Bond will be back – soon! While we patiently await the unveiling of the eagerly anticipated new 25th James Bond film later this year, those keen for a few ‘preview’ teasers on the movie can read some interesting new comments by the director.

The new issue of the popular and best-selling UK cinema magazine Empire (August, 2020) carries a nice preview of the new 007 adventure No Time To Die, with some new reflections from the Bond 25 director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, together with some striking new stills from the production, including one of the villain Safin (played by Rami Malek).

As Bond fans know, the release of the new 007 film was dramatically put back until November, 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of many cinemas across the globe, a delay decision which had been a painful but necessary move by the studio and the EON producers.

The director revealed to Empire that conversations about the potential impact of the pandemic took place early in the New Year: ‘There were a lot of conversations happening as early as January’, Fukunaga told the magazine. And he pointed out that he had experienced a similar situation with his very first movie, Sin Nombre, which had come out in 2009 during the swine flu pandemic: ‘So I had trauma from that experience…’.

Fukunaga said he was following news of this latest pandemic closely and ‘almost every day’ was asking the producers what the plan was, as the virus was ‘not stopping’ (London’s Royal Albert Hall, for example, had been booked for the traditional world premiere). Then, in March, with just a few weeks to go, everything was put on ice, something which made news headlines both in the UK and around the world.

Interestingly, as Empire noted, despite the fact that he had suddenly been given more time to possibly tinker with the movie, Fukunaga chose to leave it well alone: ‘You could just twiddle and tweak and it doesn’t necessarily get better’. He said, for all intents and purposes, they had finished the film; he had ‘mentally and emotionally’ finished the film.

Bond, James Bond…

On the general approach to James Bond in No Time To Die, the director offered some further tantalizing clues on the way the character will build on Daniel Craig’s previous renderings of Ian Fleming’s spy: ‘Because it’s Daniel’s last movie, I wanted a sort of emotional heart to it. He started off in Casino Royale a pretty tough character, but he falls in love. But for the rest of the films, that heart is pretty closed down. I wanted to see if I could open it back up again for the final film’.

And, clearly, the return of Dr. Madeleine Swann (played by Lea Seydoux) will be very much at the core of this: ‘I thought that Madeleine Swann was an enigma and in Spectre you don’t really get a chance to understand her, or what her attachment is to Bond. So I wanted to dive deeper into that’.

The new issue of Empire magazine (August, 2020) is on sale now in all good retail outlets in the UK, priced £4.99 (or in the USA at $11.25, and Canada at $11.99).

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

The last night of filming: Fukunaga with Craig at Pinewood Studios.