Movie theaters are starting to open up again in spots around the globe—basically, anywhere that has gotten coronavirus outbreaks under control. So now is the perfect time to remind frustrated filmgoers about No Time to Die, the next film in the James Bond franchise, starring Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as 007. A fresh trailer just dropped, with a scheduled release date of November 12 in the United Kingdom and November 20 in the United States (as always, coronavirus willing).
(Spoilers for the 2015 film Spectre below.)
This 25th installment in the franchise is co-produced by MGM and Eon Productions, with United Artists and Universal serving as distributors in North America and internationally, respectively. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Beast of No Nation), the film takes place about five years after the capture of Spectre‘s archvillain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), a criminal mastermind and head of the organization SPECTRE. (Ian Fleming’s original character inspired Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, in the Austin Powers film series.)
For those who skipped Spectre or who haven’t seen it recently, it opens with Bond being suspended from MI6 after carrying out an unauthorized mission to stop a terrorist bombing in Mexico City—based on a posthumous message from Judi Dench’s late, lamented M. The new M (played by Ralph Fiennes) finds his agency in competition with a rival, privately backed intelligence service led by C (Andrew Scott).
Things get complicated, as they always do, leading to a showdown between Bond and Blofeld, who is behind an attempt to infiltrate a planned global intelligence surveillance system so that SPECTRE can access information about any investigations into its criminal activities. (In an unusual twist, Blofeld turns out to be Bond’s foster-brother.) The film ends with Blofeld captured and Bond driving off into the sunset with his romantic interest, psychiatrist Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux).
Bond thought he was entering retirement, but no “00” agent gets to live happily ever after, it seems. Per the official synopsis: “In No Time to Die, 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.” Fukunaga has said that he intended the film to explore the world of espionage “in an era of asymmetric warfare.” It should also wrap up several loose narrative threads from the prior Bond films starring Craig.
Seydoux reprises her role as Madeleine Swann. Other returning cast members include Waltz, Ben Whishaw as Q, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as M’s chief of staff, Bill Tanner, and Ralph Fiennes as M. New characters in this installment include Rami Malek as the archvillain Safin, described by the director as a “hyper intelligent and worthy adversary” for Bond; Lashana Lynch as Nomi, a new “00” agent who joined MI6 following Bond’s assumed retirement; Ana de Armas as Paloma, a CIA agent assigned to help Bond; and David Dencik as Valdo Obruchev, a scientist who has disappeared.
This new trailer has everything you’d expect in a Bond film. Exotic locations? Check. It was filmed in Italy, Jamaica, Norway, London, and the Faroe Islands. Car chase scenes? Of course. Beautiful women? Paloma not only rocks a black evening gown, she pulls off some impressive combat moves. Daring, dangerous stunts? Craig had to have ankle surgery after he was injured during the stunts filmed in Jamaica.
And of course, as Ars’ Jonathan Gitlin reported earlier this year, the film is packed with Aston Martins. There’s the classic DB5, now avec miniguns, as well as a DBS and what looked more than passingly like a 1980s-era Vantage in the first trailer released last December. The film also reportedly features one of Aston Martin’s brand-new midengined hybrid hypercars, the Valhalla, developed in conjunction with legendary F1 aerodynamicist Adrian Newey.
As for that spooky mask Safin sports in this trailer, it’s modeled on the traditional Noh style of Japanese theater. (It was originally supposed to be based on Siberian hunting bear armor, apparently, but Fukunaga thought the Siberian mask dominated the costume too much.) Safin seems to be out for revenge and isn’t above taking out a lot of innocent people in the process. “We both eradicate people to make the world a better place,” he says to Bond. “I just want to be a little tidy.” That could involve killing millions, so naturally Bond isn’t going to let that happen.
Listing image by MGM/United Artists/Universal