The final title card in 2015’s Spectre made a promise: “James Bond Will Return.” Which was true, but luckily no one promised when he’d return. The release date has been in question ever since.
A new trailer No Time to Die arrived on Tuesday to herald the actual serious really, really real final theatrical release of the 25th Eon-approved James Bond film. Set for October, the big-budget spy film will reportedly be the final 007 mission for star Daniel Craig.
And what a road it’s been: Originally eyed as a major 2019 release, production snafus forced Eon to bump a year. When Eon eventually locked down a cast and director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), the company set a release date for April 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and like every tentpole on Hollywood, No Time to Die was caught in release limbo. The movie jumped to November 2020, then April 2021, then November 2021, then eventually moved up to October 2021. Throughout, rumors swirled that a streaming giant like Netflix, Amazon, or Apple might swoop in to distribute the picture digitally. But longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson remained committed to theatrical distribution. And while the proliferation of vaccines and a surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases have created a cloud of uncertainty for moviegoing (Sony’s Venom 2 recently pivoted from a September to October release to buy some time), we’re finally, finally, finally getting this damn Bond movie.
No Time to Die picks up with 007 during some downtime in Jamaica. He’s no longer in active service, but life has a way of reeling the super spy back in. As we learned from a bit of the long-lead press timed to previous release dates, the SPECTRE organization will be heavily involved with the plot of the 25th Bond movie, with Christoph Waltz returning as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But Rami Malek, who would have been riding the wave of his Oscar win for 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody if the movie had arrived in time, is the true villain of the moment, a scarred mask-wearing evildoer named Safrin. Returning for the film 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 Mr. White character. The film also stars Lashana Lynch as a new “00” agent.
For all the delays, No Time to Die will likely be a Bond movie worthy of the biggest screens. Along with Jamaica, Fukunaga and his crew traveled to Norway, Italy, and London to film a number of set pieces using 65mm film cameras, primed for IMAX projection. Now all the movie needs to do is come out in theaters on time. We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bond...
No Time to Die hits theaters on Oct. 8.