There's still no title, but the next James Bond film — currently known as Bond 25 and set to be the final one for star Daniel Craig — now has a finalised cast and plot details. At Ian Fleming's villa on the Caribbean island of Jamaica on Thursday, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, along with new director Cary Fukunaga, confirmed that Oscar-winner Rami Malek would play the villain and that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was working on the script. Additional new recruits include Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Billy Magnussen (Game Night), Dali Benssalah (Flash), and David Dencik (Quicksand). Bond 25 will kick off with 007 on holiday in Jamaica, where the film has begun production, with the CIA dropping in to ask for help with tracking someone down.
Malek was in talks to play the villain in Bond 25 back in February, shortly after his best actor Oscar win for Bohemian Rhapsody. Waller-Bridge — best known as the creator of the series Fleabag, and Killing Eve — was rumoured to be polishing the final draft of the script earlier in April, but her announcement at the official launch suggests she's doing more than just that. Bond 25 has been through a troubled pre-production, which has seen several writers come and go. Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) was the latest to work on the script before Waller-Bridge, after Fukunaga had been hired in the wake of Danny Boyle's departure over “creative differences” that stemmed from screenplay conflicts with Craig.
At the launch in Jamaica, the Bond producers also confirmed the return of several cast members from previous outings, including Ralph Fiennes as M, the head of MI6, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, M's assistant, Léa Seydoux as psychiatrist Dr. Madeleine Swann, who become Bond's love interest in 2015's Spectre, Ben Whishaw as Q, the MI6 quartermaster, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, the MI6 chief of staff, and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, a CIA field officer and Bond's friend. It might be the final Bond film for some of them as well, given Craig is set to leave the title role after Bond 25.
Broccoli also said that Bond's attitudes towards women would change in Bond 25 as a response to the Me Too movement: “The Me Too movement has had a huge impact — rightfully, thankfully — on society, and these films should reflect that, as everything we do should.” That's been long overdue for the James Bond franchise, as we explored in detail three years ago.
Here's the official synopsis for Bond 25:
“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.”
Bond 25 will release April 3, 2020 in India and the UK, and April 8, 2020 in the US. After Jamaica, production will move onto London, Italy, and Norway.