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Masterminds behind James Bond 25 reveal full cast, first plot details

Daniel Craig is back in a sequel from the director of True Detective

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in Skyfall Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Like all 007 missions, the end of 2015’s Spectre made a promise: “James Bond will return.”

And so he will: On Thursday morning, in a livestream event hosted beachside in GoldenEye, Jamaica, the island destination at which writer Ian Fleming wrote his first 007 novel, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson welcomed Daniel Craig back to the role of Bond for the 25th installment.

Also confirmed as returning to the cast are Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, Jeffrey Wright as CIA agent Felix Leiter, and French actress Lea Seydoux, who co-starred in Spectre as Dr. Madeleine Swann, daughter of the mysterious Mr. White character.

Suiting back up as Bond in the 2020 release seals Craig’s legacy; the 51-year-old leading man is now the actor to have remained in the franchise the longest, outlasting Roger Moore, who held the mantle for 4,526 days over his seven sequels.

In a huge coup for the franchise, Bond 25 will pit actor Rami Malek against Craig’s Bond. After gaining notoriety for his role on USA’s Mr. Robot, Malek won an Oscar earlier this year for his work as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. The film earned over $896 million worldwide.

Also joining the cast are Billy Magnussen (Game Night, Netflix’s Maniac), Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049), David Dencik (Top of the Lake), Dali Benssalah (A Faithful Man), and Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel).

Details were scarce on exactly what Bond will be up to on his next mission — the production just moved from Norway to Jamaica — but we know where we pick up with the spy after fallout from his encounter with Spectre and Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld.

“Bond is not on active service when we start the film, so he’s actually enjoying himself in Jamaica,” Broccoli said. “We consider Jamaica Bond’s spiritual home.” The producers also revealed a first look at 007’s island bungalow.

jame bond jamaica home EON Productions

An official synopsis issued after the livestream adds a little more context:

[Bond’s] 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.

Principal photography on Bond 25 begins April 28, under the eye of director Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation). Along with Norway and Jamaica, the production will also shoot in Italy and London. IMAX confirmed after the presentation that a portion of the film will also be shot on the company’s 15 perf 65mm film cameras, a first for the franchise.

Veteran Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the original draft, with Fukunaga, Scott Burns (Contagion), and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) contributing to the finished version.

While no official release date was announced, the film is expected to hit theaters on April 8, 2020.