Dan Romer talks (briefly) about NTTD

Dan Romer talked very, very briefly about his involvement on No Time to Die on season 4, episode 9 of Score the Podcast.

The composer got into few specifics. He was retained for a time to compose the score for the 25th James Bond film. He was replaced by Hans Zimmer and his fellow composers.

Among the few comments about the Bond film by Romer were these:

“That film was essentially me and my old friend (NTTD diector) Cary Fukunanga. Cary and I will continue to work together. That situation was really amicable at the end. Everybody is trying to do the right thing.”

Romer seemed to indicate the Bond experience was not a bad one.

“You can’t let that kind of stuff stop you from being creative,” he said. “At the end of the day, you’re an artist and you’re making art.

“I don’t announce a job generally until right before it’s coming out,” he added. “The Bond thing leaked….You never know how things are going to go.”

You can listen to the entire episode by CLICKING HERE. Go about one hour, 40 minutes and you’ll get to the brief exchange about No Time to Die.

h/t to reader Patrick Donahue

Bond 25 questions: The unanswered questions edition

Scott Z. Burns

With the debut of the final U.S. and international trailers for No Time to Die, a majority of James Bond fans are jacked up. It’s less than a month before the world premiere.

Admittedly, the blog’s attention is wondering to unanswered questions — which may never be answered. So here goes.

What did Scott Z. Burns contribute to the script? Burns is a high-priced “script doctor” who brought in to work on the script a few months before filming began.

Eon Productions briefly referenced Burns’ participation. Here was a tweet from Eon’s official James Bond feed on Twitter on April 25, 2019.

However, after the Writer’s Guild of America weighed in, Burns was out. Burns is highly paid. It’s doubtful the scribe did nothing.

How much of the score *really* is by Hans Zimmer and how much is by Steve Mazzaro (and others)?

In the advertising materials, we’re told, “Music by Hans Zimmer.” But Zimmer is on record that his colleague Steve Mazzaro did a lot of the work and should get top billing on the music credit. Of course, Zimmer is more of a brand than a composer. Most fans will ignore this, but the blog remains interested.

Why was Dan Romer, the original No Time to Die composer, sent packing?

Romer had worked with director Cary Fukunaga on other projects. Romer was listed as No Time to Die’s composer for a time. Then, all of a sudden, his name was gone. Zimmer’s name was his place.

The conventional wisdom is that Romer’s work was too “out there.” OK, but what does that mean? For that matter, is Zimmer & Co.’s replacement score truly a “Bond” score, a la John Barry, or is it a typical Zimmer piece of work?

How much input did Eon’s Michael G. Wilson have with No Time to Die?

For the better part of a decade, Eon boss Barbara Broccoli has been depicted as *the* leader of the Eon effort. Her half-brother, 18 years her senior, doesn’t get mentioned that much.

Is that true? Is he just collecting a paycheck? Is he taking it easy these days. Or did he make significant contributions to the project.

Questions, questions.

M:I 7 gets pushed back further into 2022

Tom Cruise

Mission: Impossible 7 is being moved further back into 2022 as Paramount opted to delay two Tom Cruise movies.

The studio pushed back Tom Gun: Maverick to Memorial Day weekend 2022, with M:I 7 now slated for Sept. 30 of next year. M:I 7 previously had the Memorial Day date.

The seventh M:I adventure has had its share of delays stemming from COVID-19. The original plan was to have M:I 7 and 8 film back-to-back and then be released in 2021 and 2022. But that idea was abandoned early this year.

Both M:I 7 and 8 are being directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who helped Cruise’s two previous Mission: Impossible movies.

The M:I series in the past decade has drawn attention for its stunts, which have star-producer Cruise as an active participant. Also, M:I had been coming out more frequently (three films from 2011 through 2018) than James Bond movies (two entries in the 2010s) before the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 had an impact on both. No Time to Die has been delayed three times because of the coronavirus. But those all took place after principal photography was completed. M:I 7 has had delays in the midst of filming. This week, it was announced No Time to Die will proceed with a Sept. 30 release in the U.K. (and other countries) with an Oct. 8 U.S. release.

Exhibitor Relations Co., which tracks box office data, made observations on social media.

The move also means M:I 7 won’t be out until the seemingly ageless Cruise turns 60 on July 3, 2022.

Bond 25 questions: Are we set for real?

No Time to Die poster from some time ago

No Time to Die’s final international and U.S. trailers are out. After five delays, it would seem the 25th James Bond film is a lock to come out soon.

Naturally, the blog has questions.

Is this really it?

No Time to Die is scheduled to come out on Sept. 30 in the U.K. (and other countries). It’s scheduled to come out in the U.S. on Oct. 8. There are 28 days before the movie’s world premiere. There are likely fewer days before movie reviewers get to see it to do their reviews.

It would seem to be more than difficult to push it back a sixth time (twice because Danny Boyle was replaced as director, three times because of COVID-19).

Still some Bond fans recall this image from the Peanuts comic strip.

Many Bond fans won’t believe it until they’re in the theater watching No Time to Die.

What does this tell us?

It tells us there’s a limit how many times you can kick a movie down the road. At least that’s what studios (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Universal) as well as production companies (Eon Productions, which makes Bond films) apparently have concluded.

But is this the best time to release movies?

No. COVID-19 became a factor in early 2020. The pandemic has become more complicated as the virus has evolved. Viruses do that. At the same time, the money types evidently have concluded, at least in No Time to Die’s case, this has gone as far as it can.

Any other thoughts? I will repeat something I’ve said multiple times. No Time to Die was conceived in one era — studios could spend a ridiculous amount of money but get bailed out if the films generated billion-dollar global box office results.

That was supposed to happen with No Time to Die. Skyfall had a $1.1 billion global box office. SPECTRE fell short. But No Time to Die was intended to be the climax of the Daniel Craig era for Bond.

At this point, a $1 billion box office for No Time to Die seems a distant dream. The money people, it would seem, have decided to get what they squeeze from the production.

NTTD’s final U.S. trailer emphasizes Craig-era saga

No Time to Die’s final U.S. trailer debuted today, with an emphasis of the movie being part of a bigger saga featuring star Daniel Craig.

The trailer includes scenes and lines from some of Craig’s previous Bond films, including black-and-white scenes from Casino Royale (2006) where Bond got the kills needed to become a 00-agent.

Taglines in the trailer include: “And Every Mission…Every Sacrifice…Has Led Him…To This.” Later in the trailer, No Time to Die is referred to as “The Epic Conclusion.”

The trailer also has a bit more, but not a lot, about the plot by villain Safin (Rami Malek). Craig’s Bond says something about how “the people become the weapon.” Safin himself says, “Life is all about leaving something behind, isn’t it?”

Multiple YouTube outlets distributed the trailer. This is the YouTube video posted by We Got This Covered. The trailer was also posted at the Eon Productions James Bond YouTube channel.

Separately, the official Twitter feed of Eon Productions said a documentary about Craig’s Tenure as Bond, Being James Bond, will be on Apple TV on Sept. 7.

UPDATE (11:42 a.m. New York time): Universal put out the final international trailer.

Bond 25 questions: The marketing & box office edition

No Time to Die logo

We’re a month away from No Time to Die being released in the U.K. It appears the 25th James Bond film is done with delays and ready to confront the COVID-19 pandemic head on. Naturally, the blog has questions.

What’s the movie’s global box office going to be?

In the pandemic era, the movie with the largest global box office total is F9: The Fast Saga at about $704 million. Can No Time to Die match or exceed that? Naturally, Bond fans think so. But box office totals depend on more than hard-core fans.

What are the marketing dynamics?

To begin with, it’s a three-headed monster.

–You have Eon Productions, which makes the movies. Eon’s Michael G. Wilson said in 2015 that the company really manages the marketing. The distributors just execute Eon’s plan.

“We create it, they execute it,” Wilson said at that time.

–You have Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio, which foots the bills. No Time to Die is being distributed in North America by United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of MGM and Annapurna Pictures.

–You have Universal, which is distributing the film internationally. Supposedly, Universal was selected because of its track record, which included turning The Fast and the Furious series into a $1 billion per film juggernaut per film prior to COVID-19. In that case, Universal ran the whole show. Now it’s dealing with another studio and a strong-willed production company.

On Aug. 24, Vulture, the arts website of New York magazine, had a story about the difficulty in scheduling movies amid COVID-19. It quoted someone it identified only as ” a person with knowledge of business practices at Eon.

“They’ve lost so much money by moving [No Time to Die]; the marketing has gotten stale,” this person says. “The Broccolis care more about the U.K. than anything — making it a big hit in the U.K., a decent hit in the U.S. and the rest of the world.” (emphasis added)

If true, it’d be interesting to know what MGM/United Artists Releasing thinks about that. It’d also be interesting to get the view of Universal, responsible for a lot more than just the U.K.

Anything to be on the lookout for?

The marketing is gearing up. Some commercials have run recently. Assuming there isn’t another delay (there have been five to date), we’ll be getting to judge the marketing efforts for ourselves.

Harris reinforces her status as Bond film ambassador

Naomie Harris introduces the Lego Aston Martin DB5 in 2018

Namomie Harris, yet again, has reinforced her status as the ambassador for the James Bond film franchise.

For years, that status belonged to Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven movies from 1973 to 1985. Long after that, he appeared on TV specials and in other appearances on behalf of the franchise.

Since Moore’s death, Harris — who made her Bond film debut in 2012’s Skyfall — has done the heavy lifting in Bond promotion. In 2019, she was at a promotional event in Jamaica for No Time to Die despite how none of her scenes in the movie were filmed there. She has also shown up to promote things such as a Lego Aston Martin DB5.

All of that may seem strange. Harris is a supporting player. Since 2005, when he was first cast as Bond, Daniel Craig has been the star. But, let’s face it, promotion isn’t Craig’s strong point. One reason why Roger Moore reached people was his enthusiasm for the part — even after his departure — was evident.

Of those involved with the franchise, only Naomie Harris currently has a similar stature.

The official Eon Productions James Bond feed on Twitter featured a video of Harris today. You can see it below.

Lashana Lynch talks up Nomi to LAT

Lashana Lynch publicity still released during April 2019 “reveal” event in Jamaica

Lashana Lynch discussed her No Time to Die character, MI6 agent Nomi, in a feature story published today by the Los Angeles Times.

First things first, the story mentions something about the character in the first paragraph. I’m not sure if it actually qualifies as a spoiler at this point. But I’m going to leave it out for those who’ve managed to remain unaware of it.

“Nomi is a fine example of your modern-day woman who doesn’t take anything lying down and who gives everyone and anyone a run for their money,” Lynch told the Times. “Mentally, physically, energetically and spiritually, she has everything covered so that whatever questions you had about women and this franchise are shot down completely.”

Here are some other quotes from the Times article:

On some fan critics: “I don’t have anything to say to the trolls apart from it’s none of my business what you think, you have the freedom to live in your truth just like I have the freedom to live in mine.”

On Black women getting to see characters such as themselves: “We [Black women] know how it feels to be mis- and under-represented and we know how it feels to yearn for someone, anyone in the world to speak our truth for us when we feel like we don’t have a voice. And I’m hoping that my career and my choice in roles and me just being me, authentically, is shining a light on our power.”

Lynch’s description of the movie: “‘No Time to Die’ feels very much like a few genres in one. It’s kind of a feast for new cinema-goers who love classic cinema but love a throw forward so you’re keeping it fresh whilst respecting the classics.”

Bond 25 questions: Does anything matter outside the U.K.?

No Time to Die poster

Eon Productions last week said No Time to Die will come out on Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 in the U.S. Do James Bond movies, as the series 60th anniversary approaches, matter much beyond the U.K.?

Vulture, the arts website of New York magazine, seems to have come to that conclusion. Naturally, the blog has questions.

Can this remotely be true?

Vulture didn’t pull any punches in an Aug. 24 report.

According to a person with knowledge of business practices at Eon, everyone’s expectations there have been adjusted downward.

“They’ve lost so much money by moving [No Time to Die]; the marketing has gotten stale,” the person says. “The Broccolis care more about the U.K. than anything — making it a big hit in the U.K., a decent hit in the U.S. and the rest of the world.” (emphasis added)

There are certainly old-time Bond fans — that live in the U.K. and boast of having seen Goldfinger first-run in the theater while also saying the U.S. and other markets don’t matter — who feel that way. But they don’t actually manage the franchise. (They just think they do.)

In this day and age, a global film franchise needs, well, global support.

So what may be happening?

Here’s how Vulture views it:

When it comes to Bond, Eon is crossing its fingers that the audience comfort level shoots up above 81 percent again and is “hoping for the $700, $800 [million] range,” the source close to the company says. “There’s no way they’re going to get there. But there may be some cover: ‘We probably weren’t going to do a huge number. We can blame COVID, do some business in the U.S., and move on.’”

Well, let’s keep this in mind:

NTTD footage shown at CinemaCon

One of the many No Time to Die posters

Some No Time to Die Footage was shown at CinemaCon, a gathering for theater owners.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hasn’t been at CinemaCon for 20 years, according to Deadline: Hollywood.. Another entertainment site, The Wrap, had a more detailed description of the No Time to Die footage shown. (Avoid if you don’t like spoilers.). Most of this describes footage seen in previous trailers.

In the footage, Daniel Craig’s Bond wakes up on top of a building, disoriented, and the sound is muffled. Calling someone on the phone seems fruitless, so Bond begins to run through the city only to be on the receiving end of gunfire from Spectre agents. He ropes himself off the side of a bridge to escape, but he soon runs into the people chasing him. A fight ensues in typical Bond fashion.

Next, we see Bond with Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, and Bond asks her how Spectre knew he was in the city. He thinks she betrayed her, and there’s nothing she can say to persuade him otherwise. The two get into a beautiful vintage Aston Martin that Bond fans will recognize as the DB5 from “Goldfinger,” with all of Q’s weapons included. However, it unfortunately gets completely destroyed by gunfire in the middle of a town square by the Spectre agents..

Eon Productions, which makes the Bond films, last week confirmed No Time to Die’s world premiere will be Sept. 28. The 25th James Bond film is scheduled to debut Sept. 30 in the U.K. and other countries and Oct 8 in the U.S.