No Time To Die will finally be hitting our cinema screens on 12th November. After a couple of delays that have left fans shaken and stirred, the anticipation of Bond's 25th outing is already unprecedented – and it's expected to rise even more over the next two months.
While the release schedule leading up to Christmas is full of substantial names, and is sure to throw up a few surprises too, here are 5 reasons why we think No Time To Die will be one of the biggest movie events this winter.
1. It's Daniel Craig's swansong
Few could've anticipated that the Chester-born actor would have such a profound impact as James Bond when he was announced as the spy's sixth incarnation in 2005. After the ropey end to Pierce Brosnan's tenure, it was Daniel Craig's rough but vulnerable take on the character in Casino Royale that gave the franchise a desperate upgrade as ingenious as one of Q's inventions. Having elevated himself to one of fans' favourite Bonds through his subsequent outings, it is with bittersweet excitement that we look forward to Craig's final appearance as MI6's most suave spy. Given that the story is the culmination of all of Craig's five films to date, we're expecting an explosive, emotional farewell.
2. Rami Malek plays the creepy villain
In his first major role since conquering the globe as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek takes a more sinister turn as Craig's final foe. Hoping to emulate the success of stellar turns from Javier Bardem and Christopher Waltz in Skyfall and Spectre respectively, Malik's spookily masked Lyutsifer Safin has all the halmarks of being a classic Bond villain. The intelligent and ruthless terrorist has ominously been described by director Cary Joji Fukunaga as "more dangerous than anyone [Bond] has ever encountered," which should make for a very tasty showdown indeed.
3. Bond girls make a stand
As time has progressed, Bond's female companions have gradually morphed from bikini-clad sex symbols to strong characters that are integral to the success of Bond's missions, utilising skills, knowledge and resolve that sometimes leave the secret agent looking little more than an uncouth brute by comparison – think Natalya Simonova in Goldeneye, Camille Montes Rivero in Quantum Of Solace or Dame Judi Dench's seven-film run as M. In No Time To Die, Daniel Craig is joined by a quartet of strong allies in his fight against Rami Malek's Safin. Naomie Harris and Léa Seydoux reprise their roles as MI6's Eve Moneypenny and psychiatrist Dr. Madeleine Swann respectively. And making their first appearance are Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch and Knives Out's Ana de Armas. Agents for MI6 and the CIA respectively, both amplify their firepower in the trailer, and it could be interesting to see how Cary Joji Fukunaga will stop them from stealing Craig's thunder.
4. The action
For all the wisecracks, gadgets, sophistication and ingenious narratives, Bond films have always been brimming with fistfights, shootouts and explosions, whether they be in volcanoes, underwater, in libraries or in outer space. No Time To Die looks set to ensure that Daniel Craig goes out with a bang – the trailer features Bond playing games of chicken with cars on a bridge, exploding ships and buildings, a tuxedo gun fight, and plenty more kicks, bangs and wallops. It's sure to be a blockbuster that has to be experienced on the biggest, loudest stage.
5. A film for our times
Given the increasingly uncertain world No Time To Die is being unleashed on, it's fitting that the film seems to present a troubling doubt, with a changing of the guard, ambiguous futures and blurred lines between good and evil. Knowing that it's the beloved Daniel Craig's last time behind the wheel of the Aston Martin will already have cinema viewers on high emotional alert, but from the opening credits there will be little firm ground, with Bond having retired from active service and contemplating his role in the world. That his long-time love interest Madeleine Swann is in peril at the hands of such a ruthless villain as Safin will no doubt increase the tension for those who vividly remember Bond's heartbreak at losing Vespa Lynd in Casino Royale.
But while the action and jeopardy will be a treat for the eyes and tug at the heartstrings, Safin's complex character will no doubt have the mind asking questions as well.
No Time To Die arrives at Cineworld cinemas on 12th November. What are you looking forward to most about the film? Let us know @cineworld.