007 chiefs unveiled the cast for the next movie at a lavish event yesterday — but admitted they had not even given it a title yet.
The launch was intended to reassure fans the franchise was back on track after a string of setbacks.
But they were disappointed by an embarrassing lack of detail — and insiders left bewildered by its timing up against the new Avengers blockbuster.
007 star Daniel Craig, who previously said he would rather “slash my own wrists” than return, was at the event, held in Bond creator Ian Fleming’s Jamaican villa.
Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek was confirmed as his nemesis, though he was away filming in New York. The Brit promised via videolink: “I’ll be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this.”
But in a shock admission, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson said they have not yet agreed on a title for the film, out next April.
Ms Broccoli did reveal sketchy plot details, teasing: “We’ve got quite a ride in store for Mr Bond. It starts with him off-duty, enjoying himself in Jamaica.” Bond then agrees to help CIA pal Felix Leiter — but the mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist is “far more treacherous than expected”.
Among the newcomers unveiled yesterday was glamorous Spanish-Cuban actress Ana De Armas, a relative newcomer who stars with Craig in Knives Out later this year.
Another was Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch who is believed to play a prospective love interest.
They were pictured with Craig yesterday alongside Lea Seydoux, who reprises her role as Dr Madeleine Swann from 2015’s Spectre, and Naomie Harris, returning as Moneypenny.
Mercury star nabs top villain
THE Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar winner will play the film’s supervillain.
Rami is one of the world’s most in-demand stars since portraying Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic.
The American, 37, said: “This is the perfect follow-up.
“Going from one iconic Brit to an iconic British franchise.
“I know quite a bit about my character. It’s going to be thrilling and it’s Daniel’s last film so I’m going to give him a run for his money.”
Rami added he is studying the great villains of film history for the role.
He follows Christoph Waltz and Javier Bardem who played the baddies in Spectre and Skyfall.
However in another disappointment for fans yesterday, the tight-lipped cast refused to answer probing questions about the film at a supposed Q&A session.
Industry insiders were also baffled bosses chose to host the event on the day Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame is released.
Bond regulars Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Rory Kinnear will all return as the spy’s MI6 colleagues, it was confirmed.
Another addition is Brit Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writer and star of BBC comedy hit Fleabag, who was announced as the upcoming film’s script editor.
Craig, also now the franchise’s executive producer, is believed to have personally requested her involvement in an attempt to liven up the dialogue.
Also at the event was director Cary Fukunaga, who took over after the exit of Danny Boyle.
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The 2012 Olympics supremo reportedly clashed with Craig — the latest in a string of problems for the film, originally scheduled for release this autumn.
Initially Craig had refused to return after Spectre but is understood to have been swayed by a massive pay offer and promotion. Sam Mendes, the director of Spectre and Skyfall, is also said to have endured creative differences with Craig, whose other commitments led to delays.
Film sources say bosses wanted to draw a line under the problems after signing a massive £75million in sponsorship deals from major firms including Heineken and Bollinger.
Who are the Bond ladies?
(From left to right)
FRENCH star Lea reprises her role as Madeleine Swann, the fiery psychiatrist who melted Bond’s heart in 2015’s Spectre. Lea, 33, has impressed in several other Hollywood action movies featuring gun-toting macho men, including Inglourious Basterds, with Brad Pitt, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, with Tom Cruise.
Ana De Armas
LITTLE-known Ana’s profile is set to rocket as she prepares to make her Bond debut — having previously moaned that Hollywood roles were scarce for Latina women. The Cuban-Spanish beauty, 30, first appeared in 2006 film Una rosa de Francia before landing a part in erotic 2015 thriller horror Knock Knock, with Keanu Reeves. She has already acted with Daniel Craig, in the upcoming US whodunnit Knives Out.
AFTER turns in Spectre and Skyfall, left, Naomie will reprise her role as Moneypenny in Bond 25. The Brit, 42, was a child actress. She landed her first big role as a voodoo witch in 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. She was also in Miami Vice and Pirates follow-up At World’s End before becoming the first black Moneypenny.
BRIT Lashana’s career took off after she wowed as fighter pilot Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel, released earlier this month. The Londoner, 31, appears in the movie with Brie Larson, who stars in the title role. She was first on our screens in telly series The Bill in 2007 and has also appeared in Death in Paradise and Silent Witness. She made her film debut opposite Lily James in 2012’s Fast Girls. Lashana made her name across the pond after being cast as Rosaline Capulet in telly drama Still Star-Crossed in 2017.
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