Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Staring: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Naomie Harris
Release Date: April 8, 2020
That theme song, the look, the suaveness. I am a sucker for James Bond.
No Time To Die (AKA Bond 25) brings back Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux and the cast of regulars in what looks like an immediate return to form. (Can you tell that I am buying the hype?) The debut trailer intertwines a ton of different variables but the overarching themes of secrets and one’s mythos are apparent throughout.
It starts out with Bond (Daniel Craig) and Dr. Mandeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in a car chase and Bond is rather busily delivering a foreshadowing line to his femme, “We all have secrets, we just haven’t gotten to yours yet.” Then when Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) gets his monologue, he again mentions how Swann has a secret that can be the death of Bond. Then of course these is classic secret plot of the mastermind villain…
Alright get your Phantom of the Opera jokes out of here. I get it with the mask.
Rami Malek is playing Safin, a young terrorist who seems to connect with Bond on a personal level with the line he whispers, “I could be speaking to my own reflection.” Again, much like in Skyfall, the idea of Bond being past his prime is spotlighted when Safin says his skills will endure even when he is past while Bond’s are latched to his physical abilities.
One thing to note with Safin is his mask. He has a scarred face which he surely came by in some sort of a terrible accident and his mask covers up his mutilations. But in the shot through the pained glass…that mask is whole. Have to think his cover-up becomes mangled as No Time To Die plays out. And connecting it with Phantom of the Opera…I have a slight theory.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway play centers around this tormented soul who is a legend in the physical theater with a tormenting mythos about him. The Phantom falls for Christine, his Angel of Music, but in the end he can not have her. Drawing a connection between the play and No Time To Die, I think Safin (with the similar mask) may have been with or was linked to Swann, but for whatever reason they could not remain together. It’s a secret that they were once together, and it’s that secret that’ll somehow pull Bond back into the fray and risk his ideal life.
I like this idea too because throughout the trailer it’s blatant how Bond is now longer the man he once was and the myth around his name has been lost a bit to time. He has become someone in the shadows that’s a memory and people have moved past, just like The Phantom in Phantom Of The Opera. However, he is thrust into the limelight again because of love and affection…like how The Phantom in the play aggressively emerged from the shadows for his love for Christine.
If this theory hold true, I’m curious to see how the writers and director Cary Joji Fukunaga can play both sides of that coin.
Back to the trailer.
Near the end of the preview is my favorite line: “History isn’t kind to men who play god.” The cut to the close-up pf Bond’s face is effective and frankly a bit jarring. It’s the necessary hero and villain verbal face off that’s in nearly every Bond movie, so count me in for some quality writing and quick quips.
Also, I have an announcement…I have a new female crush and her name is Ana de Armas. Having just seen her carry Knives Out with Craig, I am incredibly excited to see her in No Time To Die. She looks fine as hell as Paloma, A CIA agent assigned to help Bond over the course of his mission. In the trailer we see her kicking ass and only time will tell if she is truly an ally or another character with hidden villainous secrets.
Paloma isn’t the only new female character. Lashana Lynch plays Nomi, who is heavily rumored to have taken the mantle of 007 over from Bond during his extended absence. The trailer portrays her as someone who isn’t intimidated by Bond. She is the new generation of badass and a direct threat to the legend of Bond.
Fukunaga acknowledges Nomi’s impact in a direct quote from Empire: “The trailer gets across the spirit of the new generation coming up, and always pushing the ceiling…One of the themes that I want to play with in this was legacy and Bond’s legacy. After having retired, not having the new generation coming behind, is he (Bond) being rewritten.”
Everyone has secrets and everyone has a reputation. Bond’s has been explored in various avenues over the years but the last 13 years with Craig have put an extra emphasis on it. After all the controversy and drama surrounding No Time To Die, it is just exciting to see a trailer that looks fantastic and gets the juices flowing in a big way. With this being Craig’s last ride (so he says), let’s hope his reign closes out with a bang.
No Time To Die is expected to come out on April 8, 2020.