Note: Major spoilers ahead for the 2021 film No Time to Die.
In a video for Variety, James Bond actor Daniel Craig explained why the latest Bond movie No Time to Die ended the way it did. Craig had a conversation with former Bond villain actor Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva in Skyfall), and there, he talks about the film’s ending – wherein James Bond sacrifices himself to save his own family.
The James Bond movie franchise has been around for 59 years, but this is the first time Agent 007 has died on-screen. Daniel Craig has portrayed the British M16 Agent for 15 years, and No Time to Die was his fifth movie with the franchise. In the movie’s ending, Bond contracted a virus that would kill his family — so he chose to die instead. It was a poetic ending to the Bond character, who was usually portrayed as a playboy and misogynist in previous iterations. In Craig’s last portrayal of 007, Bond was a father, a family man willing to die for the people he loves.
In a conversation with Javier Bardem, Craig expresses the reasons behind Bond’s death – and even expressed that he wanted to Bond to die in Casino Royale, which was Craig’s first outing as Bond.
“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 was well-received by critics and audiences alike. People thought that Bond had a perfect, beautiful ending. However, the question lingers – where does the Bond franchise go from here? James Bond recasts usually have no explanation, and there isn’t much continuity involved with each movie. However, Craig’s 007 movies were the only set of Bond films that did consider the continuity from one movie to another, with actions from previous movies resulting in certain consequences for the next film (e.g., Bond having a daughter, a first for any 007 film).
So will there be a Bond Cinematic Universe? Will a new James Bond arise from the old? We don’t know much about anything yet, but we’re certainly excited to see another iteration of the world’s most famous spy.
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