James Bond has been a major component of action movies for decades, with a number of different performers all carrying on the mantle, but for Daniel Craig‘s final outing as the character in No Time to Die, Bond was given an adventure he had never faced before: his own fatal sacrifice. With the character never being given such a definitive sendoff, audiences are still grappling with that film’s finale and what it means for the franchise’s future, but Craig himself recently confirmed that it was his wish from the early days of his tenure to be killed in his final film.
“I’m going to tell a story here, whether or not anybody remembers it or agrees with it. But it was 2006,” Craig recalled to Variety. “[Producer] Barbara [Broccoli] and I were sitting in the back of a car driving away from the Berlin premiere of Casino Royale. Everything was going well. People liked the movie. And it looked like I was gonna get a chance to make at least another movie. I said to Barbara, ‘How many of these movies do I have to make?’ Because I don’t really look at contracts or any of those things. And she said, ‘Four,’ and I went, ‘Oh, okay. Can I kill him off in the last one?’ And she didn’t pause. She said, ‘Yes.’ So I struck a deal with her back then and said, ‘That’s the way I’d like it to go.’ It’s the only way I could see for myself to end it all and to make it like that was my tenure, someone else could come and take over. She stuck to her guns.”
He added, “When he goes, he can’t come back was really what it boils down to.”
Despite that initial agreement, Craig confirmed that he hadn’t necessarily continued reminding the series’ producers of this agreement and didn’t bring up the conversation for future installments. However, producer Michael G. Wilson noted that, in convincing Craig to come back for a fifth film, by allowing him to end his tenure once and for all, it felt like the right choice for the character after all these years.
“I think what happened was, at the end of the fourth one, we wanted Daniel back and he was very reluctant,” Wilson pointed out. “I think we thought, all of us had thought, that that was the best way to end this whole thing. Now, you know, it wasn’t unusual, because Fleming, he tried to kill him off in From Russia With Love, and almost killed him off in You Only Live Twice. But I think it’s the fitting way to deal with a situation where a person is risking their life all the time. Eventually, the odds catch up with you. I think Fleming saw it and I guess ultimately we came to that realization, too. It’s also emotionally very important to understand the risks that people like Bond engage in.”
No Time to Die is out now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
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