Bond 25 questions: The Total Film edition

One of the many No Time to Die posters

This post includes spoilers. Stop reading now if spoilers aren’t your thing.

Total Film this week published a detailed story about No Time to Die. Naturally, the blog has questions

Did Daniel Craig really say No Time to Die’s theme was “love and family”?

He did. Sounds almost like a Fast and the Furious movie, doesn’t it? In this case, Craig told Total Film that Bond’s family is Moneypenny, M and Q with Lashana Lynch’s Nomi “a distant cousin who you’re not sure about.”

One of the most hyped aspects of the movie was how Phoebe Waller-Bridge was among the screenwriters. Any additional details?

Of course. “Phoebe came on, and she injected some brilliance into the situation, and a tone I was really after,” Craig told Total Film.

“What we wanted to do was… not ridicule (Bond). It’s sharing in the fun with the audience,” Craig told the magazine. “But you’ve got to be respectful of what it is.” 

According to Total Film, Waller-Bridge “punched up Ana de Armas’ character Paloma – a fresh-faced CIA field agent who Bond crosses paths with in Cuba – and brought a myth-pricking irreverence to the story.”

What about agent Nomi and her relationship with Bond?

“Bond is going to be Bond no matter what happens,” Lashana Lynch told Total Film. “But it’s about how people react to him. That’s the difference between the earlier films. In this film we are vocal. We are opinionated. We know how to stop [Bond] in his tracks, and to teach him something.”

What about the sets?

“We have really gone out of our way to make some really gorgeous big sets,” says production designer Mark Tildesley. The designer originally was recruited to the film by Danny Boyle, the project’s first director who departed over “creative differences.”

What about Rami Malek’s Safin?

“Safin is pulling all the strings,” Eon boss Barbara Broccoli told Total Film about the character. “He’s controlling all of those megalomaniacs out there. He’s created them.”

What does that mean?

I suppose that in Quantum of Solace that Quantum was BIG. In SPECTRE, SPECTRE was BIGGER. Perhaps Safin is EVEN BIGGER!

New NTTD trailer emphasizes action, large stakes

No Time to Die poster

If you consider a trailer to be a spoiler, then leave now.

The new No Time to Die trailer debuted today. It emphasizes action and large stakes for the story.

Specifically, the 25th James Bond film is back to “saving the world” (or a substantial piece of it).

At one point, agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) says, “He’ll kill millions.” Bond (Daniel Craig) says, “If we don’t do this, there will be nothing left to save.”

Saving the world, at one time, was old hat in the Bond film series, with such films as You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Even somewhat smaller scale films such as A View to a Kill, GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies had storylines where the lives of millions were at stake.

The Daniel Craig era hasn’t gone down that path. While there was a lot of mayhem, the stakes involved preventing money from getting to terrorists, water rights, a grudge against M (Judi Dench) and being able to observe people.

The new trailer also demonstrates, briefly, that a special aircraft shown in a television ad that aired during the Super Bowl has even more capabilities. And there are references to past Craig films.

You can judge for yourself below if you haven’t seen it already.

UPDATE (8:02 a.m.): Around the 1:00-mark of the Italian trailer, Bond appears to refer to Nomi as “007.” h/t Jack Lugo, who spotted a tweet from @thricechampion. I’m advised the same thing is in the Spanish trailer.

Ana de Armas speaks in (another) new NTTD spot

No Time to Die is out with yet another new spot, this time the viewer finally gets to hear Ana de Armas’ speak.

In the 30-second commercial, de Armas’ Paloma character chides Daniel Craig’s James Bond for tardiness. “You’re late,” she says when the characters meet.

This marks the second time a woman character has put Craig/Bond in his place. In the first trailer, Lashana Lynch’s Nomi threatened to shoot him in the knee (“the one that works”) if Bond didn’t stay out of her way.

Also, M (Ralph Fiennes) is heard from a bit more. In a previous spot, he said, “Come on, Bond.” Now it’s, “Come on, Bond, where the hell are you?”

The spot is below if you want to view it for yourself.

Broccoli & Wilson talk up diversity in Bond films

Barbara Broccoli, boss of Eon Productions

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of Eon Productions have talked up how the James Bond film series has embraced diversity over its almost 58-year history in an interview with the Blackfilm website.

“We’ve always tried to have diversity in the films,” Wilson said in the interview.

“We’ve always had international casts, and they’ve all been different ethnicities,” Wilso added. “So it’s nothing new. However, people are more sensitive to what they want to see, and when they see it — they point it out. I think we have a great diverse cast from all over the world. It’s in keeping with the times, but I think we’ve always been a little ahead of the times.”

Barbara Broccoli added the following: “Look at Live and Let Die, which was 1973. It was one of the first interracial relationships, Bond with Gloria Hendry. I mean, it’s crazy.”

Fact check: In Dr. No, Sean Connery’s Bond told Quarrel to “fetch my shoes.” This occurred seven years after the Montgomery bus boycott (a major event in the U.S. civil rights movement) and hasn’t aged well since.

What’s more, Live And Let Die screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz got shot down when he proposed that Solitaire (Jane Seymour in the movie) be played by an African American actress. So Bond films weren’t that ahead of the times. (Soliaire was written as a white woman in Ian Fleming’s novel.)

Broccoli also talked about Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas:

“These women have trained like you can’t imagine. They are absolutely in tip-top, peak condition, and they could take anyone on. It is not just strength; it’s flexibility. Your muscles have to be in good condition, you have to be able to stop and start. So it’s a constant training thing. And then they have weapons training. They have to look like they know how to shoot a weapon, and you want them to be safe, and you want them to look good. It’s been a long, intensive training program for both of them.”

Broccoli also talked up how No Time to Die ties up the Daniel Craig era for Bond films.

“I think the story is really an accumulation of the past four films and this one. So the five-film cycle, and I think the arc of his character — particularly the emotional arc of his character, is completed. We feel it’s a very satisfying conclusion to his movies; hopefully, the audiences will too.”

No Time to Die spot airs during Super Bowl

A 30-second commercial for No Time to Die aired late during the second quarter of the Super Bowl.

Much of the footage in the spot was different than the first trailer for the movie that debuted in early December. One scene involved Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Lashana Lynch’s Nomi in some kind of unusual aircraft.

The commercial promised, “THIS APRIL…THE 25TH FILM…WILL CHANGE…EVERYTHING.” In between there were scenes from the movie.

Super Bowl commercials aired on the broadcast by the Fox television network cost more than $5 million each for 30 seconds.

Shortly after the spot aired, the official James Bond account on Twitter put out a post that embedded the commercial.

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UPDATE (8:20 p.m., New York time): The spot has now been posted to YouTube.

UPDATE II (8:45 p.m., New York time): Hans Zimmer puts out a tweet saying the commercial doesn’t have any of his music for the movie. He also says he’s working on the score with Steve Mazzaro. The latter is affiliated with Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions and scored Eon’s The Rhythm Section.

 

Broccoli & Wilson considered ‘shutting down’ B25: EW

Daniel Craig/James Bond character poster

Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson “considered shutting down” No Time to Die “entirely” after the film’s first director, Danny Boyle departed, Entertainment Weekly said, citing comments from Broccoli during an interview for a new EW story.

The entertainment publication didn’t provide additional details. It merely says the production continued after the producers met Cary Fukunaga, who got hired as the new director.

Eon Productions makes the Bond films and controls the franchise along with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. No Time to Die is being released by United Artists Releasing, a joint venture between MGM and Annapurna Pictures, in the U.S. with Universal internationally. Presumably those parties would have had to be consulted had a shutdown been ordered.

The movie originally had a fall 2019 release date. With Boyle’s departure because of “creative differences,” it was pushed back, first to February 2020 and finally to its current April 2020 release.

Some other details in the EW story:

–David Dencik plays a kidnapped scientist referenced in previously released plot summaries.

–Broccoli appears to deny that Lashana Lynch’s Nomi character received the 007 designation after Bond left MI6. “People write these theories without knowing,” Broccoli told EW. The Mail on Sunday reported in July 2019 that Nomi had been assigned the 007 code number in the film

UPDATE (4:55 p.m. New York time): Reader Jeffrey Westhoff notes that Brie Larson, star of Captain Marvel (where Lashana Lynch was a co-star) wrote a tweet in December where she believed Lynch’s character had the 007 code number.

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No Time to Die trailer debuts

If you consider a trailer an unforgivable spoiler, stop reading.

No Time to Die’s trailer — we can safely stop calling it a “teaser trailer” — debuted today. The 2:35 trailer may have answered some fan questions while raising new ones.

Confirmed: Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is a double-0 agent. More information: she and former agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) don’t get along, at least not at first.

“So stay in your lane,” she tells Bond. “If you get in my way, I will put a bullet in your knee — the one that works.”

Unconfirmed: Whether Nomi now has the 007 code number following Bond’s departure. There is a scene in the trailer where M (Ralph Fiennes) asks, “Where’s 007?” That would be a perfect setup to introduce Nomi as having Bond’s old code number — if the filmmakers choose to do so.

Seemingly confirmed: Christoph Waltz is back as Blofeld and is visited in prison by Bond. Given the franchise’s embrace of continuity, it looks pretty certain he is playing Blofeld again. He taunts Bond about Madeline Swann.

New question: What happened between Bond and Swann (Lea Seydoux) after the end of SPECTRE?

A number of scenes indicate the relationship between Bond and Swann got rocky, with questions about secrets.

New question: What is Rami Malek’s villain character up to?

That’s not really answered but there are a few intriguing lines from Malek’s character.

In the U.S., the trailer was unveiled on ABC’s Good Morning America show. Afterward, some of the main cast were interviewed but said little.

Lea Seydoux said Swann has secrets (which we knew already from the trailer). Lashana Lynch said Daniel Craig is her favorite James Bond (joining Rami Malek and director Cary Fukunaga who made that declaration previously). Malek said it was an honor to work with Craig. At least that talking point remains consistent.

Here’s the trailer:

UPDATE (12: 30 p.m., New York Time): I had a chance to re-watch the Good Morning America interview. Director Fukunaga says No Time to Die “carries on the tradition of the previous four films…We’re trying our best to wrap them up in a really exciting way.” He also says he hopes new generations discover Bond.

UPDATE (1:40 p.m. New York time): It turns out the entire No Time to Die segment on Good Morning America was sponsored by MGM. In other words, it was an informercial.

NTTD-GMA-MGM

 

No Time to Die character posters unveiled

No Time to Die logo

Character posters for No Time to die were unveiled on Twitter this morning U.S. time.

The posters were contained in three tweets. The first had Daniel Craig in character as Bond and Lea Seydoux as Madeline Swann. The second featured Rami Malek as Safin and Lashana Lynch as Nomi.

The third had Ben Whishaw as Q and Ana de Armas as Paloma. No sign yet (as of this writing) of Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter or Ralph Fiennes as M.

Here are the tweets:

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Bond 25 questions: The trailer edition

No Time to Die logo

h/t @CorneelVF for a tweet that got me thinking about this.

James Bond fans may finally get to see the first trailer for No Time to Die next week. Naturally, the blog has some questions.

Is this the teaser trailer we heard about back in August?

In August, the James Bond & Friends podcast referenced a rough cut, or preliminary version, of a teaser trailer for No Time to Die.

However, a finished version of that trailer — whatever it contained — has yet to be shown. Meanwhile, the MI6 James Bond website, which produces James Bond & Friends, reported this week the trailer will go online Dec. 4 or 5, depending on what time zone you’re in.

If that comes to be, will this be the same trailer? Or will it be different?

What makes you ask that?

In August, there was still a lot to be be filmed. In late August, filming began in Matera, Italy, involving replica Aston Martin DB5s and other vehicles in a car chase. That got a lot of exposure thanks to tourists taking smartphone videos.

What’s more, filming ended in late October. So there is a lot of footage available to update the trailer — if the filmmakers decide to do so. At this point, there’s no way to know for sure.

Do you think we’ll really see a trailer (updated or not)?

Walt Disney Television, which owns ABC, put out a press release about guests who will be appearing on Good Morning America next week.

On Dec. 4, No Time to Die’s Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and director Cary Fukunaga are listed as scheduled guests. It would appear to be a natural their appearance would come at the same time as the trailer.

Also, in late April, there was a segment about the movie on Good Morning America. Anyway, we’ll see how it plays out next week.

Lynch’s Nomi may be 001 instead of 007, tabloid says

Lashana Lynch publicity still released during April “reveal” event in Jamaica

The tabloids never sleep. The Mail on Sunday (Sunday edition of The Daily Mail) is out with a story saying that Lashana Lynch’s character in No Time to Die may have a code number of 001 instead of 007.

Here’s the key excerpt:

However, plans for her (Lynch) to become the first black, female 007 – taking over the codename from (Daniel) Craig’s Bond after he retires – could be scrapped after a social-media backlash. Sources say she is now likely to get another agent number, 001.

This possibility has caused a lot of angst on social media among Bond fans. As recently as a Nov. 6 Hollywood Reporter feature story on Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas said Nomi having the 007 code number was still the plan.

There’s a lot of the usual tabloid stuff with the new story. For example, the headline says declares No Time to Die is the “wokest” James Bond film.