It’s been quite the week for the 007 franchise after director Danny Boyle pulled out of Bond 25.
At this stage it’s not clear if production on Craig’s last James Bond film will go ahead on December 3, or if it will be postponed while they hunt for a new director.
Nevertheless the mystery behind the film’s title may finally have been revealed.
Bond 25 is listed on Production Weekly’s website and its working title is Shatterhand.
Shatterhand is a title that was first rumoured last summer, but before Boyle was recruited as director.
Back then Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had penned a script that was rumoured to be something of an On Her Majesty’s Secret Service remake.
The 1969 George Lazenby classic saw Blofeld kill Bond’s wife, suggesting that Madeleine Swann – who drove off into the sunset with 007 at the end of Spectre – would marry 007 and then kick the bucket at the start of this one.
But specifically Shatterhand is a reference to the 1964 You Only Live Twice novel by Ian Fleming.
In the book 007 is asked by the Head of the Japanese Secret Service to assassinate Dr Guntram Shatterhand.
However Bond soon realises that Shatterhand is none other than Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who was played by Christoph Waltz in Spectre.
Of course Sean Connery’s You Only Live Twice became a 1967 Bond movie, which saw many production problems, and followed Blofeld to Japan.
There is one slight issue with this title though, in that Bond producers ditched the Purvis and Wade script for that of Boyle’s Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge.
However since Boyle left Bond 25, so has Hodge suggesting that producers will go back to the Purvis and Wade script.
Presumably this is Shatterhand?
Such a title would certainly suit Craig’s era as it would follow on from Skyfall and Spectre, both one word titles beginning with the letter ’S’.
James Bond 25 (or Shatterhand) is set for release in October 2019, although may now be delayed into 2020.