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Bond 25 announcement: Consistency is key

Posted on 25 April 2019

An expert in film, television and digital culture at the University of York comments on the latest announcement on the cast and plot of the 25th installment of the James Bond movies.

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Dr Nick Jones, from the University of York's Department of Theatre, Television and Film, said: "Today's announcement concerning the 25th Bond film offered only minor surprises. Many details - Rami Malek's villain, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's co-writing credit - had already made headlines. But alongside these new faces there are many familiar ones. 

"Continuity, indeed, has been key in the Craig era: Casino Royale (2006) was followed by the first direct sequel in the franchise, Quantum of Solace (2008), and Spectre (2015) sought - unconvincingly - to tie up the threads of all of Craig's films to date.

"Many of the regular cast of Craig's tenure will be returning next year - including Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw and Naomi Harris - and this suggests a move away from the idiosyncratic, standalone adventure that director Danny Boyle wanted to make before leaving the project last August, and back towards a continuation of Craig's arc from brutal rookie to tired (and retired) gentleman spy. 

Stronger female characters

"Lea Seydoux also returns from Spectre, one of the few times a love interest has reappeared; Bond's married life may have been cut short at the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), but allusions to his widowed status can be found in For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Licence to Kill (1989).

"Perhaps her presence, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's contributions to the script, will give us a Bond surrounded by stronger female characters, even if the villain is not a scorned ex-lover of 007's, as was the plan for Bond 25 at one point. 

"Given the phenomenal commercial success of Craig's films, in particular Skyfall (2012), and the fact that a new Bond actor will most likely be in the running for Bond 26 (Craig is 51 this year, and has openly expressed his exhaustion with the role), it is perhaps no surprise that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have only lightly stirred the elements of this franchise, rather than giving them the good shake that some think is called for."