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9/8/2020 • 3 min read
It's been five years since James Bond last brought his brand of brutal class to the big screen, in SPECTRE. Now, NO TIME TO DIE is about to close out the Daniel Craig era with a story that pulls together many plot threads from movies going back to Craig's Bond debut in 2006's CASINO ROYALE. The new trailer for this 25th James Bond movie reveals more than we have seen of the film so far, and also raises several big questions.
One of the biggest questions related to NO TIME TO DIE is whether or not Daniel Craig's James Bond will die, and we've addressed that here. But the new trailer led to quite a few more questions about the 25th official Bond movie, and we discuss them all below.
Before we begin, let's look at the new Bond trailer one more time. We're going to refer back to it a few times in the paragraphs that follow.
Plans and plots in James Bond movies can be labyrinths. They're rarely as simple as "bad guy wants to blow something up." That's often the instigating event, and that might be part of the overall plan, but there are usually a lot of other details in the way. So what does Rami Malek's character Safin want?
"We both eradicate people to make the world a better place," Safin says in the latest trailer. "I just want to be a little… tidier." Make of that what you will. And check out the featurette on the character, embedded below, for a more tantalizing glimpse of curious footage. Take that image above, for example. The suggestion is that it is part of whatever Safin is doing. But what is it?
Since the first real details began to emerge about NO TIME TO DIE, fans have theorized that this movie is a vague adaptation of, or even sort of a sequel to the early Bond novel "Dr. No," which became the very first James Bond movie. The way Safin is styled is reminiscent of the early franchise villain. And Dr. No was tied to Spectre, with the character's fate leading to the terrorist organization's long-running vendetta against the British secret agent. Granted, both the book and movie versions of Dr. No have metal hands — in the movie this is due to exposure to radiation — and Safin does not seem to be burdened with prosthetics. But this is a Bond movie, so virtually anything can happen.
As the footage above shows, Safin is being set up as the primary villain in trailers and other materials which tease the movie, but we know that Christoph Waltz returns as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. So far, the recurring Bond baddie is being set up as a Hannibal Lecter-type figure, who can advise Bond and MI6 — or misdirect them — on a course of action to deal with Safin.
But Blofeld is one of the classic Big Bads of the Bond series; he's the most commonly-seen villain, having appeared in nine movies, including this new one. All of which leads us to guess that Blofeld has more to do than act as a mole, advisor, or provocateur.
Ana de Armas has become one of the hottest new talents around in the last couple of years. The Cuba-born actor first appeared in American movies like KNOCK, KNOCK and WAR DOGS before going on to more significant roles in BLADE RUNNER 2049 and especially KNIVES OUT, in which she played a pivotal part. The character Paloma was created specifically for her by director Cary Joji Fukunaga and written by "Fleabag" creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge after she was brought on to work on the new Bond script.
So how is Paloma connected to Bond in NO TIME TO DIE? She's a CIA agent from Cuba, and producer Barbara Broccoli told Vanity Fair that "Her character is someone who’s just started working for the CIA, and so she’s supposed to have minimal training when she first meets Bond. The expectation is that she’s not going to be the most proficient agent, but let’s just say that she really packs a punch." But that doesn't really indicate what Paloma's intentions are — and whether or not she'll leave Bond better or worse off than he was before meeting her.
We know that NO TIME TO DIE begins with James Bond in retirement, and that he goes back into action to stop whatever plot Safin is brewing. We also know this is meant to be Daniel Craig's final go as Bond. So what happens in between? The "00" designation indicates a license to kill, and we know that there have been agents numbered between 002 and 012 in the movies. Two characters have been designated 006 but we don't know if they're meant to be the same person — as James Bond is, even when played by different actors — or if one 006 replaced another.
All of which brings us to Lashana Lynch's character Nomi, who is definitely a "00" agent. Has she been designated 007 while Bond was in retirement? And if so, will she retain that status following this movie? Perhaps the fan reaction to NO TIME TO DIE will help determine the outcome. We've never seen a new Bond actor set up in the last movie featuring the outgoing star — but there's a first time for everything.
All images courtesy of United Artists Releasing.
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