Why nobody should be surprised that ‘nothing is happening’

Naomie Harris in Moonlight

Naomie Harris in Moonlight

Naomie Harris caused some buzz in 007-land this week after giving an interview with Total Film that got summarized in the UK tabloid Mirror.

According to the story, the actress wanted to find out from Eon Productions what was going on with Bond 25. Here’s the key excerpt:

Even though she is part of the 007 franchise, Naomie admits she has equally been drawn into speculation about who will be Bond in the next film, though producers have insisted to her they are not even thinking about the project yet.

(snip)

“I met them recently and said, ‘What’s going on guys? Because everybody keeps asking me.’ I was believing the hype. I was like, ‘Is it Tom Hiddleston? What’s going on?’ They were like, ‘Naomie, nothing is happening.’ Because they’re doing another film at the moment. They were like, ‘We are focusing on this film. We have nothing to do with that.’ “

Nobody should be surprised. Why? Because if we were within a year of production starting, more would be happening.

Some recent history. The Deadline: Hollywood website first reported in January 2010 that Eon was considering Sam Mendes to direct the then-untitled Bond 23.

The project got delayed by the bankruptcy that year of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio. But the movie was a go again by January 2011 — 10 months before it began filming.

Later THAT SAME MONTH, Deadline reported that Eon was considering casting Javier Bardem in the film. Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail reported in February 2011 that Ralph Fiennes was in talks to join the cast. Harris’ own casting in the film was reported by the now-defunct News of the World in June 2011.

In other words, months before filming began, news about the director and cast began to appear. The story was similar with 2015’s SPECTRE, which had an announced writer in November 2012 and a release date and director (Mendes again) announced in July 2013.

With Bond 25, there’s no director, no script (as far as anyone knows) and no cast, including a confirmed James Bond. Daniel Craig, who turns 49 in March, has said he’d miss playing Bond but hasn’t actually said he’ll do it again.

Oh, and there’s no studio to release Bond 25. MGM is too small to distribute Bond films and has no studio partner lined up yet. Sony Pictures has released the past four 007 films.

Many fans are hopeful that Bond 25 can make a fall 2018 release date. But there are no signs Eon is gearing up. Eon boss Barbara Broccoli produced Craig’s now-concluded Othello play. She is working on a non-Bond film (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) and another play, based on the life of studio mogul Robert Evans.

At this point, there is no sign of the kind of activity that precedes a Bond movie. So the quotes from Harris ought not be surprising. If Eon and MGM showed more urgency a 2018 release date could still happen. But there’s no sign of such urgency.

New U.N.C.L.E. movie image emerges

Total Film in its February has a short article about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie as part of a 2015 movie preview. It includes a still of Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

Total Film doesn’t have the image ON ITS WEBSITE. However, @LaneyBoggs2001 on Twitter did a scan.

The HENRY CAVILL NEWS and COMIC BOOK MOVIE sites did posts featuring the image

Bond 24, according to Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris with her Skyfall co-stars in November 2011

Naomie Harris with her Skyfall co-stars in November 2011

As noted before, nature abhors a vacuum. So with little actual news about Bond 24, the next 007 film, recent comments by actress Naomie Harris have drawn a lot of attention. Afterall, she’s the only one associated with the movie who’s been talking much lately.

Harris has been promoting a movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. In that film, she co-stars with Idris Elba, who plays Nelson Mandela. But naturally, the subject of Bond 24 keeps coming up.

One of the most recent was in THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD. In that article, she said, “I haven’t seen a script.”

She then added: “Knowing Barbara [Broccoli, the producer], she’s all for women’s lib, isn’t she? She’s extraordinary; she’s completely reinvented the brand, yet kept so true to the essence of what people love about Bond. So I’m sure I won’t be just behind a desk. Or even if I’m behind the desk, there’ll be some twist.”

Earlier this month, she opened up on the subject in a TOTAL FILM INTERVIEW.

“I feel like Skyfall is one part of a continuing story,” the 37-year-old Brit says. “It needs completing and it needs the same storyteller.”

With Sam Mendes on board to direct Bond 24, it looks like Harris should get her wish.

(snip)
“I’m so relieved [about Mendes returning]. He chose me and had a vision for my character.

“I’d feel really weird working for someone who hadn’t chosen me and didn’t have that vision. I just want him to see it through.”

It’s not clear exactly she means by Skyfall elements that need completing. Skyfall’s villain, Silva, died while succeeding in killing Judi Dench’s M. Perhaps she means Skyfall’s ending (new M, new Moneypenny) provides a new springboard for Bond 24.

Or perhaps not. We’ll see.