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Bond 25 Production Diary: Pheobe Waller-Bridge hired to strenghten female characters & humour
James Bond will return on April 8th 2020
This is the forum's dedicated Bond 25 production thread, where all facets of production will be discussed. Below is a comprehensive timeline of events including news, rumours, and announcements pertaining to the forthcoming Bond film beginning from 2015:
The thread rules are as follows
Any major spoilers regarding Bond 25 (i.e. character deaths, plot material, etc.), MUST BE IN SPOILER TAGS. Should the script leak (let's hope it never comes to that), no content of those leaks may ever be discussed or linked in this thread.
Official (statements from EON/MGM directly related to B25): ***
Confirmed (fact-based items/statements from trusted sources): ***
Uncertain (items from uncertain sources and/or with uncertain results): ***
Debunked (items proven incorrect): ***
Potential spoilers below
(Due to the forum's character limit, the 2015
sections can be found below on page 1)
->Naomie Harris meets with Bond producers, who reiterate that all gears are shifted towards non-Bond productions
->Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade weigh in on Bond's place in the current political climate, and avoid ruling out the possibility of penning another Bond screenplay
->Eon Productions acquire a Bell UHD-1D vintage helicopter from the Saxony-Anhalt aviation museum in Germany, to be flown to Heathrow on Feb. 9.
->The helicopter is to be used 'specifically for the next Bond film.'
->Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye tweets to user @Pierce2Daniel; says B25 is 'a long, long way off,' when asked where the franchise currently stood
->Further signs point to Craig's return when Othello co-star David Oyelowo responds to Stephen Colbert's claim that he has indeed gone. "We don't know that (...) I've been in a dressing room with him for three months, so I don't know about that."
->The mayor of Dubrovnik, Croatia confirms that EON is in "advanced talks" with officials about featuring the city in B25
->Reliable Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye reports that six-time Bond scribes Neal Purvis & Robert Wade have been commissioned to pen the script for B25, while Daniel Craig remains undecided. It is likely that he will wait on a script prior to making a final decision
->Bamigboye also surmises that cameras won't start rolling on the forthcoming adventure until 'next autumn' at the earliest; also hints that the script (or lack thereof) isn't the only factor holding Craig back
->MI6-HQ confirms that the vintage helicopter recently acquired by Eon Productions will not be used for B25, but for a historical war film that Broccoli and Wilson will co-produce in late 2017. This would effectively rule out a Nov/Dec. 2017 start date
->The New York Times reports that five studios (Sony, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Annapurna) are competing for the distribution rights of a one-picture deal, and are putting on pitches in front of Broccoli & Wilson as well as MGM executives
->Fanclub Archivo 007 says they have reason to believe that Craig will more than likely return for B25 based on contractual information (possibly Craig's stunt double singing on) let slip by a source at Pinewood Studios
->Dave Bautista tells Metro that he is more than willing to return as Hinx, harkening back to Richard Kiel's double feature as Jaws. "We’re waiting for the news to see if Daniel will sign up for Bond 25, because then there’s a chance that Hinx will come back."
->Paul McGuigan, who directed the Eon-produced Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, is tipped as a leading contender to helm B25 according to Indiewire
->IMDB Pro questionably lists Christopher Nolan's Syncopy as a B25 production company. The forthcoming Bond film is also listed under the company's "in development" titles
->IMDB staff stick to their word regarding Syncopy's involvement with B25 and believe "the information [they] have displayed to be correct."
->Syncopy is removed from B25's IMDB Pro page after numerous film sites pick up the story
->While talking to Playboy, Christopher Nolan reaffirms his desire to helm a Bond film, but stresses that "it has to need reinvention, it has to need you."
->Eon Productions announce that they will soon begin work on The Rhythm Section, a non-007 spy thriller based on the four novel series by Mark Burnell. American actress Blake Lively is set to star as the film's protagonist
->The 25th James Bond film is officially confirmed for a US release on November 8th, 2019, with international dates as well as the cast & director to be announced at a later date
->The New York Times reports that Craig's return is a done deal based on sources close to production
->Both BirthMoviesDeath and MI6-HQ stress the possibility of Broccoli and Wilson selling the franchise off post-B25, based on an unknown source close to production
->Deadline reports that Yann Demange (71), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) are on the shortlist to helm the next film in the series, and have all allegedly had meetings with Broccoli and Wilson. Villeneuve may be out of the race due to scheduling conflicts having recently signed onto Dune
->According to Variety, Demange is the frontrunner and claims Warner Bros. is the closest to landing a distribution deal with MGM for B25
->James Bond Downunder reports that Yann Demange was spotted at EON House in London; comments from fans asking about Bond on Demange's Instagram are promptly deleted
->Mirror claims the next Bond film will be titled "Shatterhand" and will be an adaptation of Raymond Benson's continuation novel, Never Dream of Dying
->Benson denies ever speaking to journalists at Mirror; says the article is nothing more than a fabrication
->Katheryn Bigelow reveals that she has been offered a Bond film in the past (as well as numerous other large-budget franchise titles) but turned them down, preferring to continue on the path of smaller, journalistic genre films
->ArtsATL claims B25 is "planning to shoot at Pinewood Atlanta Studios," although an editor's note later added explains these plans as unsubstantiated
->Craig is said to still be attached to Purity according to David Nevins, CEO of Showtime, although production may not commence on the mini-series until 2019 as he's "doing Bond first"
->Stuntmen Gary Powell and Martin Ivanov visit Budapest for reasons unclear; rumors start that they are location scouting (page 932)
->While promoting Logan Lucky, Craig states on numerous radio shows that he has not signed up for another (or two) Bond films and that personal decisions (rather than pay demands as rumored in the press) are being made. "I know that they are desperate to get going. I would, in theory, love to do it... But no decisions just yet."
->Daniel Craig officially confirms his return as James Bond in Bond 25, with 2019 set to be his last performance in the role
->"It's been a couple of months. [...] This is it. I just want to go out on a high note. I can't wait."
->Industry insiders claim that B25 (pre) production is to officially kick-off in May 2018; principle photography likely to commence 5-6 months after
->Based on information from a Hollywood insider, Page Six reveals a "surprising" (and all too familiar) plot for B25 in which 007 seeks revenge following the death of his wife
->Apple and Amazon Studios join the race for the B25 distribution rights according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter
->In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Craig comments vaguely about B25 saying he has 'some things he wants to finish with 007' and dismisses the public perception that he is ungrateful toward the role
->Broccoli discusses her keenness to support women within the industry and would "of course" consider the possibility of hiring a female director to helm a future Bond film
->Star Wars Episode IX is pushed back to December 2019; will likely provide B25 with massive box office competition similar to the type SPECTRE faced against The Force Awakens in 2015
->Barbara Broccoli says getting Craig back for a fifth film is a "dream come true" while attending the Toronto premiere of Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
->According to Baz Bamigboye, Craig is apparently 'keen' on Sicario, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, which means getting the gig will either put Dune on ice or have him drop the project entirely
->Deadline reports that Villeneuve is now in talks with Sony to direct Cleopatra, virtually ruling him out of contention to helm Craig's final entry
->More talks of Croatia as a location resurface, as local reports claim the production is to arrive in 'early 2018' to film in several cities throughout the country (an unlikely scenario given the script is still in early stages of development)
->Villeneuve confirms to several media outlets while promoting Blade Runner 2049 that he is indeed in talks with Broccoli and Craig, but that his involvement in other projects will determine whether or not he signs onto the film
->Martin Campbell states that he'd only be interested in directing another Bond film if he were introducing a new actor into the role, as he did with both Brosnan and Craig for their debuts as the character
->Location scouting has taken place in western Norway according to local reports, although, as with the 24th Bond film, it is unlikely that production will actually film there (with an incentive application deadline cited as one of the reasons)
->Villeneuve once again expresses his temptation to direct a Bond film and mentions that, in addition to himself, EON are meeting with 'a lot' of directors
->Attending the European premiere Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Paul McGuigan rules himself out of B25 directing duties while Broccoli comments that they have yet to select anyone to helm the forthcoming film
->Production designer Dennis Gassner is confirmed to return for B25
->Rory Kinnear tells the press that he is unsure if he'll reprise his role as Bill Tanner for a fourth time
->Archivo007 reports that Gary Powell, who served as stunt coordinator since Casino Royale, will not return for B25 and will instead be replaced by Craig's stunt double Ben Cooke
->Christoph Waltz confirms he will not return as Blofeld in B25, meaning the film will most likely not follow on from the events of SPECTRE. Speculation points to Blofeld being recast or the character being absent altogether (page 1135)
->MGM strikes a joint venture with Annapurna for theatrical distribution in the US, a distribution announcement for B25 may be a waiting game
->Monica Bellucci tells reporters she "can't say anything" when asked about the rumours of Craig wanting her back for a second outing, leading many to believe that she has been asked to return as Lucia Sciarra
->Deadline confirms that MGM and Annapurna will partner to release the next Bond film domestically, and will officially announce it in the coming days. International distribution has yet to be finalized but may go to another studio
->Broccoli says she hopes to have hired a director by early 2018. "We've got our Daniel; we've got to find the director. We're working on the script and we'll see. Hopefully by the beginning of the year we'll have more news on all those fronts."
->Broccoli's next non-Bond film The Rhythm Section commences production in Ireland, which Broccoli shows interest in returning to on a future Bond film
->Baz Bamigboye debunks a rumor that Nolan is the frontrunner to direct the next Bond film, despite Archivo007 claiming otherwise
->A tipster with industry connections says the B25 team will move into pinewood in March 2018, with reshoots for Solo causing a brief delay
->When asked who would end up taking the reigns from Broccoli & Wilson in a podcast, she states that '[she'd] like to think the family will continue, but Bond belongs to everybody. He'll survive, whatever happens.'
->Broccoli also states that they are more open to a multi-film deal with a major studio, depending mainly on their passion for the franchise
->Villeneuve implies he is too busy to commit to B25 due to his attachment to dream-project Dune, telling Screen Crush that he cannot be 'in two places at the same time.'
->Local reports detail 007's alleged involvement in Croatia, with the character set to have a 'near death experience' in the Adriatic and will encounter 'old acquaintances'
->Ben Whishaw tells Metro he imagines filming will start 'at the end of this year' despite having not received an update 'for a while.' He later stated that he think's he'll return despite not being offered a script.
->Production of EON's The Rhythm Section shuts down until June due to an injury Blake Lively sustained on-set. It is unclear if the delay will affect B25
->Ben Whishaw speaks further about his possible return as Q, hoping to 'get to do more action in the next one.'
->Christopher Nolan officially rules himself out of B25
->Variety reports that Danny Boyle, who previously expressed his reservations for making a Bond film, is 'high on MGM's list' to direct B25
->According to Deadline, Boyle is said to be interested in the project and has reportedly enlisted Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge to write a spec script. The producers will then decide to go in the direction of Purvis & Wade's draft or Boyle & Hodge's
->A Reddit user claims that Yann Demange was hired on a 'speculative' basis and worked with Purvis & Wade on their draft, only to be ousted in favor of Boyle. The user points to recent delays on The Rhythm Section as a reason for the impromptu switch
->Baz Bamigboye confirms that Boyle's next project will be a 'contemporary film musical' and will likely start filming later this year, possibly ruling him out as director for B25 (page 1355)
->Bamigboye reports that English director Danny Boyle will direct Bond 25 'later this year', as long as John Hodge's screenplay meets the approval of Broccoli, Wilson, and Craig
->Boyle confirms rumours that he and Hodge are working on a script, plans to direct B25 at the end of the year if all goes well
->Gary Barber, a close ally to EON Productions, is unexpectedly fired from CEO position by MGM's board of directors over 'disagreements on strategy about the future direction of the company'
->Reddit user "CahleyPersia" details Boyle and Hodge's script, claiming that A-list actresses are being scouted for a central villain role with a 'personal connection' to Bond and that another, younger female agent will serve as Bond's protégé. They also claim that Boyle will edit this film and his Richard Curtis musical simultaneously despite the latter being shot first (page 1426)
->A knowledgeable source tells The Hollywood Reporter that MGM has been holding off a distribution deal because it is using the Bond rights as leverage for a possible sale of the studio (Sony is said to be interested). A separate source also claims that Boyle is a done deal
->When commenting on Bond's womanizing in a post 'MeToo' context, Craig states that he's "been trying to [veer away from that] gently for the past four movies and I’ll continue to do that.”
->Harris tells the press that filming for B25 commences at the end of the year, but remains in the dark about whether she'll appear in the film
->Both Variety and THR make passing comments that B25 may not meet its intended November 2019 release date
->IMDB lists Vic Armstrong as B25's stunt coordinator, making it his first Bond film since 2002's Die Another Day (page 1470)
->Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz announce that they are expecting their first child together, and it is unclear as to how this will affect B25
->Ralph Fiennes is set to star in the comedy-drama Hallelujah! in early 2019, which may result in a largely cutback role compared to his previous performances as 'M'
->According to Variety, Craig is set to earn $25 million for starring in his final Bond film, topping the list of upcoming actor salaries
->Whishaw tells Metro he's "thrilled" by Boyle's involvement in B25 and mentions that he believes he is under contract to star in B25
->Film site Omega Underground claims stunt-coordinator Vic Armstrong has been hired for the next Bond film
->EON Productions announce that Danny Boyle will direct an original screenplay by John Hodge with Craig in his 5th turn as Bond. Universal & Annapurna Pictures will distribute the film (internationally and domestically, respectively) with MGM for a UK release on October 25th 2019, and November 8th in North America. Production is set to commence on December 3rd at Pinewood Studios
->Costume designer Jany Temime confirms to James Bond Downunder that she will not be returning for B25 due to her commitments to other projects (page 1548)
->Vic Armstrong refutes claims of his involvement in B25 (page 1558)
->Craig is spotted in Barcelona filming scenes in character for what is believed to be the Heineken tie-in advertisement for B25
->According to The Guardian, discussions are under way to film at Centre Point, a skyscraper in Central London. Suggested scenarios are said to include Bond landing on the roof via helicopter or parachute
->Neil Callow confirms to CNN that he will return as an art director on B25, while Omega Underground reports that SPECTRE's Olivier Schneider will oversee stunts
->An Instagram post of Mark Strong training is posted by his personal trainer and captioned with the hashtags "007" and "Danny Boyle," leading some to believe that he has been cast in the next Bond film (page 1598)
->Jeffrey Wright says a return of Felix Leiter is a "possibility" during a Reddit AMA
->British pop band Years & Years make a casual remark that Dua Lipa will perform the theme song, but may just be going off previous rumours
->Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould tells the press he "can’t remember being so excited" about embarking on another Bond film
->Corbould also refers to the 2012 Boyle-directed Olympics sketch (featuring Bond and the Queen) when asked if there would be a focus on 'realism' for B25. This potentially hints at a royal angle in the story
->According to casting calls revealed by MI6-HQ, EON is looking for male and female Russian actors to play the antagonist and the leading Bond girl respectively. A 'ruthless' and 'loyal' henchman of Māori descent is also being sought after (combat skills are required for both the Bond girl and henchman roles)
->Mark Tildesley is unofficially confirmed as heading production design on the film, replacing Gassner
->New Zealand actors Xavier Horan and Benjamin Mitchell are reported to have sent out video auditions for the Māori henchman role. A third actor, Manu Bennett, was coy when asked to comment
->EON Productions & Daniel Craig announce that Danny Boyle will no longer direct Bond 25 due to "creative differences"
->According to The Telegraph, EON and Boyle were in the process of casting the Russian villain when a fall out occurred over whether to cast Polish actor Tomasz Kot in the role. Variety reports that the producers are acting quickly to secure a replacement
->Mirror claims that John Hodge is no longer involved in the project
->Yann Demange is 'understood' to be the frontrunner to replace Boyle, according to Irish film site entertainment.ie
->According to industry insiders, EON & MGM are looking for a new writer or writer-director to come on board the film, which may put the film's 2019 release date in jeopardy. Hodge's script, said to be a modern-day cold war plot, has presumably been scrapped
->Actor Oleg Taktarov is reported to have screen-tested for a villain role
->Added to the shortlist are directors Edgar Wright and Jean-Marc Vallee (later confirmed to have turned the gig down due to scheduling) according to Deadline
->Production Weekly lists B25's working title as "Shatterhand" in a list of future film and TV production data
->Location scouting is said to have taken place in Namibia, Africa, prior to Boyle's exit. Crew members were reportedly searching for suitable locations to build sets for a 'planned sequence' in Hodge's treatment
->Boyle's exit was due to Eon and Craig's desire to bring on a new writer, reports Baz Bamigboye
->Casting Director Debbie McWilliams is reported to have held casting sessions with nearly 20 male and female actors from Finland and surrounding countries
->Craig is set to star in Rian Johnson's murder mystery 'Knives Out' slated to begin filming in November, which may indicate a possible delay for B25
->Variety adds Bart Layton (American Animals) and S.J. Clarkson to the director shortlist
->Contrary to several reports, pre-production (i.e. set building, script work) is continuing as planned despite the absence of a director (according to MI6-HQ). Hodge's draft is said to be a re-working of Purvis & Wade's and is now being tweaked by Bond producers and Craig
->Moroccan actor Saïd Taghmaoui is said to have been cast in B25, though the actor later denied the claims
->Both David Mackenzie and Yann Demange play down speculation that they are in the running to direct the next Bond film
->Purvis & Wade are brought back in in as writers on B25, though it's unclear if they are working on their own treatment or polishing Hodge's draft
->Cary Joji Fukunaga is announced as Bond 25's new director. Production is set to begin at Pinewood on March 4th, 2019 for a new worldwide release of February 14, 2020
->Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer confirms that the car manufacturer will be collaborating with EON for B25
->Stefan Zurcher, who has done location work on 11 Bond films, mentions in an interview that B25 is scheduled to shoot in Canada in March
->Fukunaga confirms that Bond's character arc that began with Casino Royale will continue over into B25. He also mentions that he has toyed with the idea of bringing back Christoph Waltz and Ben Whishaw if 'there is space for them in the story'
->Linus Sandgren (La La Land, First Man) has joined the B25 team as Director of Photography, according to a Variety reporter
->According to Norwegian reports, the B25 team has been applying for government incentive schemes to film in the country
->Baz Bamigboye confirms via Cary Fukunaga that Lea Seydoux will reprise her role as Madeleine Swann, in addition to Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris all returning to their roles as M, Q, and Moneypenny respectively
->Casting has begun for the villain and 'Bond girl' parts (an MI6 agent and mystery role), with producers reportedly eyeing Rami Malek for the main antagonist. Scheduling issues with Mr. Robot are said to remove the actor from contention
->Sandgren confirms himself that he'll be taking on cinematography duties
->Second Unit Director Alexander Witt is returning for production
->Actress Tuppence Middleton is rumoured to have a small role in B25
->Paul Haggis (who co-wrote Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) is reported to have contributed to the B25 script
->Rami Malek is coy when quizzed about B25 villain rumours
->Linus Sandgren will reportedly shoot B25 on digital, becoming the second film in the series to do so (after Skyfall)
->Cadiz, Spain is rumoured to have been scouted by production, with the location said to be doubling for Tunisia
->A grant worth approximately €4.5M is awarded to the B25 production to film in Norway, making the country's use in the upcoming film highly likely (later reports suggest Rjukan in the Tinn region as a possible location)
->Jamaica is tipped as a shooting location for B25 (page 2066)
->Production may be heading to the mountainside city of Matera in southern Italy this April, if local press reports prove accurate (further reports suggest Puglia as another Italian location)
->According to Archivo007, Daniel Craig has arrived in London for rehearsals at Pinewood (to begin on February 4th) with possible second unit work taking place at the same time
->A Reddit tipster claims that EON were in negotiations to film at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens
->Collider's Steven Weintraub, who recently met with Linus Sandgren, mentions in a tweet that filming is due to commence in April, not March as previously announced
->The MGM/Annapurna joint venture is re-branded as United Artists Releasing, meaning B25 will be the first Bond film to be released under the UA banner in 20 years
->MGM & Universal push back Bond 25's release date two months to April 8th, 2020
->American screenwriter Scott Z. Burns has been hired to re-write the script. He is expected to spend four weeks working on what is being called an 'overhaul' of the screenplay
->Film editor Elliot Graham is linked to the Bond 25 editing job (page 2161)
->Baz Bamigboye reports that Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o is being eyed for a Bond girl role in the upcoming film (these plans fell through according to Variety). He also hints at the possibility of an expanded role for Miss Moneypenny
->Set construction of a cottage-esque building has begun near Lake Langvann in Nittedal, Norway for what is presumed to be for B25 (reports detail a sequence in which a young girl kills an intruder and is chased by another onto a frozen lake)
->A recently uncovered two-month old casting notice for a feature film was searching for a young girl with aquatic experience to play the part of a young Léa Seydoux. The role was to be casted in Paris last month (page 2188)
->Ben Whishaw confirms an early April start date (most likely the 5th), with some location work likely taking place beforehand
->Fukunaga is reportedly eyeing Billy Magnussen to play a CIA operative who 'crosses paths with Bond.' Meanwhile, casting is in full swing for two Bond girl characters (an MI6 agent and an accomplice akin to Olga Kurylenko's Camille), as well as the main villain
->The same report mentions that the Burns re-write was not as substantial as previously reported and that there was excitement with what Purvis, Wade, and Fukunaga delivered
->Rami Malek is reported to be in final negotiations to play the main villain after the recent delay has allowed Universal to accomodate the schedules for both Mr. Robot and B25
->Bamigboye confirms Jamaica as a shooting location, and that the frozen lake/intruder sequence in Norway will form part of the pre-title sequence
->Variety confirms that a production crew of 500 people will head to Matera, Italy in late July for the film's 'prologue action sequence'
->Local Italian reports suggest that Dua Lipa will travel to Matera and other locations throughout southern Italy to film a music video for the B25 title song (page 2231)
->007 may be behind the wheel of the electric Aston Martin Rapide E, according to The Sun
->Billy Magnussen hints at his possible casting in an Instagram post
->Filming in Norway commences with Fukunaga leading a small crew equipped with underwater cameras and rigs
->A behind the scenes set photo from the Norway shoot reveals that select sequences will be shot on IMAX 70mm film (the rest will be shot on 35mm, not digital as previously believed)
->A video taken of filming shows a frightened blonde child being chased by a masked-villain wielding a machine gun on a frozen lake
->Bollinger and Land Rover product placement will continue for B25
->According to an insider, the cast and crew will be flown out to Jamaica in late April for a press conference
->Pheobe Waller-Bridge has reportedly been brought in to strenghthen female characters and improve humour in the script. Story rumors suggest a retired bond will have to re-earn his '007' codename from a female agent
Status: Pre Production