No Time to Die, or as it was known for quite a while, Bond 25, was a film that seemed doomed. Prior to even being confirmed star Daniel Craig seemed intent on not appearing, at one point saying he’d rather cut his wrists than star in another Bond movie. Eventually the actor was convinced, assuming after a garbage truck full of money pulled into the driveway, with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle attached to helm the feature. As development continued though the second major wrinkle after Boyle parted ways with EON Productions. After his departure, the script for the film was entirely rewritten, resulting in the film we have now, but until now it’s never been revealed what Boyle’s take would have been.
“I remember thinking, ‘Should I really get involved in franchises?’ Because they don’t really want something different,” Boyle told Esquire UK about working on the film. “They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and we wanted to do something different with it. Weirdly – it would have been very topical now – it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word… they just lost confidence in it…It was a shame really.”
Boyle did confirm that one thing survived from his version into the final cut of No Time to Die, that Bond would become a father. “The idea that they used in a different way was the one of [James Bond’s] child, which (screenwriter John Hodge) introduced [and which] was wonderful.” When asked if he would consider another swing at bat with the Bond franchise, Boyle simply replied: “I don’t think so.” That said he still had some ideas on who he thinks should take the part, naming I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu and The Batman star Robert Pattinson as his favorites.
It’s still going to be some time before we know who will be the next James Bond, partially because the conclusion of No Time to Die means that another hard reboot is certainly in the cards. “It’s a big decision,” producer Barbara Broccoli previously told Variety about the role. “It’s not just casting a role. It’s about a whole rethink about where we’re going. I’m just here celebrating one of the greatest actors on the planet, Daniel Craig.”