to perform his paternal duties.

Finally, No Time To Die was delayed due to the Coronavirus crisis that erupted around the world in early 2020.

So who is in the hot seat for No Time to Die?

The honour has fallen to True Detective director Cary Fukunaga. The director, who is also known for the acclaimed Netflix drama Maniac. The appointment of the 42 year old American director came as something of a surprise to movie industry insiders, who has expected a ‘safer’ pair of hands to replace the departing Boyle.

However, Fukunaga was the producer’s shock choice and those with knowledge of the production are already hailing the director’s work on bond 25. Known for his incredible camerawork as well as his gift for bringing the best out of his actors, Fukunaga seems like he is about to pull off the greatest feat of his career by helming this latest Bond outing.

And the cast?

Well, all the regulars are present and correct. Apart from Craig, Ralph Fiennes is back as M, ditto Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q.

And the film’s baddie?

Rami Malek, fresh from playing a warts and all version of Freddie Mercury, has now been confirmed as Bond 25’s principal villain: “I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond doesn’t have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing.” Malek said, as the news was announced.

And what of the trailer?

Err…well, a trailer of sorts has been released. If truth be told, it doesn’t give a whole lot away. In general, Bond fans were not amused by the clip, as the producers were keeping their cards so close to their chest. What it does show, however, is that Jamaica features heavily in the movie.

What’s this we hear about the crew getting fleas?

You probably mean “fleabag” aka the actress Phoebe Waller Bridge. The BBC comedian has been added to the writing team to make Bond 25 more humorous.

 “There’s something about James Bond that always intrigued me in a similar way that Villanelle did,” Waller Bridge recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “They live a fantasy! But it’s a life none of us would ever want, if we’re honest. We don’t want to go put a bullet in someone’s head to sleep with people and have martinis. It’s a kind of fantasy nightmare.”

Film Locations

Bond movies are typically full of glamorous and exotic places and No Time to Die is shaping up to be no different. We know from the teaser clip that the crew spent a great deal of time in Jamaica. Bond 25 has also taken the UK (London, Italy (Matera) and Norway,

Who’s singing the title song?

Performing the Bond song is practically as big as it gets in the music industry and with previous performers including Shirley Bassey, Duran Duran, Sam Smith and the bar is set pretty high. In January 2020 it was confirmed that Billie Eilish, the singer behind one of 2019’s biggest albums, would sing the theme song to the movie. 

So, does Bond actually bite the dust in No Time to Die?

This is the million dollar question. Craig himself has said that he would rather slit his wrists than appear in another movie but what was more difficult to predict was that Bond himself would feel the same. So, is this the end for Britain’s greatest spy? You’ll just have to go to see the film to find out.

More information about No Time To Die can be found here. 

For information on other great movies in London, please click here. 


-London's Best Movies-
What: Bond is back!
When: 30 Sept 2021
Where: cinemas nationwide
Website: Bond 25