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Besides Daniel Craig's eventual resignation of the mantle 007, the big question surrounding Bond 25 has been who else is returning for the upcoming sequel. The subject has been rather coyly dealt, as most parties would be shy to say anything so far out from its release. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga apparently lacks that shyness though, as he recently told a journalist that not only will Lea Seydoux's Dr. Madeline Swann be coming back, but also Ralph Fiennes's M, Ben Whishaw's Q, and Naomie Harris' Moneypenny.
When explaining why these characters, and their actors, would be coming back, Fukunaga had this to say:
You have some of the best actors in the world here. Why wouldn't I have the best coming back?!
Bringing back Lea Seydoux is a pretty big move, as it's the first time that a female lead character, who isn't M or Moneypenny, has returned in a James Bond film in years. This could be an indication that Bond 25 is a direct follow-up to Spectre, keeping the threaded narrative approach alive in the series. Besides that point, there's another good reason for this extensive of a cast retention.
Cary Joji Fukunaga's statement about keeping the best actors in this canon can't be argued with, particularly when you take into account how some fans may have seen Spectre as a less than ideal follow up to Skyfall. With Bond 25 being the capper to Craig's tenure as James Bond, and a new director shaking things up in the franchise, you're going to want to have as strong a team as you possibly can to support the sequel.
Familiar faces certainly help keep things moving in a series such as the James Bond franchise, and Fukunaga's comments to The Daily Mail partially speaks to that. Though there is still one particular casting card in the deck that remain to be played, as the finale of Spectre left the door open for the return of one particular party that is of notice: Christoph Waltz's Blofeld.
The actor hasn't commented on whether he'll be returning for Bond 25, but given the former tradition of different actors playing the role, his participation is less than guaranteed. Although seeing as Christoph Waltz's rumored departure was bundled into the same dismissal that Cary Joji Fukunaga issued involving Waltz and Ben Whishaw's rumored exits, there's still a chance that we might see his Blofeld again.
And let's not forget, Christoph Waltz knows how to keep a secret, even if it's in plain sight, as he denied he was even playing the part up and down during Spectre's press tour. So if you didn't think that story was interesting enough, you're in luck.
For now, all we know is this: the threads woven in Casino Royale are about to tie together in Bond 25, and a good number of familiar faces look to be joining Daniel Craig in winding that story up properly.