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Daniel Craig is back on board for the 25th James Bond movie, set for release in 2019, and at last the rumor mill is beginning to shift into gear. The script's being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, long-time Bond collaborators who worked on Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. But what will the plot actually be? If the latest rumors are to be believed, we're about to see an arc that will be familiar to any James Bond fan.
No Happily Ever After For James Bond
Claiming information from "a source close to the production," Geek Tyrant reports that the plot sees James Bond attempt to retire from life as a secret agent. Spectre introduced us to Léa Seydoux's Madeleine Swann, the latest in a long line of Bond girls, but this time 007 has fallen in love. The film kicks off with the chimes of wedding bells.
Of course, we all know there's no happily ever after for a man like James Bond. In a plot twist that will be familiar to anybody who's watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond's wife is soon dead. Unlike the George Lazenby film, though, the death isn't the end of the movie; it's just the beginning. Dr. Swann's murder launches James Bond on a mission to exact bloody revenge on his enemies.
The tone and style of the movie is described as a sort of "Taken with Bond," and promises to continue in the more personal vein we've seen in the Daniel Craig era. These days, when the mad scientists strike, they do so in a way that cuts to the heart of what it means to be Britain's top secret agent.
Never Dream Of Dying
There are also strong rumors that the plot is loosely inspired by Raymond Benson's novel Never Dream of Dying, a James Bond novel published in 2001. The book saw Bond team up with another long-standing character created by Ian Fleming, secret agent René Mathis, and uncover a conspiracy known as The Union. Given Mathis (played by Giancarlo Giannini) was killed off in Quantum of Solace, we can assume the plot will play out very differently.
An intriguing synopsis of the novel from The Mirror:
"The action kicks off in the south of France where a police raid ends up killing innocent people.
A dead man’s jail confession puts 007 on the trail of the bad guys. He starts a relationship with a film star called Tylyn Mignonne whose husband just happens to be connected to the Union.
Our hero has an underwater brush with death, a chase through the wilds of Corsica, a surprise encounter with an old friend — and a showdown with the blind baddie."
Assuming both these rumors are true, is it possible the police raid — which seems to be the inciting incident — will lead to Dr. Swann's death?
Right now, these are only rumors. So take them with a hefty pinch of salt. At the same time, though, they're also intriguing in that they show a subtle balance between original plot and smart homage. That fits with the approach recent Bond films have taken, and it's worth remembering that this is another anniversary film — the 25th James Bond movie. The last anniversary movie, Skyfall, was one of the most entertaining homages in the franchise to date, so it's quite possible something similar is in the works this time around too.