James Bond 25 is taking the iconic MI6 spy back to Italy. Production is finally getting ready to ramp up on the long-awaited sequel to 2015's Spectre. Daniel Craig will indeed be returning for one final go-around as 007 and with director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation) firmly in place, cameras will be rolling before we know it. While these productions tend to be globetrotting adventures, we've learned at least one location we can expect to see in the latest installment of the franchise.
According to a new report, James Bond 25 will specifically be filming in the town of Matera. It's a relatively small town, but no stranger to Hollywood productions. Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ also filmed there. It's expected that this is where the prologue will be filmed. So picture the famous skiing scene in The Spy Who Loved Me or the epic opening filmed in Mexico for Spectre. As for what we're going to see in this prologue or why Bond is back in Italy? That remains mysterious for the time being.
The franchise is no stranger to Italy. These movies have been using the country as a filming location ever since Sean Connery's second entry From Russia With Love. In the years since other Bond entries such as The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Casino Royale and Spectre have all filmed there. Roger Moore spent a healthy amount of time there during his tenure, but that's neither here nor there. Most importantly as it pertains to this movie is that the Daniel Craig era has been far more connected from entry to entry than with previous Bonds. So will there be a thematic reason for the return to Italy?
What we know for sure is that Cary Fukunaga has his own vision in mind, with writer Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) recently coming on board to overhaul the previous version of the script that was penned by franchise regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Beyond that, story details are being kept under wraps, though it's rumored that the movie's going under the title of Shatterhand during filming. But it's important to note that probably won't be the actual title of the movie once it's released.
As for casting, Rami Malek, who recently won an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, is in final negotiations to play the main villain, if his deal hasn't closed by now. There were also reports floating around that Lupita NYong'o was being eyed as the new Bond girl, but that didn't end up panning out. It's expected that Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q) and quite possibly Christoph Waltz (Blofeld) will return. There's also a decent chance we see Jeffrey Wright back as Felix Leiter, 007's pal from the CIA. Production is expected to begin next month. James Bond 25 is currently set to arrive in theaters on April 8, 2020. This news was first reported by Variety.