Cue the insistent theme music in your head: Bond is officially coming back next year, with an official new director, and an official release date. It’s all very official. Here’s everything we know about Bond 25 so far.
Britain’s favorite spy meets Britain’s favorite director. It was officially announced last night that Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire helmer Danny Boyle will officially be directing the 25th Bond installment. The screenplay will be penned by longtime Boyle collaborator John Hodge, who wrote the original Trainspotting and its 2017 sequel, as well as The Beach.
It was touch-and-go there for a while, though: Craig told Time Out London back in 2015 that he’d rather “break this glass and slash my wrists” than play the suave spy one more time. But he’s back for his fifth outing, and, according to Variety, will be paid $25 million for his efforts, with some reports he will also get a cut of the profits. So we will have to wait until post-Bond 25 to restart the Idris chatter.
But it’ll first be released in the U.K. on October 25, as is tradition for the franchise.
In the U.S., Bond 25 will open just a week after Wonder Woman 2, which, if the first film is anything to go by, will have a strong hold on its second weekend. The week after should not prove too much trouble at the box office, with Sonic the Hedgehog and Margie Claus (a Melissa McCarthy holiday flick) playing to younger crowds. But late November brings big competition in the form of a new Terminator movie and Frozen 2.
Bond 25 will be distributed in North America by MGM and overseas by MGM courtesy of Universal (note: Rotten Tomatoes is part of the Universal family). This marks a big change for the franchise — for a decade, Sony had distributed the Bond films, but its contract expired in 2015. (Note: The article originally said that MGM was distributing in the U.S. in association with Annapurna; it has since been corrected.)
Production on the film is set to begin in December at Pinewood Studios in London. The Bond films have a long association with the studios — the very first Bond film, Dr. No, was shot there in the early 1960s. One of the studio’s stages is named the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage, after the original longtime producer.
Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch starred in Boyle’s stage version of Frankenstein, but that doesn’t mean he’s definitely going to be cast. And yes, Michael Shannon has a knack for playing bad guys, but that doesn’t mean he’s setting up shop in a secret lair anytime soon. What we do know is that Christoph Waltz will not be returning to the franchise as Blofeld.
Craig’s Bond films have followed a pattern on the Tomatometer: One critically lauded film in the 90s, followed by barely Fresh film in the 60s. He kicked off with Casino Royale, his highest-rated film ever at 94%, and followed up with Quantum of Solace, which scored 65%; Skyfall was Certified Fresh at 92%, and then Spectre became Craig’s lowest-scoring Bond film at 63%. It’s worth noting, too, that Danny Boyle has not had a Rotten film since 2000’s The Beach, and only two Rotten films to his name overall.