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All the James Bond 25 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

The world of superspy MI6 agent James Bond has been a part of pop culture since 1953, when author Ian Fleming released Casino Royale. The character truly made the jump to the mainstream when the books started to get film adaptations, beginning with Dr. No in 1963. Over 50 years later, it's nearly time for Bond 25 to see release. As it is a major milestone for the franchise — it's the 25th canonically recognized film, as the 1967 comedy Casino Royale and the Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again aren't technically part of the accepted franchise — the studio and creators have been even tighter-lipped than normal with this entry.

If you're looking for information on Bond 25, which we now know will be titled No Time to Die, you've come to the right place. Leading up to the film's release, this article will be updated with all the rumors, spoilers, and leaks. Grab your martini (shaken, not stirred) and load your Walther PPK; here's everything we know so far about the upcoming Bond film.

The basic Bond ingredients

Details have been scarce about the story of Bond 25, but we do have a very minimal plot description. Here's how IMDb sums it up: "Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology."

It's generic, but it does give us some hints about where the plot could be headed — if this is truly Daniel Craig's final run as James Bond (more on that in a bit), the "one last job before I call it quits" trope seems to be rearing its head.

We know a few other solid details about the film's production, too. The movie is expected to arrive in theaters on April 8, 2020 with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing, who took over after Danny Boyle left the film due to "creative differences." Fukunaga is best known for directing Netflix's Maniac and the first season of True Detective. Finally, we know the writing team: besides Fukunaga, it includes Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

One last adventure for Craig's Bond

Like a number of the other actors who've played Bond, Daniel Craig has a complicated relationship with the character. Much of Craig's work as Bond has been lauded as some of the best the franchise has ever seen, and the character has made him an international superstar and a very rich man. However, the grueling pace and workload of an international film franchise has taken a toll on him, both mentally and physically.

Craig is no longer a young man, and he's suffered injuries from working on the Bond films that have required surgery. It also seems that Craig doesn't necessarily enjoy playing the character — in an interview with Time Out, he claimed "I'd rather slash my wrists" than play Bond again after Spectre, and "If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money." When asked who he'd like to see replace him, he shrugged, "All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we've left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better. Make it better, that's all."

He certainly wasn't lying about one element: Craig is reportedly bringing in a whopping $25 million for his role in Bond 25. Hopefully that much cash coaxes out his A-game.

What's the official title of Bond 25?

For a while, fans thought they'd sussed out the title of the film that we only know as Bond 25. The film's working title — a placeholder used during production to help workers discuss something being filmed — is Shatterhand, and many fans thought this would eventually be the film's actual title as well. Shatterhand is an alias used by Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Blofeld in Ian Fleming's books, so it seemed a small logical leap that Craig's last outing as Bond would deal with this old villain once again.

However, it also appears that the film's producer, Barbara Broccoli, has put that rumor to rest. According to Bond fansite MI6-HQ, a Bond fan approached Broccoli to autograph a fan-created poster for Shatterhand; Broccoli gladly autographed the piece, adding the words "It's Not" with an arrow pointing to the speculative title. 

And she wasn't lying! The official 007 Twitter account officially announced Bond 25's title on August 20th — Bond's next adventure will be called No Time to Die. The account made the announcement by also releasing this spiffy little logo animation.

From Bohemian to Bond: Rami Malek as Bond 25's villain

There are a lot of elements that all contribute to making an epic Bond film, but one of the most important is a memorable villain. Great bad guys can elevate an already good Bond film to legendary status, but a solid villain can make even a not-as-good Bond film entertaining. Christopher Lee's turn as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun is about one of the only reasons to watch that film, for example. No Time to Die is swinging big with its villain, enlisting the services of Rami Malek, fresh off his Oscar win for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Malek released this video, claiming he will make sure "Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it" in the upcoming film. Given the working title of Shatterhand and the uncertain fate of Christoph Waltz's Blofeld at the end of Spectre, there is some speculation that Malek will take a turn as Blofeld himself, possibly as a clone or through some sort of surgically altered version. That is far from confirmed, however, and it appears that Waltz himself will be appearing in the film, so don't count on Malek playing the iconic villain yet.

Out of retirement: The story of Bond 25

No Time to Die seems poised to offer callbacks to many Bond films of the past, and we know that one of the most iconic locations in his vast filmography will be seen at the beginning of the story. When the film was announced, executive producer Barbara Broccoli said it'll begin with Bond enjoying retirement in Jamaica, which the team considers Bond's "spiritual home."

Dr. No, 007's very first cinematic adventure, featured Jamaica prominently, so it seems fitting that the film will see Bond return to the idyllic setting to try to live out a normal life in retirement. However, we know that his old friend from the CIA, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), will come calling to rope Bond back into the game to deal with a new threat.

Poor Bond — he just wanted to settle down with Dr. Swann. Maybe that's why Craig hates the role so much: he never gets to have nice things.

Will No Time to Die really be the end for Craig's Bond?

Nearly every source of information surrounding Bond 25 refers to the film as Craig's last outing as James Bond, but at least one of his costars thinks that we might see Craig don the tuxedo for another outing.

Naomie Harris, who has played Eve Moneypenny in each Bond film since Skyfall, thinks that fan support could convince Craig to return yet again. "Everyone is assuming this is his last film," she told The Independent. "Daniel has never said that, so we don't know. It's still open — who knows? Genuinely I think he doesn't know. Nobody does. It depends on this film and if people turn out and are like, 'We want Daniel' — which I think they will — then he may well be back for another one."

Harris also wouldn't bite when asked who she thought would be a good replacement for Craig should he choose to walk away from the role.

Harris is probably a little optimistic on this one, but stranger things have happened. Enough fan outcry (and a sufficiently enticing salary) could possibly coax Craig back after No Time to Die.

The cast of Bond 25

We know many of the usual suspects are returning for No Time to Die. Besides Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, and Jeffrey Wright, we will also see Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, and Ben Whishaw returning to their respective roles, not to mention Christoph Waltz as (most likely) Blofeld. We also have a lot of new blood joining the cast, although the producers have done a pretty good job of keeping those roles secretive.

We know Rami Malek is the film's villain, but The Playlist revealed several other members of the cast. Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, and Billy Magnussen have all landed roles, although we only know character names for a few. Lynch will play a character named Nomi, de Armas will play Paloma, and Dencik will reportedly play a character named Waldo, provided the Swedish translation is up to snuff. However, any other details on these characters are still secret. Benssalah, Magnussen, and Malek's character names have yet to even be announced.

Who's performing the theme song for Bond 25?

One of the most recognizable aspects of a James Bond film is the opening credits and theme song. The last two Bond theme songs, Adele's "Skyfall" and Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall" (which was the theme to Spectre), won Oscars, so there are some big shoes to fill for Bond 25's theme. Rumors have suggested that those shoes might be filled by singer-songwriter Dua Lipa, according to various sources.

Express (via the Italian publication Sassilive) writes that Dua Lipa will be recording the theme and shooting a music video for Bond 25 in Italy at the end of summer 2019. Best known for the songs "IDGAF," "One Kiss," and "New Rules," she also recorded the "Swan Song" for the film Alita: Battle Angel.

When asked about the rumor in February, Dua Lipa said no offer had been made, but she "would absolutely love to do Bond." From the sound of things, she might just be given that chance.

Daniel Craig wants Ed Sheeran for Bond 25's theme song

While it may have seemed like Dua Lipa was in the bag as the recording artist for Bond 25's theme song, a new horse has entered the race. The Daily Mirror writes that 007 himself, Daniel Craig, reportedly wants Ed Sheeran to do the new theme. He may just get it: Craig has proven to have quite a bit of clout with the direction of the Bond series since his films have performed so well at the box office. He is a credited producer on No Time to Die as well, giving him even more say in the final product.

Sheeran, famous for hits like "Shape of You," "Thinking Out Loud," and "The A Team," claims he would be ready to roll if the 007 team were to come knocking. In 2017, he told The Late Late Show that he had written a Bond theme song three years ago, just in case he was ever asked to be a part of the franchise. He wouldn't go into too many details, but he insists the song wouldn't let fans down.

There's no confirmation on who is performing Bond 25's theme — Sheeran, Dua Lipa, or another candidate. Hopefully we'll know for sure soon.

A surprising addition to the Bond writing staff

The Bond 25 screenplay has several credited writers, but only one was specially requested by star Daniel Craig. He specifically asked director Cary Joji Fukunaga and producer Barbara Broccoli to bring on the creator and star of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and he had a few very specific reasons for doing it. She will be only the second woman credited as a writer on a Bond film.

The Daily Mail writes that Waller-Bridge, who will be only the second woman credited as a writer on a Bond film, was added to the writing staff because the plot was extremely complicated — it deals with genetic engineering and genetic warfare. Waller-Bridge has experience working with intricate, complex plots; besides Fleabag, she's also written for shows like Broadchurch and Killing Eve. A source told The Daily Mail that Waller-Bridge took a complex plot and "somehow made sense of it," adding, "There aren't many people in the world bright enough to bring some humor to the topic of genetics and the Human Genome Project."

Waller-Bridge also told Deadline that she was excited to write for the film's female characters and help make them more three-dimensional, saying, "I always think the test for me as an actor, whenever I'm writing anything, is: would I want to play that role?"

Grace Jones quit Bond 25 after feeling insulted by the size of her cameo

James Bond films typically don't bring back returners for simple cameo roles, so it seemed special that Grace Jones was reported to be returning to the series. Jones played the villainous May Day in 1985's A View to a Kill, but her character died in that film. It was a welcome surprise to hear that Bond 25 would honor Jones a bit by giving her an appearance. Unfortunately, Jones was not on the same page as the seemingly cursed production.

According to The Sun, bosses were extremely frustrated after securing accommodations for Jones and having her turn down the part after looking at it a bit closer. Jones reportedly thought it was a bigger role, and took the small role she was actually offered as a bit of a slight. It now appears Jones won't be appearing in No Time to Die after all. It will be interesting to see if the film has any more homages to past films up its sleeve. It will be even more interesting to see if any of them actually make it into the film.

There's a new 007 in Bond 25: Lashana Lynch

Although major plot points of No Time to Die are still under pretty tight wraps, we do know that the new film begins with Bond (Daniel Craig) trying to get away from the spy game in Jamaica. He has retired from MI6 and is trying to lead a normal life when events conspire against his plan. The Daily Mail writes that MI6 has moved on without Bond, and have given away the 007 codename to another spy, played by Lashana Lynch.

Lynch is probably best known for portraying Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel. A source close to the film tells The Daily Mail, "There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says 'Come in 007,' and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman… It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman." The source adds that Bond, of course, tries to seduce the new 007, but fails.

The introduction of this new 007 is being attributed to writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), who Daniel Craig specifically requested to write for Bond 25.