It’s one of the most anticipated movie releases in years and this week Bond fans will finally get their fix of 007.
Not only is Daniel Craig’s latest outing as the world’s most famous spy, No Time to Die is also the 25th landmark film in the Bond series since Dr No’s premiere in 1962.
And after being pushed back three times from the original release date slated for April 2020 due to the pandemic, it is finally set to appear on the big screen this Thursday.
With an estimated cost of $ 250 million, it’s the most expensive Bond movie ever made – and running at two hours and 43 minutes, fans are sure to get their money’s worth.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect …
No Time To Die picks up not far from the end of the 2015 Specter. By the end of the last film, Bond had learned the identity of crime boss Ernst Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz, who had harbored a hatred for him since his father had developed a relationship with the secret agent as a child.
After killing his own father in an avalanche, Blofeld – or Franz Oberhauser as he was originally called – reinvented himself as the leader of the terrorist organization Specter. After Bond chose not to kill him at the end of the 2015 film, Blofeld was arrested and the spy headed for sunset with Dr Madeleine Swann, played by French star Lea Seydoux.
And this is where the new movie begins, according to actor Lea. Together in the rugged hills of Matera, Italy, Bond and Madeleine began a new life, with the action-packed days of the MI6 spy firmly anchored in the past.
Filmselect Trailer / Youtube)
But with Madeleine keeping her own secrets and Bond troubled by the past, problems follow and they go their separate ways.
Five years later, we find Bond in Jamaica, retired, drinking and alone. When former CIA contact Felix Leiter asks for help, Bond finds himself called in again. Blofeld is back and new villain Safin, played by Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek, is making waves.
Bond reunites with ‘M’, played by Ralph Fiennes, along with others from his old network. With new systems in place at MI6, Bond is struggling to adapt – but the world needs him. Bringing more layers to the film, the beautiful and complicated Madeleine is making a comeback.
With more action than ever, No Time To Die far exceeds the Guinness World Record set by its predecessor Specter for the biggest explosions in cinema history with 135.4 kg of explosions during filming.
But the action doesn’t end there, with huge stunts.
Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 plays a leading role, with reports that, in addition to two of the classic cars on set, the extravagant production brought six stunt replicas to film a massive car chase in Italy , which lasted six weeks.
According to reports, two of the replicas came complete with machine guns and a mine dispenser, with two more controlled by stuntmen on the roof while the actors crouched inside.
Actor Daniel tore a ligament in his ankle in Jamaica at the start of filming, meaning much of the heavy-handed action was postponed until later in filming.
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In addition to all the usual ingredients of a Bond hit – shootouts, dramatic stunts, world locations – No Time To Die is also a love story, with the return of the astonishing and mysterious Madeleine.
Star Lea Seydoux revealed, “We start No Time To Die with Madeleine and Bond right after Specter, and they are happy together in Italy until she reveals a secret and everything changes from that point on.”
Reflecting on the franchise’s shift in approach to women, Lea said they “were previously less developed but are portrayed very differently in No Time To Die.”
Another familiar face returns with Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, acting as the “moral compass” in the film and standing up for what she believes in.
New to the scene and making the girl squad laugh, Cuban CIA agent Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, is not only beautiful, but she’s also fearless and funny, bonding with Bond through her sense of purpose. offbeat humor.
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Actor De Armas shared how the character had all of the characteristics of a woman written by film co-writer and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“You could… tell Phoebe was in there,” she said. “There was that humor and liveliness so specific to her. My character looks like a real woman.
New Nomi ’00’, played by Lashana Lynch, arrives for No Time To Die, taking on Bond. She is up to date with the latest gadgets and got closer to the all-important “M” while Bond was not in the game.
In the movie trailer, she cautions him, “Stay in your lane. You get in my way, I’m going to put a bullet in your knee … the one that works.
The star said she had good real-life spy credentials. “I’m actually really good at keeping secrets,” she said. “Even from my friends.”
Baddie Blofeld is back. And while this time around he’s behind bars, he still has some nasty buddies on the outside who can take his orders – especially the Primo henchman, played by Dali Benssalah.
Meanwhile, the world faces another enemy with the arrival of the sinister Safin, a psychopath Bond and his allies fearful of wreaking havoc.
As well as sharing a past with Bond’s lover, Madeleine, Safin’s scar – seen in a grim, expressionless mask in the trailer – is said to be a former “Specter” assassin, as well as an enemy of Blofeld.
“James Bond, we both eradicate people to make the world a better place,” Safin says in the film’s trailer. “I just want to be a little … cleaner.”
Actor Remi Malek recounted how he studied “almost every villain in movie history” during his research.
Of his creepy persona, he said, “There are times when he can consider himself heroic, but at the same time, I’m not sure if he sees heroes and villains in his eyes. It’s more about who hits first and who hits hard.
AS always, Bond’s international glamor takes center stage. The rustic hillside town of Matera in southern Italy forms a dramatic backdrop for a fierce car chase, with Bond and his lover Madeleine under attack.
Jamaica – where Ian Fleming wrote Bond’s first novel – also makes an appearance as 007 tries to leave his life at MI6 behind. No Time to Die isn’t the secret agent’s first time on the Caribbean island, with scenes filmed there for Dr No and Live and Let Die.
Taking things further north, Norway presents itself in a dramatic chase across a frozen lake between Safin and Madeleine – who grew up in the Nordic country.
Evil Safin gets his own fictional island, with filming on the Faroe Islands, while other work has been done in the UK at Ardverikie Estate and Cairngorms in Scotland and of course at the Spy Headquarters in London.
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The mind-boggling No Time To Die theme was written by pop sensation Billie Eilish.
Speaking to the film’s official podcast, the Grammy winner said, “You can’t do a Bond song without it sounding like a Bond song.”
Film composer Hans Zimmer – who wrote the music for everything from The Lion King and Gladiator to 12 Years a Slave – wrote the music for the film. Three tracks from the score – Gun Barrel, Matera and Shouldn’t We Get to Know Each Other First – have been released, with dedicated fans looking for clues to the film in their lyrics and motifs.