Next year, Daniel Craig will star in No Time to Die: his very, very final, honestly-this-time-I-really-mean-it outing as James Bond.
Craig has been here before, saying he’s done with the character, so some might be skeptical. But it’s accurate to refer to Craig’s role as James Bond rather than 007 because – at the start of the film at least – he’s no longer on active duty within the Secret Service and his ’00’ (license to kill) designation has apparently now been taken by another agent, Nomi (played by Captain Marvel‘s Lashana Lynch). (News that this agent was female led to a small wave of indignation from purists who had just barely recovered from campaigns to boycott Doctor Who for the same gender reasons). But the idea that the new 007 might be quickly disposed of in the opening moments, thus giving James a personal stake in matters, see a little wide of the mark given the amount of time Lynch features in the trailer.
The story sees Bond’s old CIA associate Felix Leiter turning up to Bond’s ‘retirement’ home in Jamaica and asking for help, leading the ex-agent on the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology and a personal agenda. Jeffrey Wright once again essays Leiter with return roles for Christoph Waltz (as Blofeld), Ralph Fiennes (as ‘M’), Ben Whishaw (as ‘Q’), Léa Seydoux (as Madeline Swann) and Naomie Harris (as Moneypenny). Rami Malek (who gave an award-winning turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody) is the partially-masked villain of the piece, Safin.
The trailer certainly displays some familiar elements: memorable stunt-work including fights, car-chases and at least one amazing motorcycle leap, a pounding soundtrack and a few touches of humour amongst the more darker, dramatic moments. We’ll find out who survives this endgame of sorts when A Time to Die (complete with its Love Boat-font title) arrives in May.