Bond 25 is slated to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day 2020 and we still don’t know much about the film beyond the fact that Cary Fukunaga is directing and Daniel Craig is returning as 007. But what would a modern Bond movie be without M, Q and Moneypenny? To that end, Fukunaga has revealed that Spectre stars Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris will return for Craig’s last go-round in the tuxedo, but perhaps most importantly, so will Léa Seydoux.
Yes, breaking franchise tradition, Seydoux will reprise her role as Dr. Madeleine Swann, who ultimately falls for Bond. The franchise doesn’t typically welcome back so-called ‘Bond girls,’ but 007’s recent adventures have been part of a cohesive storyline, so it makes sense that there would be some kind of romantic continuity along the way.
Of the returning cast members, I have a particular affinity for Harris’ turn as Moneypenny, as the Moonlight star does wonders with that role. Meanwhile, Seydoux is an underrated actress and her return is encouraging, as I’m hoping that Craig’s Bond will have a happy ending, which typically means finding love. Of course, that may be too much to ask for the superspy, who lives life on the edge and is always thisclose to catching a bullet.
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the script, though Fukunaga has no doubt put his stamp on the project by now. The release date was pushed after Danny Boyle‘s exit, and recent Bond movies have opened in November rather than February, though that month proved fruitful for Black Panther. I expect Bond 25 to blow up the box office regardless of when it hits theaters, so long as it’s not up against Marvel or Star Wars.
As with much Bond chatter, the news hails from the Daily Mail, whose Baz Bamigboye spoke to Fukanaga about why he’s bring everyone back for Craig’s sendoff. “You have some of the best actors in the world here. Why wouldn’t I have the best coming back?!” As with most filmmakers I know, Fukunaga likes to make his own casting choices, but when you’re stepping into a franchise, you don’t always get that luxury — though in this case, Fukunaga inherits a top-notch cast and will certainly add a few new names of his own. Will it be one of his past collaborators from the distinctly American TV shows True Detective or Maniac, or perhaps (gasp!) his Beasts of No Nation star Idris Elba? Probably not… but I could see Jane Eyre stars Jamie Bell or Sally Hawkins as a strong fit for this franchise in various capacities, and it’d be great if Fukunaga could find a role for young Beasts star Abraham Attah, but that may be wishful thinking.
Seydoux has been in the news of late, as she recently signed on to join Wes Anderson‘s new film The French Dispatch. Fiennes will star in Matthew Vaughn‘s Kingsman prequel. Harris lends her voice to Andy Serkis‘ Mowgli, which hit today, while Whishaw next stars in Mary Poppins Returns.