In 2015’s Spectre, the final title card promised that “James Bond Will Return.” That was true, but no one had promised when he would return. Since then, the release date has been in doubt.
A new trailer has been released. No Time to Die opened in theatres on Tuesday, marking the 25th Eon-approved James Bond film’s official final theatrical release. The big-budget spy film, set for release in October, will reportedly be Daniel Craig’s final 007 mission.
What a journey it’s been: Originally scheduled for a big 2019 release, production issues forced Eon to push it back a year. When Eon finally secured a cast and director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), the studio set an April 2020 release date. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and No Time to Die, like every other Hollywood blockbuster, was stuck in release limbo. The film was pushed back to November 2020, then April 2021, November 2021, and finally October 2021.
Throughout, rumors circulated that a streaming behemoth like Netflix, Amazon, or Apple would step in to digitally distribute the film. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, longtime Bond producers, remained committed to theatrical distribution. While the proliferation of vaccines and an increase in COVID-19 Delta variant cases have cast a pall over moviegoing (Sony’s Venom 2 was recently pushed back from September to October to buy some time), we’re finally, finally, finally getting this damn Bond movie.
No Time to Die picks up with 007 in Jamaica during some downtime. Even though he’s no longer in the military, life has a way of drawing the super-spy back in. The SPECTRE organization will be heavily involved with the plot of the 25th Bond film, as we learned from some long-lead press timed to previous release dates, with Christoph Waltz reprising his role as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The true villain of the moment, a scarred mask-wearing evildoer named Safrin, is played by Rami Malek, who would have been riding the wave of his Oscar win for 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody if the film had arrived in time.
Returning for the film is Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, Jeffrey Wright as CIA agent Felix Leiter, and French actress Lea Seydoux, who co-starred in Spectre as Dr. Madeleine Swann, daughter of the Mr. White character. The film also stars Lashana Lynch as a new “00” agent.
Despite the delays, No Time to Die is likely to be a Bond film that deserves to be seen on the biggest screens. Fukunaga and his crew traveled to Norway, Italy, and London to film a number of set pieces using 65mm film cameras primed for IMAX projection, in addition to Jamaica. All that’s left now is for the film to arrive in theatres on time. We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bond…
No Time to Die hits theaters on Oct. 8.