Christoph Waltz Back As Blofeld For Bond 25. Probably.

christoph-waltz-spectre-blofeld

In news unlikely to be a huge shock to the system of anyone paying close attention to the development of the still officially untitled Bond 25 (I’m still laying cards on Shatterhand), it seems that Christoph Waltz will break with Bond tradition by returning as arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld for Daniel Craig’s final stint behind the wheel of the Aston Martin.

Daily Mail journo (but don’t let that put you off, he’s usually pretty on the ball with Bond) Baz Bamigboye reports that a visitor to Pinewood spotted Waltz on the Bond set, only to be told by the actor, “You haven’t seen me.”

This would be an unusual move for the Bond series, which has never seen a return appearance by any actor playing Blofeld (at least one whose face is seen). But industry scuttlebutt suggests Bond’s adoptive brother (…ugh) won’t be the main villain, with that honour falling instead to Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek.

True Detective Season One’s Cary Fukunaga is directing whatever Bond 25 will be called. Did I say Shatterhand already…!?

Advertisements

Bond 25 Filming In Norway – English Language Exclusive

bond filming

As reported, in Norwegian of course, by NRK today, more details about the filming of Bond 25 have leaked from a forest close to Oslo. I’m happy to bring this news to English language speakers.

In February news broke across Norwegian media that the production team of the new James Bond film, rumoured to be titled Shatterhand,  was building a lodge at Langvann, on the border between Oslo and Nittedal (about 25 minutes from the centre of Oslo).

Reports further announced the casting of a child actor, Maya Khosrowshahi, and that she had been employed for a scene where she is to shoot an intruder, before she is chased onto an ice lake by another intruder. This would certainly fit with the location and could be tied in with another rumour that the film will contain the first-ever flashback sequence in a Bond film (possibly involving a younger version of Léa Seydoux’s character from SPECTRE).

On Monday, local newspaper, Vårt Oslo, reported barriers and tents had been erected at Lutvann in Oslo, and speculated whether parts of the filming had been moved to this new location.

They also reported how former politician Steinar Saghaug had been met with brusque resistance from security guards at the barriers, who informed him they were carrying out “state water testing” to put him off the scent.

Sensing a little espionage was taking place, the local newspaper contacted the City Council to confirm the water testing only to be given a flat denial, but the council refused to comment further on what actually is taking place at the lake.

NRK report they have seen documents which reveal this section of filming will take place between March 25 and April 2.

To facilitate this, air traffic in the area will be restricted temporarily, as the production will use helicopters flying at low altitude and at high-speed. Permission has also been granted for the use of other motorized vehicles.

These filming dates are highly interesting, since rumours have been swirling around that Eon will hold the traditional commencement of filming Press Conference at the beginning of April, to formally confirm the film’s title amongst other details.

If this is the case, the commencement of filming announcement would be somewhat dubious if filming has already begun near Oslo.

This new Bond film is causing its own intrigue offscreen in Norway!

Bond 25, whatever it ends up being called, is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and is scheduled for release on April 8, 2020.

Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB Scanpix

And Bond 25’s Title Is…

oo7

…Shatterhand?

Yeah, I get that’s a little click-baity, but this comes from a piece in industry resource, Production Weekly.

The title is already well-known to 007 fans, as the name Dr. Shatterhand appeared as an alias for Bond’s nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice  novel.

If the title is correct, and it’s been floating around the top of the Bond 25 rumour mill for quite a while, it throws open many questions including: will Blofeld return? If so, who will he be played by? Traditionally, Blofeld has been portrayed by a different actor (including Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas and Charles Gray) on every appearance, but would Christophe Waltz be tempted back?

This possible confirmation comes hot on the heels of the news that the film’s release date has been pushed back to April 2020, due to extensive script rewrites. Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z Burns will be taking a pass at the screenplay for Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007. This in itself is probably good news, given the film’s many delays at the begining of production, with original director Danny Boyle backing off, to be replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Fukunaga has previously announced he expects Bond 25 to pick up on threads from SPECTRE, lending relevance to the meaning behind that possible title.

Craig will be reuniting with Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris, and we’ll be sure to bring you more Bond news as it drops.

Bond 25 Gets True Detective Helmer

cory

In a surprise but very welcome piece of news, EON Productions announced today that Cary Joji Fukunaga will helm the much-troubled Bond 25.

I don’t recall seeing Fukunaga crop up on many of the speculative “who will replace Danny Boyle?” lists circulating a few weeks ago, but this is great news. Fukunaga – the first American to direct a Bond film – was one of the driving forces behind the highly-praised first season of True Detective ( for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series), as well as the 2015 Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation, on which he was writer, director, producer, and cinematographer.

“We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure,” said Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, while probably breathing huge sighs of relief. At least until Fukunaga also walks off the project in a few weeks, of course. Hey, stranger things have happened on Bond 25, right…!?

More news as it comes on Dave Bautista taking over as Bond when Daniel Craig leaves midway through filming. Probably.

So, Uh… About That Bond 25 Delay…

bond 2

Okay, at the risk of this site becoming the Official James Bond Herald & Tribune, hold on to your razor-trimmed throwing hats because so much has happened on Bond 25 since I last wrote about it some fifteen hours or so ago, it’ll make your head spin. And before you get your hopes up: no, Danny Boyle is still gone.

So that last report from THR suggesting that the next Bond film would miss its November 8, 2019 release spot? Well that might not be so on the mark, according to Deadline, who reported that the film would still be released on time, as long as a suitable director can be found in the next (checks Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M watch) sixty days. That seems like a pretty tight schedule for a new director to come in and hit the ground running, but the report went even further, suggesting that several names were in the frame to take on that challenge:

“I’ve heard an approach was made to Jean-Marc Vallee, who followed Dallas Buyers Club with the limited series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. I’ve heard his participation is unlikely due to scheduling. The other two helmers who were on a short list are Hell Or High Water‘s David Mackenzie and Yann Demange, the ’71 director who helmed White Boy Rick. If any of those filmmakers accepted, chances are Bond 25 would keep its date, I’m told.”

So, now we have the suggestion that Bond 25 will arrive in 2019, plus we have a bunch of intriguing names (who weren’t really on anyone’s radar for this gig just twenty-four hours ago). That should be enough Bond news for today, right?

Uh… what’s your hurry? Because now ten minutes or so have passed and Deadline have updated that director’s wish list with yet another name: Shaun of the Dead helmer, Edgar Wright, fresh from a Sony hit with Baby Driver (which I thought was slick but hollow, but then I’m not Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson or Daniel Craig, obviously).

I’m not sure I can see Wright sticking around for this (in the same way I didn’t think Boyle would) but the production of this movie has turned into such a merry-go-round I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced Donald Trump had been approached to play the lead villain (typecasting, I know, I know…). Anyway, got all that? Swell.

Also, while this may be an interesting list of names, I’d like to see the Bond director’s Boy’s Club demolished: Kathryn Bigelow has been waiting in the wings long enough, Michelle MacLaren, Karyn Kasuma and Corinna McFarlane would all be great choices to shake up the franchise (although that might be a step too far for EON given the current turmoil).

It’s taken me twenty minutes or so to put this post together, so it’s possible everything I’ve just written is out of date. I’ll be sure to bring you more news on the soap opera that is Bond 25 as soon as it hits. Check back with me in an hour or so, huh…?

Bond To Miss 2019?

bond

News just in via The Hollywood Reporter that the mightily-troubled new Bond film will not hit its original 2019 release date. Specifically:

“With the abrupt exit of director Danny Boyle, the next installment in the James Bond film franchise — the untitled Bond 25 — will miss its Nov. 8, 2019 release date in North American theaters, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.”

This isn’t too surprsing, if true, given the sudden departure of director Danny Boyle from the franchise (as revealed here). Rumours are circulating that neither the producers nor star, Craig, were too thrilled about Boyle’s developing modern Cold War thriller, and a particular bone of contention seems to have been the casting of Tomasz Kot in a leading role. This will almost certainly mean that John Hodge’s script will be jettisoned and it seems unlikely that EON Productions would return to the already-completed script by regular Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, which was dumped when Boyle came on board.

Going back to square one to find a new director and script also puts some doubt on the return of an already reluctant Daniel Craig, so this could also mean that Craig will finish his run with the less-than-perfect SPECTRE. And that’s something none of us want to see, right?

Whatever furious scrabbling is going down in the Bond offices right now (I’m picturing something akin to the From Russia With Love train fight), at least we know they won’t be rush-releasing a script into production – an act that’s never worked out too well for Bond films in the past. The down side is that it could cost us a suitable send-off for Craig.

James Bond Will Return… but when, and played by whom?

Boyle Bounces Bond

007_logo

To the surprise of literally no one, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25.

Announced via Twitter, this news, while sad, is probably the least surprising announcement to come down the wire on the latest Bond film, apparently Craig’s final outing.

As exciting as the announcent of Boyle coming onboard was (along with writer John Hodge – whose status on the project is unknown but doubtful, given his close links to the director), there was much suspicion that the idiosyncratic director would fit well within the finely honed Eon machinery.

Now we’re left with a great deal of creative speculation on just what a Boyle Bond would have been like. I, for one, am not surprised but very disappointed at the thought of what might have been, something special for Craig’s swan song.