Following the raw excitement of the Bond 25 launch event, it seemed the production had simply knuckled down to the business of getting the movie into the can. We’ve seen photos from the Jamaica location of Daniel Craig and Jeffrey Wright, playing out the first part of the official synopsis, which we didn’t have at publication of the launch report:
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His 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.
So far so good...apart from the continual grumbling from the British tabloid press, which has painted a picture of a production still in chaos, operating without a script while ideas are still bouncing around between the star, director, producers and expanded roster of writers.
Today’s variation on the theme is an as-yet uncorroborated story in The Sun that filming has been brought to a halt by an ankle injury incurred by Craig while performing his own running stunt towards the end of the Jamaica shoot, sending the actor to hospital in the US and causing the Pinewood Studios portion of the shoot due to start this week to be cancelled.
In the absence of an official announcement from the 007 camp or confirmation from any of the other usual outlets, it’s not clear how big a pinch of salt to take with this report, leaving us instead to read the Instagram runes. On May 10 director Cary Joji Fukunaga posted a photo captioned “It’s a wrap on Jamaica, next up...” while since-deleted posts from Jeffrey Wright yesterday showed the gates, streets and buildings of Pinewood Studios along with a bottle printed with the 007 logo and “Bond 25 Cast & Crew 2019”, none of which suggests a hiatus.
Whatever’s actually going on will probably emerge at some point; a bunch of other, smaller details are already filling in the Bond 25 production history. Over the weekend, Cinema Today in Japan published an interview with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson where they reveal that Scott Z. Burns’ hiring was Fukunaga’s idea and it was theirs to recruit Phoebe Waller-Bridge, while in a further interview Fukunaga himself states that he was originally approached for the Bond 25 gig way back in 2017, prior to Danny Boyle’s involvement, while the folks over at MI6 suggest Waller-Bridge’s involvement was far from last minute.
This doesn’t quite match up with earlier tabloid reports painting her addition to the writing team as a mark of desperation aimed at riding her Fleabag and Killing Eve coattails, and it’s that sort of sensational reporting (along with the repeated flawed suggestion that successful scripts need to be 100% locked down before filming rather than being rewritten during the shoot, even on the day or in the middle of a scene) which leads us to take a more cautious approach. Should anything further emerge, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Over to you: do you have opinions to share about tabloid reliability? An inside track on what’s happening at Pinewood? Comments and speculation about that synopsis? Sound off in the comments below.
As of this writing, Bond 25 will be released in the UK on April 3rd 2020 and April 8th 2020 worldwide.