After 15 years, Daniel Craig’s stint as James Bond came to an end with No Time To Die. In development since 2018, Craig’s final film the iconic British spy, No Time To Die, was delayed multiple times. First due to director Danny Boyle’s departure, and then due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was finally released worldwide in October 2021 to positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.
While No Time To Die’s long runtime was a cause of criticism, most viewers were generally satisfied with the film’s ending. Spoiler Alert! James Bond dies. No last-minute escape, no cliffhangers, Bond dies for real without any ambiguity. Toward the end, on Saffin’s (Rami Malek) island, the disfigured villain poisons Bond with nanobots programmed to kill his family, Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) and daughter Mathilde. Knowing he can never go back to them, Bond sacrifices himself by staying on the island as it gets blown up by missiles.
This decision, unsurprisingly, didn’t sit well with some fans and also complicated the future of the James Bond franchise. However, this was the plan all along, as Daniel Craig always intended to kill off James Bond. In fact, this was one of his demands before signing on to Casino Royale. Craig recently sat down with Javier Bardem for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, and offered some insight on No Time To Die’s emotional ending.
I had this idea, I wanted to kill him off a long time ago – in Casino Royale – for all sorts of reasons. One, purely egotistical. I feel like I needed to end what I did on it. I would be only satisfied if I could walk away and there was nowhere else for that to go, that someone else would have to come along and invent something completely different. But also because I thought that was a good way for it to continue, and I knew that the only way to make it work was that it had to be based in love, and every time that we’ve gone emotionally into this, it pays back every time.
Skyfall is really a story of [Bond’s] love for [M], it’s the relationship between [Raoul Silva] and [M], which is complicated and family-like, toxic. And every time we’ve really concentrated on that it’s paid dividends for us, and I was really keen with this, that that’s the way we had to go. I just tried to make myself involved with the things that mattered… I just knew where it had to end on, what it had to be, and it had to be a worthy death. If he stayed alive he would kill the people he loved, so, therefore there was no argument.
No Time To Die Is Not The End Of James Bond
“James Bond will return” were the final words displayed after the credits rolled on No Time To Die. How and when Bond will return are issues still being sorted, but rest assured, he will be back. This is what producer Barbara Broccoli said last month. As for who will next play the iconic spy, Henry Cavill, Tom Hardy, and Idris Elba remain fan-favorites, while Tom Holland, Richard Madden, and Rege-Jean Page are also in contention. But the death of James Bond has complicated the future of the franchise. Resurrecting him a few years later would be discourteous to Craig, whose final scene sent off James Bond in such an explosive yet poignant fashion. Will the makers recast the entire roster — M, Q, Moneypenny — and start afresh? Or will they wait a few years to let fans move on from Craig’s Bond? It remains to be seen.
Daniel Craig may have bid farewell to his best-known role, but he has plenty of things to look forward to. He will next reprise his role as detective Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2, arriving on Netflix and in theaters this fall.