3rd June 2020
Explosive details about a new character have been revealed by call sheets
By MI6 Staff
Warning: This article contains extensive spoilers about the upcoming film 'No Time To Die'. Although the material referenced is in the public domain, continue at your own discretion...
Since the theatrical delay of 'No Time To Die' in March when the film was pushed from its April release to November due to the Coronavirus pandemic, news and rumours from the film have been few and far between. Director Cary Fukunaga completed work on the film in late March and the final cut has been locked away ever since.
However, materials used by the production are slowly making their way out into the wild. This week, a small selection of call sheets from the filming in Italy were placed for sale on eBay, revealing and confirming a lot about the characters and structure of the film.
Before getting on to the biggest element revealed in these call sheets, here are some quick take-aways:
- Billy Magnussen's character Ash, a CIA agent, will be against Bond in the climax of the third act as he will be 'coordinating the pursuit of Bond' in his Defender in scene #199. It will be the second time in the Daniel Craig era that one of Felix Leiter's CIA colleagues is on the wrong side.
- The trailer sees Bond and Madeleine swimming. This is the 'cave of poetry' in Puglia and features in scene #16 of the film. This sequence was captured in IMAX, rather than the standard 35mm.
- In the DB5 car chase in Matera, which was covered on a daily basis by local news and social media and is heavily featured in the teaser trailer, Madeleine says to Bond that "someone is trying to frame her" in scene #52 as the chase is in full swing. This is followed by the line "why would I betray you" from the trailer, which takes place immediately after Bond fires the car's machine guns whilst doing donuts.
- Safin's lair is confirmed as a submarine pen on an island. This has been known for a while but not officially confirmed.
- Scott Z Burns is listed on the writing credits as a writing team of himself and Cary Fukunaga. He would later be dropped from the final credits.
- The latest script version whilst filming in late September 2019 was dated April 18th, 2019. That confirms the shooting script was completed 10 days before the official start of principal photography on April 28th. However, script revisions were included dated 5th September 2019, indicating tweaks were being made just a couple of weeks before Italian scenes were filmed.
And now on to the most explosive reveal of the leak...
For context, one of the scenes is numbered #243, which is a lot higher than the final scene of the previous film, 'SPECTRE', which was #203 when Bond and Madeleine drive off in the DB5. 'No Time To Die' will have an extended epilogue to the traditional 3-act structure and explains the longest ever run time of 2 hours and 43 minutes.
One of the final scenes to be shot Italy back in September was with Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) on the coast near Maratea Port for scene #235. This location is doubling for Safin's island. Local press caught shots of a rib boat with Nomi in combat gear and Madeline on a radio.
But there is a third character included in these late scenes, and it is not James Bond. Her name is Mathilde and she is 5 years old. She appears in scene #235: "Nomi pilots Madeleine and Mathilde to safety with island in the background."
During the April 2019 launch event for the film, Naomie Harris said that the film takes place 5 years in real-time after the events of 'SPECTRE'. This is true, but only after the pre-titles sequence. And why would that be significant when the time between films is rarely a plot point? 'No Time To Die' opens with Bond and Madeliene continuing their romance in Italy, and Bond visiting the grave of Vesper. Explosive events occur followed by the DB5 chase (as seen in the trailer). Bond is later revealed to be retired in Jamaica - 5 years later - without Madeleine. They meet again at MI6 when interrogating Blofeld.
This time gap is what is critical to the age of the Mathilde character. She features in the epilogue of the film:
Scene #199: INT ASH's DEFENDER - "Ash coordinating the pursuit of Bond"
Scene #201: EXT DEAD TREE, FOGGY FOREST - "Bond sees a hiding place" (Bond, Mathilde)
Scene #235: EXT RIB - "Nomi pilots Madeleine and Mathilde to safety with island in the background"
Scene #243: EXT NEARBY ISLAND - Coverage and wide shot (Madeleine, Nomi, Mathilde)
Scene #253: INT VANTAGE, MATERA - "Madeleine is going to tell Mathilde a story, they drive into a tunnel"
Playing Mathilde is child actress Lisa-Dorah Sonnet. For the location shoot in Italy, the production also had a stand-in for Mathilde, who was a local Italian girl named Allegra Schetting (6 years old). For the wide shots of the rib boat scene, stunt doubles were used for Nomi and Madeliene, but for safety reasons a dummy was used for Mathilde.
How does Mathilde figure into the film?
Press reports of Safin's plan have suggested cloning and Safin's obsession with Madeleine (Safin saves a young Madeleine from a frozen lake as a child). Mathilde could be a young Madeleine cloned by Safin.
Could James Bond become a parent? Regular Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have for years worked on including elements of unused Ian Fleming material, and aside from Bond's brainwashed attempt to assassinate M in 'The Man With The Golden Gun', one of the most glaring omissions from the film series is how Bond leaves Kissy at the end of 'You Only Live Twice'. Kissy, who knows of Bond's true identity but hides it from him while he suffers amnesia, becomes pregnant. She hopes that Bond will propose marriage and she'll find the right time to tell him about her pregnancy. But Bond discovers a reference to Vladivostock on newspaper scrap and, knowing it means something to his past and lost memory, leaves Kissy and heads to Russia. Bond dealing with becoming a parent never happened within the Fleming books, and as the author died after completing the follow-up, it was a thread left loose. Will Craig's tenure end with James Bond taking on the role of a parent to Mathilde?
Considering 'No Time To Die' was supposed to be released back in April, it is unprecedented for the Bond series that this huge epilogue would have been widely unknown up until the point it hit screens.