While production on James Bond 25 is almost definitely due to commence before the end of this year, and Daniel Craig is confirmed to play Agent 007 again, a question mark currently hangs over another character that has appeared in nearly every Bond film. Naomie Harris played Eve Moneypenny – aka Miss Moneypenny – in the last two entries of the iconic spy franchise. But speaking in a recent interview, she revealed that she still hasn’t been told if the character will be part of the next chapter in Bond’s story.
The character of Miss Moneypenny first appeared alongside Sean Connery in Dr No in 1962. A secretary to M (Head of MI6), she mostly existed to bring some unrequited romantic tension between her and Bond, and provide an excuse for some questionable one-liners. The character was most memorably brought to life by actress Lois Maxwell, who gradually brought some real depth to her. Including Harris and Maxwell, 6 actresses have brought the character to life onscreen in 24 different Bond films. Harris’s version however has been the most progressive and arguably the most interesting. First introduced in Skyfall, she was an M16 field agent that inadvertently wounded Bond during a botched mission. By the end of that film she took up the familiar office position, but remained an essential ally and friend to 007 during the events of Spectre. With the Bond 25 now on the horizon, you would expect the actress to be in preparation for reprising this much-loved role.
However during an interview on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show (via Digital Spy), when Harris was directly asked for some details about the upcoming Bond film, her answer probably wasn’t what people were expecting or hoping to hear, as she replied:
“I know nothing. I don’t know if I am in it, but I do know they start shooting at the end of the year. I have cleared my diary in anticipation but I don’t know.”
The prospective start date is pretty much known by everybody now, as is the presence of Craig as Bond, and the fact that Danny Boyle will be directing it. Whilst the response from Harris could be due to studio secrecy or a bluff, it seems there’s no guarantee that the regular actors will be quickly signed up to appear. At the start of the year, Ben Whishaw (Q) stated that he expected to be shooting before the end of 2018, and Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner, MI6 Chief of Staff) is another actor rumored to return. However it looks like nothing should be taken for granted. The release date of November 2019 remains unchanged, but a potential sale of MGM could possibly affect the production, and Boyle is known to be still fine-tuning the script with frequent collaborator John Hodge (Trainspotting).
Hopefully it’s just a case of preparation or timing, and Harris can expect to get a call from Boyle at some point in the next few months. They have worked together previously on 28 Days Later, so it would be a reunion of sorts. Unless the director is planning some kind of major reboot of the franchise and/or cast, it’s very probable that Moneypenny/Harris will return, and it would be great to see her reprise that character as a possible final bow to the Craig era.
KEY RELEASE DATES
James Bond 25 release date: Nov 8, 2019