james bond daniel craig | Glitz & glamour at ‘No Time To Die’ London premiere: Oscar winners, British royalty step out in style as Bond returns

AgenciesThe Universal Pictures and MGM film, part of one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, marks Craig’s (left) fifth and final outing as the suave British secret agent, wrapping up a 15-year tenure that began with 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’. (In Pic: Prince William and Kate Middleton, top R, Lashana Lynch and Rami Malek, bottom R)

LONDON: With a guest list made up of Oscar winners and British royalty, James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ finally held its delayed world premiere in London on Tuesday in the cinema’s most high profile red carpet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wet weather failed to dampen spirits as Daniel Craig, dressed in an eye-catching pink velvet dinner jacket, and co-stars including Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Lea Seydoux reunited for the hotly anticipated movie, which cinema operators hope will help bring audiences back to pre-pandemic levels. ‘No Time To Die’, the 25th Bond movie, has been delayed three times since its original April 2020 slot as movie theatres around the world were forced to shut their doors as well as impose audience number restrictions due to the pandemic.

The Universal Pictures and MGM film, part of one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, marks Craig’s fifth and final outing as the suave British secret agent, wrapping up a 15-year tenure that began with 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’.

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Bond Premiere: Daniel Craig Stuns In Pink Jacket; Ana’s Wardrobe Malfunction. Royals Turn U…

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Bond Returns To A Royal Welcome!

It was a star-studded London premiere that announced the arrival of the 25th film in the Bond franchise – ‘No Time To Die’. The almost-3hr-long film, that hits the theatres in the UK and India on October 1, got a royal welcome, literally and more, to compensate for its-much delayed screening that had to be staggered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oscar winners, celebrities and of course key members of the Windsor Palace, braved rain and inclement weather to turn up in solidarity for 007. After all, this is also Daniel Craig’s last act as James Bond as the 53-year-old has decided to sign off from the hugely-successful film franchise that have spawned an enterprise over five 5 decades.

Here are a few moments from London’s Royal Albert Hall that saw the most high-profile red carpet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bond Goes Pink At Red Carpet

Daniel Craig was a figure of swag and style as he arrived for his swan song at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday. The 53-year-old, dressed in an eye-catching pink velvet dinner jacket, was of course the centre of attention. And rightfully so! Over a span of 15 years, Craig as 007 has entertained the movie world with 5 cinematic adaptations of Ian Flemings’s works. He remains a hugely successful supersleuth, and the only blonde Bond in the history of the franchise.

Bond-ing On Facebook!

For those who couldn’t make it to London’s Royal Albert Hall, there was some virtual comfort. The world is now on Facebook, and so was James Bond! Even as royalty turned up to show Craig some Brit solidarity in person, the world premiere of ‘No Time to Die’ was streamed exclusively on Facebook. The social media giant broadcast it through Oculus Venues, an experiential space for the Facebook-backed Oculus VR headset. It was hosted by presenter Clara Amfo with ample Facebook-type live commenting, captioning and Q&As.

In pic: Cast members Lashana Lynch, Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux and director Cary Fukunaga pose during the world premiere of the new James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Killing Eve … Eh, Bond!

Ah, well! By now everyone knows that there is a ‘Fleabag’ link to the latest Bond flick. In April 2019, ‘Fleabag’ creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (right in pic) was brought in to add spunk to the script. Daniel Craig specifically requested for Waller-Bridge, and wanted her to add a ‘touch of her wit and quirkiness’ to the screenplay.

In pic: American actor Rami Malek (left) and screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge pose on the red carpet after arriving to attend the world premiere of the James Bond 007 film ‘No Time to Die’ at the Royal Albert Hall in west London.

Three’s Company

Ana de Armas made heads turn as she arrived on the red carpet of the ‘No Time To Die’ premiere on Tuesday in London. The Cuban actress, who makes her Bond debut opposite Daniel Craig, turned out in a thigh-slit, Louis Vitton black gown, featuring a plunging neckline and silver straps. The 33-year-old had her hair styled in fringe. The British media also reported that De Armas had a bit of an awkard moment at the after-party at Annabel’s when she suffered an awkward wardrobe malfunction.

In pic: Ana de Armas (left, Lashana Lynch (centre) and Naomie Harris pose on the red carpet at the world premiere of the James Bond 007 film ‘No Time to Die’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Tuesday.

“It’s such a great relief. It was so important to me to come and celebrate with all the other cast and crew and to get it into the cinemas and we’re here,” Craig told Reuters. “A year ago I didn’t think that was going to happen.” Asked what he was going to miss the most from playing 007, he said: “The people.” Costing an estimated $200 million to produce, ‘No Time To Die’ sees Bond come out of retirement in Jamaica to help track down a new villain, described by Oscar-winner Malek as “mischievous(and) devious”, and armed with lethal technology. “The most daunting part was just coming up with a good story,” director Cary Joji Fukunaga said. “I think of it as a last chapter of this one book where we (first) met Daniel in ‘Casino Royale’ (and) it’s all part of the same story.” The film introduces 00 agent Nomi, played by Lynch, who said: “I’m just happy it’s here and we get to celebrate it in the way that it deserves.” Also at the premiere were Britain’s Prince Charles and his son Prince William and their wives. As a thanks for their frontline work during the pandemic, health workers and members of the armed forces were also invited. Former Bond actress Judi Dench and Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish, who sings the film’s theme tune, also attended.

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Dame Judi Dench at the world premiere of ‘No Time to Die’ at the Royal Albert Hall.

Beginning its cinema rollout this week, ‘No Time To Die’ is among the most anticipated movies this autumn. “I know the world is expecting this film,” said Seydoux, who reprises her ‘Spectre’ role as Madeleine Swann. “We gave everything to this film … and I hope people will love it.” Expectations are high after the last two Bond films, 2015’s ‘Spectre’ and 2012’s ‘Skyfall’, grossed $880 million and more than $1 billion globally. “Now that the cinemas are open we’re really happy to be supporting the industry,” producer Barbara Broccoli said. “We made this film for the cinema and we want people to enjoy it.”

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