While the coverage of films in production has certainly become more ubiquitous thanks to the ever-present specter of social media and people carrying around smartphones with incredible cameras in their pockets as they pass film sets, the truth is there seemed to be more drama during the production of “No Time To Die” than on previous Bond films. There was the whole drama regarding whether or not Daniel Craig would come back (he did), who might direct the film after Sam Mendes left the franchise (with filmmakers coming and going), and the on-set incidents including an explosion and a major injury. Needless to say, making this particular Bond film appeared to be more difficult than the previous 24 in the series.
And according to a new GQ profile, that feeling that “No Time To Die” was a difficult film to make isn’t without reason.
First, you have the quote from departing director Mendes, who plainly said, about making a Bond film, “There has always been an element that Bond has been on the wing and a prayer. It is not a particularly healthy way to work.”
The major issue facing “No Time To Die” was probably the issues with who might direct the film. After Mendes decided to walk away after “Spectre,” it wasn’t easy to find the right person to take over. Danny Boyle was hired, but eventually left, with fans pretty bummed. Ultimately, even though producer Barbara Broccoli hired Cary Fukunaga, the shakeup caused “No Time To Die” to be up against the clock.
“Danny had ideas, and the ideas didn’t work out, and that was just the way it was,” Craig said. “I would love to have gone into ‘No Time To Die’ and had a script that we could shoot. And it just didn’t happen. There were so many things that went against it.”
And the importance of getting this film right is huge for Craig, as “No Time to Die” marks his 007 swansong. Since this film has that added emotional resonance, the actor decided that it was time for him to become even more hands-on with the film’s development than before.
“This is my last movie,” Craig explained. “I’ve kept my mouth shut before and I’ve stayed out of it and I’ve respected it and I’ve regretted that I did.”
He added, “I’ve been very forceful in meetings and often way too blunt and probably completely rude. But I’m like, We’re here! Come on! And I always say sorry.”
With all the behind-the-scenes movement, there’s no surprise that several different writers are credited with the script, including Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“How much of Phoebe’s is in there, who knows?” Craig said. “We’re all in it somewhere. Phoebe’s in it, Cary’s in it, the writers are in it, but it’s a… We battled it and battled it and battled it. Who knows?…I’ve seen bits of it. I haven’t seen it. Who the fuck knows?”
Sadly, because of the recent delay due to the coronavirus outbreak, no one is going to see “No Time to Die” for months, as it won’t hit theaters until November.