Death is Not Enough is the first film in the gender-bent series of Jane Bond films, a franchise that takes the place of the long-standing James Bond series.
Gillian Anderson plays the leading character, Agent Jane Bond 007 of MI6. She has no relation to the character James Bond as he does not exist in this franchise's universe.
After Daniel Craig controversially departed the Bond series in October 2017, Eon Films formally confirmed that the Bond universe in its current capacity would be rested, and instead a new franchise would be launched by Barbara Broccoli, who had teamed up with American television producer Shonda Rhimes and notable British screenwriter Jane Goldman to produce a new Bond film for 2019.
At an exclusive panel at London Comic Con in February 2018, Barbara Broccoli, joined by Rhimes and Goldman, confirmed that a script for Bond 25 had been finalised, and that the film would be titled Death is Not Enough. At the panel, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, Colin Firth, Freddie Highmore and Julianne Moore were announced as cast members. Broccoli confirmed that studio shooting would begin in November at Pinewood Studios, and that fans should expect the new Bond, along with the rest of the notable cast, to be announced over the Holiday period in December.
On Christmas Day 2018, the official 007 social media channels announced that Gillian Anderson, the star of The X Files and The Fall, had been cast as Jane Bond. In an official statement from Eon Films, Barbara Broccoli confirmed that the new female protagonist was unrelated to the iconic James Bond, and was instead a replacement. It was confirmed in a follow-up teaser that Anderson would be joined in the new film by Robert Downey, Jr., Damien Lewis and Tom Hardy, alongside the previous castmembers.
Principal photography ended in April 2019, with reshoots following in June. The first trailer for the film debuted at San Diego Comic Con in July 2019. The trailer confirmed rumours that Emma Thompson would be the new iteration of M, while confirming that Emma Watson and Freddie Highmore would play her children, and Colin Firth would be playing Q. It also included footage that confirmed Julianne Moore, Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Hardy as antagonists, and Damien Lewis as the franchise's first 'Bond Boy'. The release date was confirmed as November 9th 2019.
Cast posters were released in September 2019, with all the lead cast's character names being confirmed, revealing that the Moneypennys would be central to the first film's plot. A final full length trailer was released at the end of September.
The film premiered in London's Leicester Square on October 30th 2019, with the cast attending. It was met with critical acclaim. The credits of Death is Not Enough reveals that Eon Films have confirmed a sequel, The American Assassin, would arrive in 2021, with Gillian Anderson returning in the lead role.
Jane Bond (Gillian Anderson) is MI5's highest ranking living agent, following the death of her colleague and mentor James Moore, agent 006, in a mission in Russia gone wrong. On the morning of his private funeral, Jane receives flowers, with the note saying "From Russia, With Love". As the funeral ends, Jane goes rogue from her superior Frank 'M' Montgomery's orders and travels to Moscow, to confront her Russian counterpart, who she suspects is behind the murder of James. When she breaks into her counterpart's apartment, she receives a phone call from her, revealing she is in fact in London, not Moscow, and is inside MI5 holding Montgomery hostage. Before Jane can do anything, the Russian agent detonates a bomb and kills herself, and Montgomery instantly, destroying the top floor of MI5 in the process.
Once the theme song (Love Never Dies by Paloma Faith and Shirley Bassey) concludes, a year has passed since the attack on MI5 and all MI5 activity has been suspended by the British government, and all low-level employees have been reassigned to the Ministry of Defence, while high-level employees have been suspended for failing to prevent the attack or intercept it. Pro-MI5 minister Agatha Moneypenny (Emma Thompson) is working hard with Jane to revive the department, much to the Prime Minister's dismay. Meanwhile in America, the wealthy New York socialite Melissa Wallace (Julianne Moore) teams up with popular Californian technology mogul Viktor Simpson (Robert Downey, Jr.). In a meeting with the Prime Minister, he reveals that it would not reflect positively on the Government to reform MI5, so they have instead decided to form MI6, with the same funding, but MI6 will instead be a secret organisation, known to only the most necessary of cabinet ministers, and only the most elite would be hired, but the organisation would be founded on the condition that Moneypenny would lead it, resigning from public life. Moneypenny agrees, and hires not only Bond, retaining her 007 title, but also her children - Jessica (Emma Watson) and Evan (Freddie Highmore). As the team grows, Moneypenny introduces Quentin Watersmith to the team, a technology expert educated at Oxford, who has just returned from a 10-year stint with MI3, London's secret intel team based in New York. He reveals that the US Government has destroyed all record of MI3's founding after they discovered it, just as he was about to break through evidence of a homegrown terrorist threat in the country. Piquing Bond's interest, she begins investigating Simpson and Wallace, and begins to unravel a web of mystery that could pose a threat to the Prime Minister and the whole government. With the help of Jessica, Bond begins an international manhunt for the various members of a potentially harmful organisation, but little do they know that a hitman (Tom Hardy) is hot on their tail.
As they reach a Swedish casino, Bond and Jessica are informed by the owner, Austin McKenzie (Damien Lewis) that the casino is set to hold a summit of the organisation's members, a final showdown occurs and a chase back to MI6's headquarters leads to Viktor's downfall, as he falls to his death at the hands of Jessica. As Melissa is taken away by Bond and interrogated in the depths of MI6, it is revealed that Melissa Wallace is actually dead, and that the current Melissa is in fact an imposter, the long lost elder sister of Viktor, who's Russian parents were murdered by MI5 decades earlier, the Russian spy who had assassinated the head of MI5 a year earlier was the third sibling of the trio, and Melissa is in fact Katriana Simpson. Jane tells Katriana that she is now in British custody, and her plan will not come to fruition as her organisation's assets have been seized by the British government, who have agreed to liquidate it and use it to fund an expansion of MI6. While telling Moneypenny all about this, Bond gets a red alert and discovers that Katriana has escaped her cell, with only a handwritten note remaining, reading "From Russia, With Love". Bond is about to board a private jet to Moscow with the three Moneypennys when she gets a phone call from Austin, who informs her that he has spotted Katriana meeting with one of his clients, a disgraced American politician who was exposed as a member of the organisation. She requests their destination be changed. Moneypenny smiles and gives a gentle nod, and the theme song roars into action once again. The credits then confirm that Jane Bond will return in The American Assassin.
- Gillian Anderson as Agent Jane Bond 007 of MI6
- Emma Watson as Jessica Moneypenny, Bond's right-hand, Evan Moneypenny's twin and M's daughter.
- Emma Thompson as Dame Agatha Moneypenny AKA 'M', head of MI6.
- Colin Firth as Quentin Watersmith AKA 'Q', head of computing and technology at MI6.
- Damien Lewis as Austin McKenzie, a Swedish casino owner who gets caught up in terrorist activity, Jane's main love interest.
- Julianne Moore as Melissa Wallace/Katriana Simpson. A wealthy American widow once married to Britain's richest man, she invests in Viktor Simpson's terrorist plot take down the British government over underground trading. The film's primary female antagonist.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Viktor Simpson, the film's primary male antagonist, he's a major American technology mogul who has allied with multiple wealthy businesspeople who want to take down the British government by any means possible.
- Tom Hardy as William Bodyman, the Simpson's go-to hitman who is hunting down Bond with the intention of killing her, he is actually a former British soldier who abandoned his post when he discovered the truth about the Government's intentions for the army.
- Freddie Highmore as Evan Moneypenny, Bond's homeland communicator and M's son.