Bond 25 questions: The miscellaneous edition

“I want to see No Time to Die right now!”

Well, we keep getting new No Time to Die promos. Does that mean we’ll really, really get to see the 25th James Bond film in November?

Naturally, the blog has questions.

So is the movie really coming out in November?

Well, the various promos would have you believe that. New posters. A new promotional video from Omega. A new promotional video from Eon Productions featuring Rami Malek’s Safin villain.

So you’re saying yes, right?

I’m saying maybe.

What? Why?

We’re a little under 60 days from the U.S. release date for No Time to Die. The U.K. premiere date is before that.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t announced until March 4 that No Time to Die’s early April release date was pushed back to November. (The world premiere had been scheduled for March 31, just 27 days later).

So, there’s still time for yet another delay to be announced.

Oh come on! You’re being a Debbie Downer! Aren’t you?

Let’s just say the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which led to the April-to-November delay is still out there.

The coronavirus remains a big factor in the U.S. and U.K. If you look at the COVID-19 site maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the virus is still pretty widespread.

Meanwhile, other studios, including Walt Disney Co., are delaying 2020 releases into 2021. Disney’s Marvel Studios, for example, has delayed its Black Widow movie yet again, this time to May 2021

Those studios may be influenced by Warner Bros.’s Tenet, the first big theater release during the pandemic.

Anything to add?

Well, if No Time to Die sticks with its November release date, it will have less competition.

UPDATE (Sept. 25): The Wall Street Journal has a story today about how major theater chains are looking to No Time to Die to deliver customers.

At least MGM still seems committed to a November release of its latest James Bond movie, the aptly named “No Time to Die.” Any sign that the suave spy’s schedule also is slipping would be terrible news for Cineworld and its U.S. peers AMC and Cinemark.

Omega promo provides additional NTTD shots

If you’re spoiler averse, leave now. 

Omega today released an online promotional video for No Time to Die. The promo provided some shots not seen in previous trailers and television spots.

The main addition is a quick exchange between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Q (Ben Whishaw). There’s also a hint that Bond will have an Omega that does more than tell time.

Naturally, the promo has a number of insert shots of Omega watches.

The thing to remember is that trailers and promotional videos sometimes have material that’s not in the final film.

Here’s the video

The No Time to Die hype train gets a full head of steam

Daniel Craig/James Bond character poster

The No Time to Die hype train is out of the station and is getting a full head of steam.

The latest example: The New York Times tells us that star Daniel Craig “helped design the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition he wears in the film. The watch is made of lightweight titanium and has what the brand describes as tropical brown detailing.”

Just a few months ago, Neiman Marcus offered for sale seven limited-edition Aston Martin cars (at $700,007 each) “designed by 007 himself, DANIEL CRAIG.”

Move over, Leonardo da Vinci (painter, sculptor, scientist, philosopher, engineer),  Michelango (sculptor, painter, architect, poet), Benjamin Franklin (inventor, writer, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States).

Daniel Craig is the new Renaissance Man, according to the publicity buildup for the 25th James Bond film.

Craig knows watches. He knows cars. Just look at the press releases and announcements.

All of this on top of being the best James Bond actor ever (Eon boss Barbara Broccoli during a December 2017 podcast with The Hollywood Reporter and No Time to Die Director Cary Fukunaga during an April publicity event in Jamaica.)

For a time, No Time to Die seemed to quiet on the publicity front. Clearly, that’s not the case now.

UPDATE (1:36 p.m., Feb. 20): Add stunt coordination to Daniel Craig’s Renaissance Man credentials. In a story by Esquire, there’s this passage:

“Integral to the shoot was Daniel Craig’s stunt driver Mark Higgins. He’s been working on Bond since Quantum of Solace, and it’s him razzing the stunt DB5 along the cobbles of Matera and doing the machine gun donut at the end of the trailer. A move he actually gives joint credit to none other than Daniel Craig himself.”

The James Bond watch culture

Daniel Craig’s 007 wearing an Omega watch. .

Over Thanksgiving, Phil Nobile Jr., editor in chief of Fangoria magazine, had an interesting thread of tweets (which begins with this tweet) about the James Bond watch culture.

Usually, the watches worn by Bond are on screen only briefly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t enthusiasm for the subject.

“The @007 wristwatch collector scene is an often obsessive corner of fandom,” Nobile wrote in the first tweet. “A subculture that trades in detail, screencaps and ref. numbers.”

Indeed. While Nobile provided many examples, there’s a lot more detail to be had.

Do a Google search for “websites about James Bond watches,” and various websites and articles will pop up.

One example is an article from Esquire earlier this year titled “The Definitive Ranking of James Bond’s watches.”

Another is from Watch Time magazine titled “James Bond Watches: The Complete Movie Timeline.”

In 2017, the Timepiece Chronicle weighed in with “In Depth: All the Watches of James Bond: Dr. No to Spectre.”

Meanwhile, take a spin around YouTube and you’ll find a number of videos on the subjects. Here are just a couple. This one is from “Armand The Watch Guy.”

Here’s another one from The Bond Experience.

Omega Seamaster Co-Axial 300 M: Commemorating 50 years of James Bond films

With special thanks to our good friend Dell Deaton, it is a pleasure to release information about the new Omega Seamaster watch commemorating 50 years of James Bond films. Visit Dell’s twitter account here for additional information and more photographs.

TimeZone.com has the official press release here

No price communicated as of yet. Below are pics. (Click to enlarge.)

Note the diamond at the seven on the dial, the “50” in red on the chronometer, and the use of Binder’s gun-barrel design on the back.

Cool, and understated. Just the way HMSS likes it. Well done.

The HMSS Editors

A brief (incomplete) 007 product placement history

So, Bond 23 will have a record amount of product placement, according to the Sunday Times. Agent 007 isn’t exactly a virgin when it comes to the subject.

In Bond’s debut film adventure, you could see Smirnoff vodka and Red Stripe beer. Then again, Dr. No only had a $1 million budget and was modestly budgeted. The brand name referneces reflected what you’d see in a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming.

Things picked up with the third 007 film, Goldfinger. There were vehicles from Ford Motor Co. (Tilly’s Mustang, Felix Leiter’s Thunderbird, the Ford trucks in Goldfinger’s convoy going to Fort Knox and the Lincoln Continental where gangster Mr. Solo had his “pressing engagement”). Not to mention Gillette shaving products and Kentucky Fried Chicken, evidently Felix’s favorite fast food place while maintaining survellence on criminal masterminds. The film’s director, Guy Hamilton, had this to say to film historian Adrian Turner:

I used to get a little bit angry when Harry (Saltzman) used to come on the set. In the plane scene with Pussy Galore, when Bond haves, the whole thing was a Gillette exercise. You never saw anything like it. There was Gillette foam, Gillette aftershave…I said, ‘Harry what are you doing? It’s eight in the morning, the crew haven’t arrived and your’e dressing a set?’ He’d done a deal with Gillette and we were going to get sixpence to use their stuff.”
(Adrian Turner on Goldfinger, 1998, pages 158-59)

With Thunderball, Ford was even more out in force: Fiona Volpe’s Mustang, not one but two Lincoln Continentals and Count Lippe’s aging Ford Fairlane. Ford did a promotional film, “How to Blow Up a Motor Car,” and Henry Ford II, then the CEO of Ford had a cameo in the movie. For You Only Live Twice, Japanese financial titans had an impact, including television monitors by Sony and Aki’s Toyota (not orignally a convertible but it was transformed into one).

Ford was back in Oh Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Tracy’s Mercury Cougar) and Diamonds Are Forever (Tiffany Case’s Mustang that Bond drove to great effect). GM managed to get its Chevrolet division as the primary auto supplier for Live And Let Die but it appears only one type of model could be supplied. The Man With The Golden Gun had the only 007 appearance for American Motors (later absorbed by Chrysler).

Moonraker is remembered by some fans for excessive product placement. A long Rio sequence has multiple referneces to 7 Up, British Airways and Marlboro cigarettes (including the use of Elmer Bernstein’s theme for The Magnifcent Seven, which Marlboro would use for television commercials in the 1960s). United Artists initially hoped to make the movie for $20 million. The budget came in closer to $35 million, so it’s not much of a stretch to speculate the product placement was a way of finding alternative sources of funding.

Three Pierce Brosnan 007 films (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough) featured BMW cars.

But Ford once again entered the world of 007. For 2002’s Die Another Day. At that time, Ford had a collection of European luxury brands (including Aston Martin, a long-time 007 favorite), so DAD was a way to promote all of the brands, including a Land Rover SUV that took villain Gustav Graves to Buckingham Palace. Ford even managed to get in a couple of shots of its then-new Thunderbird two-seat car driven by U.S. agent Jinx (Halle Berry) to a big party given by Graves.

The Daniel Craig era has again seen Aston Martin make a splash and Omega watches even got mentioned in a dramatic scene between Bond and Vesper Lynd (Eva Green).

The Sunday Times reported that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony, which are co-financiing Bond 23, want to generate $45 million, or about a third, of Bond 23’s production budget from product placement fees. We’ll see how it goes. The Bond 23 filmmakers will probably get the money. The question is how obvious the product placement will be.