After months of distribution battles and casting rumors, the fate of Bond 25, the next installment in the hyper-popular spy franchise, is settled. The star of the previous four Bond films, Daniel Craig, will be returning in the shoes of the titular character. In the director’s chair leading the film: the legend, Danny Boyle. Universal Pictures won the raging fight for the most sought-after film franchise of today – the company signed the rights for international and home entertainment distribution. Second in place are MGM and Annapurna, who will handle domestic distribution.
Ever since the release of the previous Bond film, mixed-reviewed Spectre, only one question seemed to interest the fans: will Daniel Craig be returning for another film, continuing the exploration of his tough, emotionally complex variation. When Eon Productions chose Craig as the successor of Pierce Brosnan, the fans raged, saying that he does not fit the sexy, dark haired stereotype everyone was so used to. Now they rage again, questioning the actor’s attempts to leave the character for good, retire, pack the martini glass and the silencer and recede into something else (something like this year’s Logan Lucky in which Craig clearly seeks to escape the personality of the world’s number one spy.) Indeed, after the release of Spectre, Craig commented, “I’d rather slash my wrists than play another James Bond.” But, nevertheless, the drama is over now, money rules, and Craig is back, trying on yet another tight tuxedo.
Although it can be earnestly said that Craig’s Bond has been a wonderful exploration of the character that made 007 much more in-line with the modern audiences’ interest in deeper exploration of their favorite on-screen heroes, his return is perhaps not the most exciting news that graced the recent headlines. Helming the film is the veteran English director Danny Boyle who has given the world such masterpieces like Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Shallow Grave and the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony (in which Boyle directed Craig in his cameo appearance as Bond along with the Queen of England, making me wish that Her Majesty will grace the screen in 25.) Indeed, Boyle is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today; his already impressive portfolio of Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA winning films keeps increasing. One can only dream what Boyle will be able to do with an already extremely well developed character if left to his own accord to experiment. While Craig’s return is almost underwhelming, making one wonder when will the time come for the actor to push new boundaries and attempt something fresh, Boyle’s participation promises new inspiration for Bond 25.
Production on the 25th installment of James Bond begins December 3. The film will be released in the UK on October 25, 2019, and in the U.S. on November 8, 2019.