WE’LL START WITH JAMES BOND
No Time To Die
Finally, today is the day of the premiere of the often delayed James Bond movie No Time To Die at the Royale Albert Hall in London. A few minutes after that viewing is over, the Zurich Film Festival will screen the movie. It’s been a long slog getting here with all of the pandemic delays and we are very happy that we are finally here. The movie officially opens in 49 countries this week. Then next week 7 more countries will get have their releases, including the US on October 8th. It opens in China on October 29th and Australia on November 11.
As you may guess, the volume of press stories in advance of the release has been huge. Many of those articles repeat rumors and speculation with a lot of them rehashing stories we’ve already seen. We aren’t going to talk about those today given that we’ll be able to see the movie soon enough. So why continue to speculate?
Spy Movie Navigator will have 2 correspondents see No Time To Die in England on September 30th and we’ll release a no-spoiler reaction podcast on that day. That podcast will have no plot spoilers so we don’t spoil anything for those who haven’t been able to see it yet, including me here in the US. I’ve told them I don’t want to know what happened until I can see it.
How important is No Time To Die and what is the industry doing to hype it up?
So let’s start by looking at advanced ticket sales the importance of this movie for the movie industry as a whole, how advanced sales are going, and how the industry is hyping the movie.
This article on Hollywoodreporter.com puts the importance of the movie this way: Few would publicly state as much, but the importance of the film in helping the sector get back on its feet cannot be underestimated. As one industry figure tells The Hollywood Reporter: ‘While it’s not the only film in the world and not the only hope, because it’s become such a major focus of attention, it has to be an enormous success.’”
That article says that since advanced ticket sales started cinema owners are seeing very high demand and “far and away the highest interest seen since before the pandemic”. That is great news for Bond fans, Eon Productions & Universal, and the movie industry as a whole.
In the UK, No Time To Die is expected to open on more than 700 screens with many multiplexes showing it on every available screen non-stop. In addition, theaters are doing promotions with ticket purchases, parking Aston Martins in front of their theaters, London’s Burlington Arcade revealed a 007-inspired facelift.
“We’re really hoping that this unlocks everything else and is very much the spark that makes everybody feel safe to return to cinemas,” says one insider, who adds that operators will likely be making sure their sites are absolutely sparkling for the occasion. “The experience that people have when they come and see this film is going to dictate not just their experience on the day, but the next six weeks, six months. It’s going to be what they tell their friends, what they tell their family, whether they come back again.”
So we’re hoping this works out well for the industry. We’ve all been through a lot the last 18 months and this could be a welcome shot in the arm.
Different Formats To Watch No Time To Die
Mike Reyes has this great article talking about the different formats, some of them new, in which you can potentially see No Time To Die. Although we’ve seen Bond on IMAX since Skyfall, No Time To Die will be released for the first time on IMAX with scenes specifically filmed for the IMAX release on IMAX cameras. That should be very cool. Also, for the first time for a Bond movie, No Time To Die will release in 3D. It is also supporting ScreenX, 4DX, and D-Box. Reyes says “Everything from atmospheric effects to moving seats looks to be on the menu.” Tom saw Black Widow with the seat shakers and loved it, especially with the avalanche in that movie. That’s only part of what some of these advanced formats will allow.
So, when you are making your decision as to where to see No Time To Die, choosing the format will be a big decision and will help determine which cinema you choose to see it. Not all cinemas support these advanced formats so make sure to take note of what your cinema offers. We think this is going to enhance the experience and will be searching out cinemas showing these advanced formats.
Other James Bond News
Believe it or not, there has been some other James Bond news.
The Royal Navy has named Daniel Craig as an Honorary Commander, giving him the same Commander ranks as James Bond.
This article on movieweb.com has a picture of Commander Craig in uniform. In a quote in the article, Daniel Craig said: “I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of Honorary Commander in the senior service,” Daniel Craig said in a statement.” We at SpyMovieNavigator love it when the British powers-that-be support (Dan, can you come up with a better phrase for this?) James Bond. Everyone from the Queen on down has shown their support and that is fantastic to see. Congratulations Daniel.
One other note, the only James Bond actor to have served in the Royal Navy was Able Seaman Sean Connery. That article has a link to a Twitter picture showing Daniel Craig and Sean Connery in uniform. Nice!
The Official James Bond Podcast Returns
The Official James Bond Podcast, which had started before the pandemic delays, restarted again this September. The podcast is a six-part series with interviews from the cast and crew examining different aspects of Bond. The final podcast was released on September 23 so you can catch up on all of them.
Now, should we be concerned that the official 007.com website when announcing the return of the podcast says “each episode focuses on a different aspect of the James Bond universe”? “James Bond Universe” is in that quote. Are they planning to release content on the different characters, ala the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Oh wait, that’s speculation and we want to stay away from that today.
Anyway it is a good 6-part podcast series and is worth a listen.
Being James Bond on Apple TV
The documentary Being James Bond has been playing all September on Apple tv and is currently scheduled to run until October 7, 2021. So you only have a week to catch it if you haven’t seen it. This documentary looks at the Daniel Craig era of James Bond with Daniel Craig looking back at all 5 of his movies, including No Time To Die in a conversation with Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. We here at Spy Movie Navigator are waiting until after we see No Time To Die on September 30th before we watch this as we want to ensure we don’t see any spoilers. That said, from what we’ve heard about it, this is a good documentary of Craig’s run as 007.
Bond in Motion exhibit opens in Los Angeles
Finally, the Bond In Motion exhibit opened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles this past weekend. It is expected to run until October 2022. Advanced ticket purchases are required. You can go to www.petersen.org, that’s Petersen with an e at the end, to find out more about the exhibit.
All of us at SpyMovieNavigator visited the Bond in Motion exhibit when it was in London. If you are a James Bond movie fan, put this on your to-do list. You will see a large array of vehicles used in the Bond movies. When we saw it, many of the vehicles were pristine. However, some of the cars were beaten up. That’s because they had some of the cars after the crashes they were in in the movies. That was very cool to see. So, if you’re thinking about heading to LA, take in the Bond in Motion exhibit. You’ll be glad you did.
Spy Movie Navigator has no affiliation with the Bond in Motion exhibit or the Petersen Automotive Museum and we have received no compensation for mentioning them.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE NEWS
Mission: Impossible 7 Delayed until September 30, 2022
The first and biggest news surrounding Mission: Impossible is that Mission: Impossible 7 has been pushed again, now releasing on September 30, 2022, after Tom Cruise turns 60. It was supposed to be Memorial Day 2022. They pushed Top Gun: Maverick to the Memorial Day spot (May 27, 2022) and moved Mission: Impossible 7 to September. It appears Paramount executives were concerned about box office, especially of Top Gun: Maverick as we are still dealing with the delta variant. The hope is that they will be able to get larger audiences if and when the pandemic dies down.
A few months ago, they also disconnected the filming of Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 which were supposed to film back-to-back. So, we don’t know what this shift means to the filming and release of Mission: Impossible 8. Only time will tell.
Mission: Impossible 7 Wraps Filming
Well, this would have been the biggest Mission: Impossible news had the Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7 delays not been announced. Well, after about 18 months, filming has wrapped on Mission: Impossible 7. In an article on Cinemablend.Com, photographer/gaffer Martin Smith thanked all involved and called M: I 7 “the hardest movie ever made”. Given all that we’ve heard about this movie, we aren’t going to call BS on that comment. This was supposedly a very hard movie to make. Part of that was COVID, and part was the stunts they did.
One of the challenges with the Mission: Impossible movies, and to a part James Bond movies, is the need to take the stunts to a new level with each movie. In an article by Eric Eisenberg, he talks about one of the stunts where Ethan Hunt drives a motorcycle off a cliff and base jumps to the ground. People attending CinemaCon got a sneak peek of this stunt. Tom Cruise did 13,000 motocross jumps to prepare for this scene, in addition to jumping out of a helicopter 500 times. I don’t think I’ll be able to get my peer Tom Pizzato to do one of those (laugh). Even more amazing is that the cameras they needed to use to capture this stunt didn’t exist two years ago. There is more about this stunt in that article if you want to learn more.
Finally, in that article, director Christopher McQuarrie is quoted as saying “The only thing that scares me more is what we have planned for Mission: Impossible 8”. There is a reason these movies cost so much and one wonders how far this stunt work can go.
Tom Cruise Startles Some Hikers
In keeping with the discussion of Tom Cruise and the ever-escalating stunts in the Mission: Impossible movies, an article by Jon Fuge on movieweb.com gives us another. It appears that two hikers in North West England were on a hike when they were interrupted by a parachuter who turned out to be Tom Cruise. That had to be a “pinch me” moment. Let’s see, I’m just hiking here taking in this beautiful scenery and I hear a helicopter. I look up and see a parachuter. And then when he lands, it is Tom Cruise. Unreal. There is even a nice picture in the article of Cruise posing with the hikers.
Cruise Beaten To Filming a Movie in Space
We mentioned in the past that Tom Cruise was trying to film a feature film in outer space on the International Space Station. We speculated that this might be for Mission: Impossible 8. Well, the Cruise movie was announced to be a partnership with NASA, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Tom Cruise with Doug Liman directing.
Well, the Russians are going to beat Cruise and will make part of the movie The Challenge on the International Space Station first. The Challenge is a story about a doctor who needs to go to the space station to save the life of a cosmonaut. The production team is supposed to lift off in October 2021 for a 12-day mission to film this.
There has been no word on the status of the Tom Cruise movie in quite a while. We guess finishing Mission: Impossible 7, Top Gun: Maverick, and getting ready for Mission: Impossible 8 probably took priority.
NEW SPY MOVIE NEWS
Here are some upcoming spy movies that we haven’t mentioned in earlier Spy Movie News episodes.
Huda’s Salon premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. According to an article on Variety.com, this movie is about a young mother who falls into a trap in a hair salon, run by a woman who works for the Israeli Secret Service. While IFC has U.S. rights to this movie, no release date has been set.
Liam Neeson has a movie called Blacklight due to release in theaters on February 11, 2022. In this movie, Neeson plays a fixer who works off the FBI books. He finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy when one agent questions the people Neeson works for. Blacklight also boasts actors Aidan Quinn, Emmy Raver-Lampman, and Taylor John Smith as castmates of Neeson.
You can read more about Blacklight in an article on Movieweb.com.
The Bruce Willis Action movie The Fortress has wrapped filming. This story is about a group of criminals who want to take out revenge at a top-secret resort for U.S. Intelligence officers. No release schedule has been announced.
Both the movie Red Notice and The King’s Man have released new trailers that you can find on YouTube for their upcoming movies. As a reminder, Red Notice releases on Netflix on November 12, 2021. The King’s Man is due to hit theaters on December 22, 2021.
We will warn you that The King’s Man trailer is for an R-rated movie and has a red banner, instead of the Green banners you usually see. This means that this trailer is not for kids. There are f-bombs, s-bombs, a comment about male genitalia, and a lot of violence in the trailer. On YouTube, the trailer is considered age-restricted content.
We’re sad to report on the passing of French actor, Jean-Paul Belmondo at the age of 88. While he rose to stardom as a thief in the 1960 Jean-Luc Godard movie Breathless, Jean-Paul also appeared in many spy movies, including Casino Royale in 1967, The 1981 movie The Professional, 1984’s The Vultures, and many others. Mr. Belmondo received the honorary Palm d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, an honorary Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, and an honorary Cesar in 2017.
We also announce the passing of Visual Effects expert Bill Taylor at the age of 77. Among his over 150 entries for Visual and Special Effects on IMDb are the two spy movies, The Bourne Identity and U-571. He was presented with the John A. Bonner Medal from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his “outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards” of the organization.
So that’s a wrap on this month’s edition of Spy Movie News. We hope you enjoy seeing No Time To Die this month, as I’m sure we will. Thanks for listening, we appreciate it.