Spy Movie News October 26 2021 – James Bond, No Time to Die, Red Notice, The King’s Man, more!

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Contributed by: Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato - Spy Movie Navigator

Here’s our October 26, 2021 edition of Spy Movie News with latest updates on James Bond and No Time To Die , Red Notice , The King’s Man, Wife of a Spy, and more.

James Bond

No Time To Die

As one might expect, there has been a lot of news about No Time To Die.  Most of that news falls into two categories:   How is the movie doing at the box office and explanations of the plot twists. There is a third Bond category that has ramped up considerably since No Time To Die’s release, and that is the speculation as to who will be the next James Bond.   We’ll talk about all of these today. The plot twist news contains spoilers so we will put those topics at the end of this newscast.

How is No Time To Die doing at the box office?

Pretty well worldwide, but not in the US. According to Deadline.com, No Time To Die has crossed $ 525 million in worldwide box office, with $ 400 million of that coming from overseas, making it the second Hollywood movie to hit $ 500 million this year (and really since 2019). This brings it to the number 2 spot for Global box office this year. The other was this year’s F9: The Fast Saga which has taken in over $ 716 million worldwide since its June release.

We’ve talked about the impact of the non-US market on James Bond movies and the lead it has internationally over other spy movie franchises like Mission: Impossible and the Bourne series. That trend seems to be holding with No Time To Die.  We have to also remember that this movie is finally having its release in China this week and Australia on November 11 so there is some upside still to these numbers.

In the UK and Germany, No Time To Die is running in line with Spectre and Skyfall at the same point of release.  In The UK, No Time To Die has become Universal’s biggest movie of all time, overtaking 2008’s Mamma Mia, which happened to star former James Bond actor, Pierce Brosnan.  An article in insidethemagic.net tells us that on Hong Kong, Ukraine, Argentina, Paraguay and Egypt, No Time To Die has become the highest grossing Bond movie of all time.

We also want to point out that Dune, which like No Time To Die has had a rolling worldwide release schedule, just claimed the IMAX biggest global October opening, taking in about 20% of the worldwide Dune total for the weekend. This was the opening US weekend for Dune. With No Time To Die’s theater experience and rollout on IMAX, these big-budget, highly visual movies seem to have found a great partner with IMAX to enhance the cinema-goers experience.  It seems to be working.

Now, let’s talk about US box office. Venom: Let There Be Carnage had a US opening day box office of $ 90 million, releasing in the US a week before No Time To Die.  No Time To Die only had a relatively paltry $56 million opening weekend in comparison, which was 20% lower than Spectre. In fact, this was the worst US opening in the Daniel Craig era.  Some may blame it on the pandemic, but that doesn’t explain the Venom success. The Venom theaters were packed. We think something else is at play.  We couldn’t find anyone to talk to when we first saw No Time To Die for us to record our ‘fan reaction’ podcast.  Honestly. We had to go back to the theater a second time to get those interviews. We think the fact that the movie came out in the US a week after a whole slew of countries saw it hurt sales here. Reviews were talking about the wokeness of No Time To Die and the ending was obviously spoiled for most in the US audience.  We think the US market just said, the hell with it. I don’t need to see that kind of movie, especially I don’t need to see that ending.  We think that wokeness is running its course in the US and No Time To Die has been negatively impacted by that.   People here are fed up with it.

It looks like the decision to keep No Time To Die as a theater-only initial release was a wise one for EON, Universal, and MGM.  However, the decision to release in the US a week after many of the big markets likely cost it a bunch of revenue. The rumor is that they need to take in a worldwide box office of $600 – $900 million to break even. It will be interesting to see what happens with the China release this week and Australia in the middle of November.

Of course, will Eon, MGM and Universal make any money on the movie?   Their break-even numbers reported are all over the map from $600M to $900M.  In general,  the rule is a movie needs to make double its production costs at the box office to make money.  Estimate production costs for No Time to Die about between $250M and a bit over $300M – so, let’s just say they need $600.  So, at $525M already, it is looking good.   Plus Bond movies are notorious for making lots of money on product placement, and licensing agreements  – so more money will come in.

Who will be the next James Bond or James Bond villain?

For a while now, there have been numerous articles speculating about who will take over the reigns of James Bond. It’s fun speculation, as EON doesn’t even know the answer to this question.  In fact, Barbara Broccoli has been quoted as saying that the studio won’t even start looking for the next Bond actor until 2022.

That doesn’t stop us from having some fun by looking at some of the most recent speculation.

Let’s start with a quote from Daniel Craig giving advice to the next Bond actor taken from Kevin Hart’s Straight from the Heart podcast:

“There’s a couple of things I’d say, but I mean, one is don’t be shit. I would say you’ve got to grab it and make it your own. I think that’s the way to go forward. I mean, I just committed myself to it as much as I possibly could and tried to sort of elevate it as much as I could. I hope I’ve left it in a good place and I hope the next person can just make it fly. It’s an amazing franchise, I still think there’s a lot of stories to tell.”

Suggested Actors For The Next James Bond

Esquire’s List

Esquire has published what they call an in-depth analysis for the next Bond. We’ll give you their list as well as add their age and height. We at SpyMovieNavigator.com feel that age will be an important factor in Eon’s choice due to the amount of time between Bond movies. They need someone young enough to be appropriate for multiple movies, thus, multiple years. We’ll also add the actor’s height to the equation. Daniel Craig, at 5’ 10” was the first sub-6’ 1” actor to play Bond so will this have an impact in the decision?

Check out their article for their reasons why each person is on their list:

Actor Age Height
Lashana Lynch 34 5′ 9″
Dev Patel 31 6′ 2″
Luke Evans 42 6′ 0″
Regé-Jean Page 31 5′ 11″
Tom Holland 25 5′ 8″
Tom Hardy 44 5′ 9″
Robert Pattinson 35 6′ 1″
James Norton 36 6′ 1″
Sam Heughan 41 6′ 2″
Jack Lowden 31 6′ 1″
Richard Madden 35 5′ 10″
Riz Ahmed 39 5′ 8″
Daniel Kaluuya 32 5′ 9″
Michael Fassbender 44 6′ 0″
Henry Cavill 38 6′ 1″
John Boyega 29 5′ 9″

 

Ben Whishaw’s two choices

To take a different spin, we’ll look an article from Cinemablend.com. Ben Whishaw, the current Q in the Daniel Craig Bond movies would like to see a gay James Bond. He is suggesting a Bridgerton actor, and not the one everyone is talking about for the role. Instead of Regé-Jean Page, Whishaw suggests 5’ 11” tall, 33-year-old actor Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony in Bridgerton. His other choice would be Luke Evans, who was also mentioned in the Esquire article earlier.

Whishaw’s comments come with the following quote which talks about what’s required in taking on the James Bond role.:

“They’re both actors who it seems would be really capable of doing it and would be ideal casting. And it would be thrilling to see either of them do it. I wonder if either of them would want to — because it’s not just the demands of the role, but it’s like the demands of being Bond in the world and what it symbolizes and how it would change your life.”

Suggested Actors For The Next Bond Villain

On the villain front, two names have popped up as suggested villains for the next James Bond movie.

Lady Gaga

Mike Reyes suggests that Lady Gaga should play the next James Bond villain. He bases this suggestion, in part,  based on the trailer for the upcoming House of Gucci which has had its trailer playing in the previews in the cinema before the start of No Time To Die.  Reyes posits that Gaga has shown her acting bona fides with A Star Is Born. Music videos and her role in American Horror Story: Hotel show her villainess capabilities, not to mention the House of Gucci trailer.

He goes on to talk about how the villain used to be where people focused their attention in James Bond movies, even more so than Bond himself. Think of Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Live and Let Die, and the earlier Bond movies for examples of this. Lady Gaga would likely fit right into this mold.

Reyes even speculates that Lady Gaga landing this role would help ensure that she would get the theme tune to the movie. He points out that the upcoming spy movie Argylle has Dua Lipa both playing a role in the movie and providing the score. Let’s just hope that if Lady Gaga gets the villain role and the title tune that we don’t get a repeat of the last recording artist to do the music and have a role in a Bond movie, namely Madonna in Die Another Day. That didn’t work out too well.

Henry Cavill

Jon Fuge has an interesting article discussing Henry Cavill’s fit in upcoming James Bond movies.   Besides the obvious Cavill-as-James-Bond speculation, there is also speculation that he would be a great villain for Bond to have to deal with.  This all comes about after this quote from Cavill when asked if he’d play a Bond villain:

“If Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [G. Wilson] interested me in any capacity to be a part of their movies, then I will gladly have that discussion, and that would be something I’d be very keen to explore further.”

Now, one problem with Cavill-as-the-villain can best be expressed by a tweet from that article that says: “I think the next James Bond should be Tom Cruise and M is now played by Alex Baldwin and Q is played by Simon Pegg, and the villain could be played by Henry Cavill”. Um didn’t we just see that in Mission: Impossible: Fallout?  That could cause Eon to nix this idea.

 

Industry News

Red Notice

Netflix will finally be releasing Red Notice on its streaming platform on November 12.  Because it is released only on the streaming platform, there won’t be multiple release dates as No Time To Die had.

To help build the hype, Netflix has released its latest trailer for the movie.  This 3-minute trailer gives us more background on the movie. Let’s just hope it doesn’t give away too much.

The trailer starts out with Ryan Reynolds playing Noah Booth who is an art thief.  He gets confronted by Special Agent John Hartley, FBI, played by Dwayne Johnson who calls Booth the second most wanted art thief in the world. Obviously, there is a play to get the first most wanted art thief in the world.

The trailer shows lots of action, some comedy, and a bit about the plot.

You can check out the trailer either on Netflix or on YouTube, just search for Red Notice trailer.

Scarlett Johansson settles with Disney

We’ve been talking about Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney for a few months. She sued Disney for breach of contract because Disney released Black Widow on streaming and the cinemas on the same date. She claimed this cost her income. It is really no surprise, but Disney has ended up settling the lawsuit although details haven’t been released. With the practice of day-and-date gaining traction with content owned by streaming platforms, we don’t think Disney could have allowed this suit to reach a litigated outcome. The exposure to them would have been too high.

According to an article on DigitalSpy.com, Johansson says: “I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come.” Disney Studios chairman has a similar quote.

We assume future contracts with talent will spell out different distribution channels’ impact on pay going forward.

Disney pushes more movies out

In keeping with a trend, Disney has delayed the release of a slew of movies. An article on Variety.com goes into the details, but the short look is that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder were pushed 2 months.  Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was pushed 4 months.  The Marvels was pushed to early 2023, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has been pushed 5 months to July 2023 and the fifth Indiana Jones movie has been pushed almost a year to June 30, 2023.

Disney is claiming production issues and not pandemic box office returns as the reason behind these delays.

Wife of a Spy

A movie we mentioned back in our September 2020 Spy Movie News won the top prize at the Asian Film Awards. An article on Variety.com tells us that Wife of a Spy took home the awards for Best Film, Best Actress, and Best Costume Design.  We’ve watched this movie and it is a very good spy movie.  It is subtitled for English.  The only place we’ve found this movie available for streaming is at https://www.clevelandartsevents.com/event/wife-of-a-spy/for $12. It is available there through November 4th SpyMovieNavigator.com receives no compensation if you pay to watch this movie.

That same article in Variety says that the movie Cliff Walkers, for which we did a quick-fire review in May of 2021,  took home best editing at these awards.  We haven’t seen the winner for cinematography, The Wasteland, but we are surprised Cliff Walkers didn’t win that award too.

The King’s Man

In a Variety.com article, Daniel Bruhl discusses his upcoming role in the movie The King’s Man. This is the prequel to The Kingsman series. Daniel plays a stage clairvoyant in the movie. Our favorite quote from the article has Bruhl saying about his role:

“It’s not big, but I saw the potential for it to reappear later on, hopefully. That’s the first thing you check: Will they kill me? When will they kill me? How am I going to die?”

Given that there are many more The Kingman movies planned, this is probably a very important question for an actor to ask.

The King’s Man releases on December 22, 2021 in the US, the UK and many other countries.

The Channel

The upcoming crime thriller announces key cast members. An article on deadline.com lists, Clayne Crawford, Max Martini, and Hakeem Kai-Kazim as joining the cast of The Channel.  This movie will be filmed in New Orleans and is about a criminal, his brother, and their crew’s attempt to escape a determined FBI agent. No release date has been given.  We’re not 100% this is an espionage movie, but we’ll keep our eyes on it for you.

Section Eight

Another movie that has announced casting is Section Eight. According to HollywoodReporter.com, Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, and Ryan Kwanten have signed onto this movie.  Section Eight follows a former soldier who is sprung from prison and recruited by a shadowy government agency.

In Memorium

October was a tough month.

Leslie Bricusse

We are sad to announce the passing of Leslie Bricusse.  In the spy movie world he wrote the lyrics for “Goldfinger”(with Anthony Newley), the title song “You Only Live Twice”, and “Your Zowie Face” from In Like Flint.  Leslie was a 9 time Oscar nominee, winning twice. He also had multiple Grammy nominations, winning one. All of that said, he is also known for his extensive work with stage and movie musicals. Leslie turned 90 this past January.

We are also saddened to announce the passing of a man who many in the US wouldn’t know by name but had a large role in the James Bond world.  Jerry Juroe passed at age 98.  He worked for Eon in Europe on publicity campaigns, starting with Dr. No and continuing for 14 James Bond movies.  His memoir “Bond, The Beatles and My Year with Marilyn” was published in 2018.

 

James Higgins

Eon executive and the UK distributor for Indiana Jones and Top Gun has died at 98. Higgins spent over 30 years at Eon, the James Bond production company. In a 2012 interview he said he’d heard about “the end of cinema” numerous times over the course of his career but suggested it was unlikely. “It always remains that people enjoy seeing a film in the company of an audience and the reaction that you get from an audience,” Higgins said. “It’s a different sensation from just watching it on the television. That’s what keeps it going. And people want to go out.”  How true his words are today

 

Bob Herron

Stuntman Bob Herron has died a the age of 97.   In his prolific 60-year stunt career, Herron was involved with numerous tv shows, including “I Spy”, “The Man From Uncle”, “Mission: Impossible”, and “Charlie’s Angels” as well as on movies such a Diamonds Are Forever and In Like Flint.

 

John Ashton Thomas

British composer, arranger, and conductor John Ashton Thomas has passed the age of 60.  He worked on more than 160 movies, including The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Legacy, and the upcoming Operation Mincemeat.

Jean Hale

Actress Jean Hale passed away at age 82. Her career primarily was with roles on tv.  However, spy movie fans may remember her from her role as Lisa in In Like Flint.

James Bond

Ok, we’re going to close out our article by bringing things back to No Time To Die. At the top of this article, we talked about box office and future actors.  Now we will move to topics about the plot. Some of the articles we will reference contain spoilers which is why we’ve moved this to the end of the discussion.  Bail now if you haven’t seen the movie. You’ve been warned.

Key Plot Points With Madeleine Swann and Rami Malek Explained

Mike Reyes has two articles on CinemaBlend.com which discuss specific plot points.   The first is an article which explains Project Heracles, Safin’s evil plot. Safin compares himself as a reflection of James Bond.   Both were orphaned.  Both are in love with Madeleine Swann.  And both will do whatever it takes to win.  Project Heracles is a weapon developed to use people’s DNA to control who lives and who dies.  Safin controls it.  Reyes’ article goes into depth about the weapon, including it’s possible past in the movie Casino Royale (2006).  In order to leave most of the spoilers to the article and out of this newscast, let’s just say that this weapon is not used for the reason it was created and is responsible for the outcome of the movie.

Mike’s other article about Madeleine Swan’s Big Secret looks at how her past helped doom James Bond. Now there were plenty of rumors about it, but Swann bore James Bond’s child who he first learns about in No Time To Die.  The child, her past with Safin, and current conversations with Blofeld have also been kept from Bond.  Although she is under Safin’s thumb and has been the only one Blofeld would talk to, it turns out that she wasn’t an active agent of SPECTRE after all. Bond’s devotion to keeping Madeleine and the daughter, Mathilde alive ends up being fatal.   The article goes into much more depth on the implications of her secret.

Were Additional Endings Filmed?

With the big ending of No Time To Die, it is natural to ask if there were other endings filmed?  Sometimes a studio will do this to keep the ending from getting out.  Sometimes the actors don’t know which ending they shot will make the final cut.  Well, with No Time To Die, that wasn’t the case.  According to an article on DigitalSpy.com, the movie’s editor, Tom Cross, says that the ending we saw was the only one filmed and this was the only ending planned for the movie. He says, “It was never in doubt and there were no alternatives”.  This makes us question what the problem was with the director Danny Boyle.  The rumors at the time about Boyle is that he wanted to kill Bond off.  Was his firing just a big smoke screen?  The article also discusses the movie’s length and how the pre-title sequence may have been influenced by the length.

Well, there are a lot more articles and interviews out there on No Time To Die, but we think these give you a good look as to what is happening.

That wraps up our Spy Movie News for October 26, 2021.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@SpyNavigator) and InstaGram too! Subscribe right now to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show on your favorite podcast app! And tell your friends about us – thanks!