What We Learned During Today’s BOND 25 Launch Event

Not included: the title of BOND 25.

It’s been a long road, and it seems there’s still a ways to go: contrary to expectations, the title of the 25th Bond movie wasn’t actually revealed during today’s launch event streamed from the Ian Fleming room at the Goldeneye Resort in Jamaica.

What we did get was an introduction to the core cast, confirmation of many of the rumours we’ve been hearing over recent months and some very welcome surprise additions to the line-up. And some nice headshots.

As previously announced, Daniel Craig will be returning as James Bond, Léa Seydoux will reprise her SPECTRE role as Madeleine Swann, Ralph Fiennes will return as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinear as Bill Tanner. Jeffrey Wright will also make an unexpected return, meaning he will become the first threepeat Felix Leiter.

Also confirmed: the long-rumoured casting of Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek, who will be playing the movie’s villain. Malek wasn’t present in Jamaica and appeared only in a per-recorded video, but then appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his new role.

The names we weren’t expecting, however are genuinely exciting additions across the board: Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Dali Bensallah (A Faithful Man) and David Dencik (er, The Snowman).

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga reported that filming would shortly start in Jamaica before moving on to London, Pinewood Studios and Matera in Italy, while confirming that last month’s shoot in Norway was indeed part of the Bond 25 production.

Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (who didn’t rule out making a cameo appearance in the new movie) stated that the script is the work of John Logan, Neal Purvis, Scott Z. Burns and Phoebe Waller-Bridge: presumably nothing remains of John Hodge and Danny Boyle’s work on the film.

Not much emerged about the plot, but the truly spoiler-averse should skip straight on to the next paragraph. Broccoli allowed that the start of the film will see Bond off active duty, living in a house which 500 local workers have been constructing in recent weeks: its construction was shown at the end of the stream.

That was it, and I’m sure we can all agree it was well worth our news editor getting out of bed at 5am for: you can relive all twenty minutes of the magic right here on YouTube. Judging by the immediate reaction online it wasn’t exactly what fans wanted, but it’s probably best to look upon this reveal as the result of a production that needs to get to work being aware that shooting in secrecy in such a tight-knit locale as Jamaica just isn’t possible, rather than a hype-building exercise. After all, previous Bond press conferences didn’t necessarily reveal much more detail, and going into production on the movies without even having a title, let alone announcing it in advance, isn’t unknown.

Over to you: if you were watching along, what were your thoughts?  Are you excited for the new cast members, not to mention Jeffrey Wright’s triumphant return? Sound off below.

As of this writing, Bond 25 will be released in the UK on April 3rd 2020 and April 8th 2020 worldwide.