“I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on,” Daniel Craig said in October 2015, when he was asked about two ‘Bond’ movies shooting back to back. No, he wasn’t doing two more, he wasn’t doing any. “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money,” he said, deflating and flattening many of the fans in Craig’s characteristically blunt manner.
But after all is said and done, Craig did come back to James Bond, even when it lost its director, Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire“) and also stayed on board in the most perilous situation: Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective“) taking up the mantle as filmmaker, but coming aboard the moving train and the impending start date—which had already been pushed—so late, making the film was a desperate endeavor (more on that in a second).
So why, after all the harsh talk, did Craig come back to star in “No Time To Die,” which arrives this spring? It seems that time heals all wounds, and in late 2015, he was banged up and bruised and didn’t want any part of that.
“I finished that movie with a broken leg,” the actor, who underwent arthroscopic surgery after injuring his knee in a fight scene with “Spectre” costar Dave Bautista, told EW this week. It made the actor, approaching his late ’40s at the time, feeling really low, physically and seemingly what he was capable of. “I had to question myself: Was I physically capable of doing [another one], or did I want to do another one? Because that phone call to your wife saying ‘I’ve broken my leg’ is not pleasant.”
Eventually, with some time, that he was up for the physical challenge, and ‘Bond’ producer Barbara Broccoli convinced him there was more story to tell for the character. “I said to him, ‘I don’t think you have [done it all with Bond], I think there’s still more of the story of your Bond to tell.’ Fortunately, he came around to agree with that.”
So, Danny Boyle split due to creative differences (“What we were doing was good. But it was obviously not what they wanted,” he said in a statement to EW) and Fukunaga came on board, but the film was terrifyingly made with screenwriters coming on to help fix the script (Scott Z. Burns, Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and when it came down to it, when writers were no longer available, busting out the computer himself to finish the script and get it exactly right as the clock ticked ominously towards the production start date.
It wasn’t like jumping on board a moving train, Fukunaga said, “It would be like jumping on the moving wheels of the train before the chassis were even there,” he said. “And you’re building the engine as it’s barreling towards the point of no return.”
That is terrifying, but by the sounds of it, they’ve pulled it off. “No Time to Die” lands in theaters April 10, 2020. The film stars, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes. Check out some new images from the film below.