After months of stalls and setbacks on the latest James Bond film, production is set to commence this coming April on the long-awaited 25th James Bond film. We now know that the working title for the film’s production is Shatterhand, derived from an alias used by Bond’s arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s eleventh novel You Only Live Twice, and we know that the actors from the previous Craig outings are set to return. But production has been rife with issues from the start. From Daniel Craig’s controversial comments on the role to the exit of Trainspotting director Danny Boyle to the multiple rewrites that are still underway; you’d be right to be concerned and confused about Daniel Craig’s last outing as the titular super spy. But what follows are 3 things we can expect from the next Bond flick.
It’s going to be different
Helmed by noted director and auteur Cary Joji Fukunaga, Bond 25 is definitely going to be different from the Bond films that preceded it. Fukunaga directed the entirety of the groundbreaking first season of True Detective, which not only received critical praise but was also nominated for five Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Directing – which Fukunaga won. Remember his much lauded 10-minute long take in episode 4 of True Detective, as Matthew McConaughey’s embittered detective Rust Cohle fought his way through a gangland shootout, all in one beautiful single shot? Hopefully, Fukunaga can bring some of that creativity and ingenuity to his Bond film, putting Bond back on top of the action movie throne. Although production hasn’t started just yet, so don’t be surprised if Fukanaga exits production in the coming weeks – as he famously did on the fantastic It reboot.
…but not too different
Despite the inclusion of Fukunaga behind the camera, there are signs that Bond 25 will not stray too far from the established formula of Daniel Craig’s previous Bond films. Danny Boyle and longtime collaborator John Hodge’s rumoured script apparently saw Bond incarcerated for much of the film’s run time, with some rumours even suggesting the film ended with Bond being killed off altogether. The producers at Bond HQ didn’t like this, however, resulting in Boyle leaving and the film supposedly going in a more traditional direction, with Bond script stalwarts Neal Purvis and Robert Wade writing the current incarnation. Along with Craig as Bond, cast members Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw are also returning for the film – suggesting the film won’t stray too far from the established Bond formula. But perhaps the most notable returning face is Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, daughter of the late Mr White and Bond’s Spectre love interest. Her being in the film marks one of the rare times a Bond film has been a direct sequel to the previous film (the only other time being Quantum of Solace). With the lukewarm reception to Spectre, however, it will be interesting how this will be received by audiences. And as history shows us, Bond being in a long term relationship never works out…
You Only Live Twice Comparisons
Bond 25’s working title of Shatterhand was revealed this week, giving anyone who has read Ian Fleming’s eleventh novel You Only Live Twice an instant upper hand in the spoiler department. The title is derived from an alias used in the book by Bond arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played famously in the films by Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray, Telly Savalas and, most recently, Christoph Waltz. There hasn’t been any indication that Waltz is returning as Blofeld in Bond 25 but with the working title being Shatterhand, it shouldn’t be ruled out. You Only Live Twice marks the end of the ‘Blofeld trilogy’ in the books when Bond strangles Blofeld with his bare hands and blows up his evil castle lair. But even more shocking is where Bond begins the novel, having recently lost the love of his life to a SPECTRE assassination attempt. Could this be what lies in store for Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann? Spectre saw Bond literally driving off into the sunset with Swann, free of the spy-life. Her death at the hands of his mortal enemies could be exactly the thing to pull him back in. Whatever happens with Bond 25 it’s fair to say that the 8th April 2020 can’t come soon enough.