When it was announced, what seems like an eternity go now, that Daniel Craig’s appearance in No Time to Die would be his final role as super-spy James Bond, there was speculation whether we would actually see the character on screen again in quite the same way. With speculation over whether the character would be gender-swapped in future, or whether there was anything left in the Bond tank at all, it was down to long-time Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli to confirm last month that James Bond was and always will remain a male character and, as she reiterated again on Saturday at Deadline’s Contenders Film: New York event, he will return.
“We’ll figure that one out, but he will be back. You can rest assured James Bond will be back.”
Broccoli was joined at the event by No Time to Die producer Michael G. Wilson, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, production designer Mark Tildesley and star Rami Malek, to talk about the movie that as of last weekend had grossed over $756 million worldwide to become the biggest Hollywood movie of the Covid era. It was that cinematic experience that Broccoli and her team were so desperate to deliver that the film went through numerous release date changes before finally setting on an early October schedule.
Said Barbara Broccoli, “What was so important to us was that this film be shown in the cinemas because it has this beautiful landscape… It’s a visual feast in the way it’s been designed and shot. We’re just so thrilled we were able to open in cinemas.”
Wilson commented, “We’re so lucky that we hit the sweet spot and got it in the cinemas at the right time and the public was ready to go back to the cinema again and see films where they deserve to be, in the theater.”
Among the many records set by this movie, the opening sequence, which is usually reserved for a lengthy action sequence, lasts for a full 25 minutes before the opening titles roll, and primarily focuses on telling the story of Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine and gives audiences their first introduction to Rami Malek’s villain, something that Wilson was happy to say was essential to the film.
“It took us a while to get into the film — and 25 minutes before the titles, which is, I suppose, a record for us — but I think it earned it because you needed that backstory to really tell the full story of the film.”
While there have been times when the Bond franchise has taken a leap between gritty and grounded and the complete over the top fantasy that usually dominates the last run of most previous Bonds, and takes away something from the movie overall, keeping the underlying story relevant alongside the big action set pieces was something the team was very careful with.
“It’s really important to keep all the action reality-based,” Corbould explained. “On the James Bond films we’ve always had that mantra that we would not get too fantastical, but that’s what we achieved… the DB5 chase, the end sequence, the sinking trawler, it was all really powerful stuff and it’s really important the special effects are not fantastical and don’t take us out of the script and the characters.”
Tildesley picked up, saying, “I think the difficult or interesting thing is to try and weave the two things together so you have a set or an effect that helps enhance the story rather than just for the sake of it.”
Broccoli had already made it clear that she wanted to let Daniel Craig have his swan song and enjoy it before the search begins for his replacement, and though we may have a few years to wait to see Bond bursting back onto screens, it looks like there is no time to die for James Bond or his franchise. This comes to us from Deadline.
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