A key plot concept appears to have been leaked by a British newspaper. (Warning: possible spoilers ahead). The showbiz gossip columnist Baz Bamigboye, in his latest weekly page in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper (May 31st), has revealed that genetic engineering and warfare are at the heart of the storyline to Bond no. 25, which is currently in production.

Furthermore, actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the acclaimed creator of Fleabag and one of the writers on the award-winning BBC TV series Killing Eve, and who was hired at the insistence of Daniel Craig to carry out some script dialogue and other character development work on B25, has helped make the complexity of genetics more accessible and easier to understand for audiences.

An unnamed studio executive in Los Angeles apparently told Baz Bamigboye: ‘There aren’t many people in the world bright enough to bring some humour to the topic of genetics and the Human Genome Project’ – but the London-born actress and screen-writer is clearly one of them.

Waller-Bridge has been working with director Cary Fukunaga on the screenplay while Daniel, who injured his ankle during the recent location filming in Jamaica, recuperates. Interestingly, Rami Malek, who is playing B25’s main villain, has also been brainstorming with experts on genetics to give him some background for his character’s nefarious use of genetic science.

The Sci-Fi Spy

In many ways, this latest news about the concepts at the heart of B25’s storyline will be very reassuring to Bond fans. The franchise has often combined modern science-fiction elements with 007’s globe-trotting adventures, and it seems B25 will be the latest Bond movie to tap into this. At various moments in past entries in the series, the Bond universe has made use of atomic power, laser technology, space hardware, germ warfare, information technology, electro-magnetic-pulse weaponry, stealth devices, satellites, even at one point (in Moonraker) drawing upon technical advice from N.A.S.A. If there had been a third Dalton Bond movie, there is also good evidence that the script would have required use of the latest robotic technology

The misuse of such technology by villains has been a core theme in the Bond stories, both in the original Fleming novels and also on the big screen. James Bond’s battles against nefarious schemes hatched by evil villains against an ominous backdrop of global ‘threat’ and a sense of foreboding has given cinema audiences many hours of pleasure over the years, and B25 will undoubtedly join this time-honoured cinematic tradition.

Watch this space for further B25 news as it develops. You know the name, and you know the number.

Actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge