Why No Time To Die Says “James Bond Will Return” (Despite Craig Leaving)

Why No Time To Die Says “James Bond Will Return” (Despite Craig Leaving)

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for No Time To Die

Despite the movie’s dramatic climax and seemingly definitive sense of finality, No Time To Die still declares that “James Bond will return”. Although the signature title card, which bookends the film’s end credits, is a regular feature in the Bond series, its presence here is somewhat surprising, given No Time To Die’s conclusion. However, given James Bond’s storied place in cinema, it is perhaps inevitable that the character will make a comeback, even without Daniel Craig.

Unlike other James Bond movies, No Time To Die takes the radical decision to kill off the main character during the film’s conclusion. After infiltrating the so-called poison island inhabited by the supervillain Safin, Bond and his 007 replacement Nomi conclude that the only way to save the world is to blow up the base. This requires manually opening some Second World War-era missile silo doors to allow the explosives to enter the building, rather than harmlessly bouncing off. Unfortunately, thanks to the intervention of Safin, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is forced to make the terrible choice between saving himself and ensuring the facility’s destruction in No Time To Die’s ending. He opts for the latter, sacrificing himself in order to destroy the base and save the world.


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No Time To Die’s ending is tough to watch, even if the literal and more figurative deaths of Craig’s Bond tie his segment of the franchise up quite nicely. After all, the actor has inhabited the part since 2006’s Casino Royale. Not only that, but he has always been believable as his own iteration of James Bond – one that is dark, brooding, and often gravely serious. In addition to the bittersweet nature of No Time To Die’s conclusion, there are also plenty of lingering questions still in the air by the time the film’s credit card hits the screen.

How Can James Bond Return If He’s Dead?

Considering that not only does Bond’s death in No Time To Die seem very real and straightforward but also that it represents the definitive end of Daniel Craig’s tenure in the role, the revelation that Bond will return might seem slightly surprising. However, both because of the enduring popularity of the franchise and the character’s historic reinvention, there are several reasons why the saga may well continue to expand both after the departure of its main superstar and the death of its titular character. In fact, given the wider historical context of the James Bond character, the promise of a new evolution for the franchise is actually extremely exciting.

A key consideration when discussing whether James Bond has a future post-Craig is the continuing popularity of the character. The franchise is already among the most financially successful of all time, netting an estimated $14.2 billion before the release of No Time To Die. As a result, killing such a lucrative cash cow simply doesn’t make sense. In addition, despite the self-contained story arc running throughout Craig’s films, Bond has always been capable of reinventing itself with little care for continuity. In fact, Craig’s entire time in the role has made it clear just how it’s possible to successfully reimagine the character, without destroying the long-established legacy.

Although No Time To Die’s ending is definitely a significant chapter in the history of these films, past experience makes it clear that there are plenty of ways to bring a fresh perspective to the character, completely separate from what’s come before. As such, Bond’s return was always going to be a matter of if, rather than when. It’s also important to consider that a change in personnel, coupled with the latest movie’s shocking conclusion, may well mean that interest in the next installment will be even higher than usual – with intense speculation over the possible direction of the character and the wider Bond narrative. In all likelihood, this could fuel an increased demand from audiences, ensuring the continued success of the saga. Another vital factor when considering a post-Craig future for Bond is that, although killing his character in No Time To Die is certainly a bold move, the wider context around the James Bond movies means that it was never going to be a definitive step. While the movie represents an end of sorts, it was never going to bring the entire saga to a close.

Related: Daniel Craig’s James Bond Era Was The Bleakest (Which Is A Good Thing)

Who Will Be The Next James Bond? 

James Bond No Time To Die Daniel Craig Eilish

At this point, it’s unclear who will return as James Bond after Daniel Craig’s exit from the franchise. There is, however, an exciting list of possible contenders. For years, rumors have circulated around the likes of Tom Hardy, James Norton, Idris Elba, Cillian Murphy, Regé-Jean Page, and more regarding who will assume Craig’s mantle. All of the aforementioned artists have certainly proven that they have the acting chops for a role like Bond, especially having played serious and/or tough parts in other projects of theirs. With the acting capacity for such a tone in mind, it’s clear how the actors could each make James Bond’s character their own, while also continuing the franchise with an approach that remains similar to Daniel Craig’s iteration.

There’s been controversy around the idea of Idris Elba taking over as Bond in recent years. There was a notable amount of backlash against the concept of changing the MI6 agent’s skin color. In 2014, Elba was specifically mentioned as a solid casting option for the part in a leaked e-mail from a senior executive at Sony Pictures, thus sending rumors swirling. Elba has voiced disappointment over this widespread, negative reaction, even telling People that he was “disheartened” by it. Despite this, he did say that he would still take the role if it was offered to him. This is phenomenal news, as he’s proven on The Wire (as Stringer Bell) and Luther (as the show’s titular detective) that he knows how to effectively inhabit a fierce, and often simultaneously smooth, character.

The main problem with the argument against changing Bond’s race is that, if No Time To Die has proven anything, it’s that the series’ main character can be modified. Daniel Craig’s James Bond has shown that the character can even be killed off, and, as previously discussed, has done so without putting the franchise to rest for good or damaging a sense of continuity. With one Bond dead, another will undoubtedly emerge. And, when moving on to another actor to be the face of James Bond, filmmakers will have extensive freedom in who they pick for the role; the proverbial door has been left wide open after Craig’s departure.

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About The Author

Thomas Lethbridge
(133 Articles Published)

After an eclectic career incorporating scuba diving, cheffing and teaching, Tommy eventually found his calling as a writer. With an early focus on food, he now specialises in all aspects of entertainment. Despite being a Lord of the Rings and Alien obsessive, his real passion is for truly terrible movies. He loves anything with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes rating and rarely passes up an opportunity to watch The Room. Tommy is based in London and joined the Screen Rant team in 2021.

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