Daniel Craig is justifiably proud of No Time To Die’s ending. Here’s why the actor is right about the powerful way his James Bond’s story concluded.
Warning: SPOILERS for No Time To Die.
Daniel Craig is right about how James Bond’s story came to an end in No Time To Die. Craig returned for his fifth and final outing as 007, capping off the most successful and popular James Bond run of the modern era. The challenge Craig, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, and the filmmakers faced was how to give James Bond a proper ending, and the actor who embodied 007 is justifiably proud of the sendoff they concocted for the British secret agent.
The Bond flick premiered in the fall of 2021, after being one of the more high-profile films delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Everyone’s favorite MI6 agent and his love interest, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), arrive in Italy with the hope of kicking off blissfully simple, new lives. Naturally, this doesn’t go according to plan when Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) tries to destroy the world with his Heracles virus.
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Before Daniel Craig’s tenure, James Bond movies never had to deal with the superspy’s mortality. 007 had “died” before but those demises were usually fakeouts. Craig’s Bond is different since he existed in a rebooted continuity that began with how James gained his license to kill and 007 number. Over the course of his five films, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die, Craig’s Bond’s story was a tightly serialized canon that delved into 007’s past, psychology, and humanity. Craig infamously wanted to quit after Spectre but he also felt it wasn’t the right way for his Bond to go out. In No Time To Die, James sacrifices his life to keep his love, Madeleine, and their young daughter Mathilde (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet), safe from a lethal virus Bond was infected with. For the first time, James Bond definitively died a noble death onscreen.
Bond’s No Time to Die Sacrifice Was The Whole Point for Daniel Craig
Speaking to Variety, Craig explained why he was pleased with James Bond’s death in No Time To Die. The actor said that 007’s demise had “weight” and “tragedy,” and he’s correct that Bond choosing to die so that Madeleine and Mathilde could live was a heartbreaking but heroic way for 007 to go out. Craig elaborated that being with the people he loves is all Bond wants in the world but Safin’s (Rami Malek) virus weapon was “an insurmountable problem… and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.” Craig also joked that the original plan for Bond’s death was he “eats a bad oyster,” but in all seriousness, the way No Time To Die depicted James’ touching sacrifice was perfectly fitting for the character Craig played throughout the saga.
Craig’s Bond differed from his predecessors because his 007 movies made the secret agent a three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being. James fell in love twice in his films, with Madeleine becoming Bond’s one, true love after the death of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale. Craig’s Bond was emotionally wounded and often torn between his sense of duty and wanting to walk away from MI6. He also faced his adoptive brother, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), the leader of Spectre, and his arch-nemesis, who wanted to destroy Bond. No Time To Die also broke the mold by giving James a canonical daughter, Mathilde. For the first time, Bond put his loved ones before his own wellbeing and he laid down his life so that he could protect them along with Queen and country from Safin’s deadly biological weapon.
As Craig noted, at the end of No Time To Die’s credits, it says, “James Bond Will Return,” although it won’t be his version of 007 who will grace the silver screen next. No Time To Die did an unprecedented act by killing off James Bond, but the film did so in an unforgettable way that was an emotional and fitting payoff for Craig’s record-setting 15-year run as 007. No Time To Die’s ending is even more impressive because Bond’s demise is a choice he makes that is earned, and it’s tragic because 007 has to die right when he finally has something and someone to live for besides the next mission. Ultimately, No Time To Die is arguably the best of Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies, It’s a grand finale that boasts an ending that future Bond movies will find difficult to equal or top.
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How James Bond Is Returning Despite His Ending Death
It’s a tad confusing that No Time To Die’s ending features a straightforward death for the franchise’s superspy, yet also promises that Bond will return. Even so, the character’s return is very possible. The chapter of Daniel Craig’s Bond has closed, but still, there are options to keep the renowned and lucrative series going. No Time To Die’s ending proves that one Bond movie can tell its very own story – even breaking continuity via the main character’s death – without damaging the entire franchise. Especially now, writers have a great deal of creative license in how they decide to navigate Bond’s story moving forward. As previously mentioned, the James Bond movie series still generates an enormous amount of both public interest and money; the spy’s return is not only possible, but it will also be the best thing for everyone involved or simply interested from a fan perspective.
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About The Author
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John Orquiola is a Features staff writer and interviewer who has been with Screen Rant for five years. He began as a director’s assistant on various independent films. As a lover of film and film theory, John wrote humorous movie reviews on his blog, Back of the Head, which got him noticed by Screen Rant. John happily became the Star Trek guy at Screen Rant and he leads Feature coverage of the various Star Trek series, but he also writes about a wide range of subjects from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Cobra Kai. His other great nerdy love is British TV series like The Crown, Downton Abbey, and Killing Eve. John can be found on Twitter @BackoftheHead if you want to see photos of the food he eats.
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