Website last updated: 13-11-2019

No Time To Die: The 25th James Bond film – Its On!

By: Greg Bechtloff
Published:
2019-09-11
The next James Bond film No Time To Die
In a new series of exclusive articles until the release of No Time To Die next year, FSWL contributor Greg Bechtloff in Los Angeles will dig deeply into his vault of James Bond and Ian Fleming knowledge combined with news on the 25th James Bond film adventure from EON Productions so keep an eye out.

Cast your mind back one year fellow Bond fans to September 2018. The previously announced Bond 25 director Danny Boyle had recently departed the film. A deep feeling of uncertainty had set in. We just knew that the new film was not going to hit its announced release date.

Weekly, potential replacement directors surfaced and then denied it, passed on the project or whatever. Only later that month was American director Cary Joji Fukunaga (his maternal grandfather is from Sweden) confirmed to take the reins. He was not someone who was on the collective radar but his naming finally got the ball rolling.

Fast forward to September 2019 and Bond 25 now titled No Time To Die is almost finished with principal photography. The cast and crew are filled out and the only mystery yet to be resolved is who will join the long and distinguished list of 007 film singers.

Right now though, the focus is on the filming happening in Matera, Italy. We are told that these scenes will be a pre-credits car chase involving the classic Aston Martin DB5 and a host of villains on motorbikes and cars.

Aston Martin DB5 No Time To Die
The Aston Martin DB5 in No Time To Die. Copyright © 2019 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

The pictures emerging from Matera look cool and somehow evoke the beginning of 1969’s On Her Majesty's Secret Service which saw George Lazenby’s Aston Martin cruising around Old Europe.

Matera is definitely Old Europe by the way. The city is located in the Basilicata region of southern Italy and houses famous ancient caves. The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 and in 2019 is a European Capital of Culture.

Matera has been used previously as a location in the 2006 remake of The Omen as well as the 2017 hit Wonder Woman.

Cary Fukunaga, Lea Seydoux and Daniel Craig in Matera
Cary Fukunaga, Lea Seydoux and Daniel Craig in Matera. Photo by Nicola Dove. Copyright © 2019 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

Another factoid that we have been teased with is the construction of a cemetery set where James Bond allegedly visits the grave of a loved one. It should not be too much of a spoiler to think that this is probably the grave of Vesper Lynd.

Remember, Vesper died in Italy (Venice) at the end of Casino Royale (2006). So it should not be too much of a stretch to think that she is buried in Italy.

For those of you who know your Fleming, you will recall that James Bond visits the grave of his lost love Vesper every year. This is revealed in the novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) which starts with James Bond back in Royale, the site of his first adventure. Are you getting the connection here? In the book, Bond meets his future wife Tracy during this same visit.

People have speculated that No Time To Die somehow echoes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with Madeleine Swann (again played by French actress Lea Seydoux) dying much like Tracy did. While this is unconfirmed fanboy speculation, the cemetery set does seems to be a Majesty’s callback but probably the novel as mentioned above.

Cary Fukunaga and Lea Seydoux on location in Matera for No Time To Die
Director Cary Fukunaga and actress Lea Seydoux on location in Matera for No Time To Die. Copyright © 2019 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

Its also instructive to remember that No Time To Die will carry on the story arc of the Daniel Craig James Bond films. Eagle eyed observers may have noticed that a portrait of Judi Dench’s M hangs in the Whitehall office scenes we have seen photos of.

A visit to Vesper’s grave and M’s portrait recall to us the two most influential women in the Daniel Craig era before Madeleine Swann appeared.

For now though, let’s marvel at (but not obsess over) the pictures we are seeing of what is being filmed in Matera.

For the latest official announcements on No Time To Die, visit the official website.

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Bond 25 Britt Ekland Daniel Craig Dolph Lundgren George Lazenby Izabella Scorupco James Bond museum Kristina Wayborn Mary Stavin Maud Adams No Time To Die Pierce Brosnan Roger Moore Sean Connery Spectre Timothy Dalton
 

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