Bond 25 Round-Up
20th December 2016
The next James Bond film has been subject to a number of press stories this month
By MI6 Staff
Almost nothing has changed on the status of the 25th James Bond film in recent months, but that hasn't stopped a slew of media coverage and speculation in recent weeks.
Stage Before Screen
Daniel Craig is currently headlining a sold-out off-Broadway production of 'Othello' in New York City alongside David Oyelowo. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is also producing the Sam Gold directed show at the New York Theater.
That lead Page Six to allude that Broccoli is only producing the show to keep close to Craig and eventually woo him back for Bond 25. A 'source' told the gossip column: "Daniel thinks of himself as a serious actor, and he wants to stretch his artistic muscles. And Barbara really believes in his talent. For her to do this [play] for him is a gift — of course she wants him back — this is going to entice him to make another Bond movie." The report goes on to claim that "Broccoli would ask Craig back for the next 007 film, Bond 25, sometime after the play’s run."
The New York Post reported this week that Craig is "eying a move to Broadway after winning raves for his Iago in the New York Theatre Workshop production of Othello."
Sources for the paper say he "initially shied away from talk about Broadway because the critics were lukewarm to him in 2013’s 'Betrayal.' But he’s happy now - as is his co-star, the excellent David Oyelowo - and senses a shot at a Tony for Best Actor in a Play, if the show can get in under the Tony cut-off date, which is April 27, 2017."
Bonding With Berry
Craig will be busy in the New Year either way, as his next film 'Kings' with former Bond girl Halle berry starts production on December 27th, according to Variety. Craig wraps 'Othello' on January 18th and will then move on to join 'Kings.' The film centers on a foster family in South Central in 1992, a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial. Craig will portray a loner who lives in South Central Los Angeles and falls in love with Berry’s character. When the riots erupt, he will help Berry in protecting her children from the violence.
When he's wrapped 'Kings', Craig will then move on to shoot the 20-part television drama 'Purity' sometime in 2017.
Despite Broccoli producing his current theatre project, the Daily Mirror in the UK reported this week that studio chiefs are "panicking because they have started planning Bond 25, due out in 2018, without hearing from Craig for a year whether he will star in it." A source told the tabloid: "Daniel and MGM are currently at a stalemate with him having not spoken to them about Bond. They have offered a bigger wage deal, and asked about his filming availability to his reps in 2017, but as yet they have not spoken to Daniel. They want Bond 25 out in October 2018, but currently, they have no Bond, film dates or knowledge of when that will change."
Down To Business
With the Sony co-financing deal for the last few 007 outings expiring with 'SPECTRE', many expected MGM to strike a renewal with Sony or a new deal with a different partner earlier in 2016. That included Bond producer Michael G. Wilson who said that MGM securing a partner would be the first order of business for Bond 25. A year has passed and no such deal has been struck.
Eagle-eyed fans online noticed this week that EON Productions already started laying the foundations for Bond 25 back in the summer of 2015 - before 'SPECTRE' was released. As with every recent film in the series, EON set up a specific holding company for the new production. B25 Ltd was officially formed on May 6th, 2015.
Andrew Noakes, who has been Associate Producer or Co-Producer for EON Productions on all four of Daniel Craig's 007 outings to date, was one of a small group of top US and UK film executives invited to tour Abu Dhabi last week to see what the Emirate has to offer as a filming location for international productions. Hosted by Abu Dhabi Film Commission over a five-day tour, the delegation visited a range of locations in and around Abu Dhabi including Emirates Palace, the F1 track on Yas Island and The Lourve on Saadiyat Island. The tour also included taking in an aerial view of Qasr Al Sarab desert by helicopter before enjoying an Arabian themed dinner. This does not mean that Abu Dhabi is under consideration for Bond 25, but clearly the local film commission would love to see 007's tourism boost if they were to shoot in the country.
Pinch of Salt
Lastly, an anonymous tipster on Reddit has claimed that a treatment for Bond 25 by Purvis & Wade and Steven Knight has been rejected. EON are reportedly meeting with directors (including Colin Trevorrow - despite working on 'Star Wars' until 2019). But the bombshell is that Sam Mendes may be considering a return for a third Bond film after all. Although not reported in the Reddit post, Mendes' next project 'The Voyeur's Motel' has been canceled as DreamWorks discovered a documentary has already been made about the same source material. That frees up his immediate schedule, but Mendes is set to produce (and possibly direct) 'Beautiful Ruins', a film based on the true-life romance of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Tailor, sometime in 2017. According to the post, Mendes 'has an idea' for Bond 25 and has the backing of Daniel Craig.
2016 looks like it will end with no substantive movement on Bond 25 at all. With Craig busy through most of 2017, if he was to return for a fifth film, it is unlikely that shooting on Bond 25 would start until very late 2017 with the earliest possible premiere date being late 2018.