Ahead of the release of No Time to Die, audiences knew it would be star Daniel Craig’s final adventure as James Bond, leaving fans to wonder how this iteration of the character would get an earned and organic sendoff. After a number of release date delays, the film finally landed in theaters this past October, delivering the conclusion to the actor’s run, with director Cary Fukunaga recently breaking down the process of coming up with such a conclusion and how difficult it was finding a way to close this chapter of the character’s life for longtime fans.
WARNING: Spoilers below for No Time to Die
The film’s finale sees Bond helping ensure that Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux) and their daughter find safety, though he also discovers that if he comes into close contact with them, they will die. To prevent this, he sacrifices himself in an explosion that also makes sure to destroy a facility that would prevent such a situation from ever occurring again.
“In my first meeting with Daniel and the producers, they said that’s how they wanted the story,” Fukunaga shared with Empire Magazine. “They felt that was an ending. I was like, ‘Well, it’s a result of an ending, but we don’t know what happens. It has to be earned.'”
As is the nature of all beloved franchises, when it comes to an iconic character’s demise, it can be tricky finding a balance between explicitly confirming such a fate while also offering a glimpse of hope that such a character could have survived a seemingly fatal incident.
“I wasn’t trying to be obtuse with it,” the filmmaker noted. “I wanted to be clear with it. But I wanted it to be tasteful. We didn’t want that shot in Terminator 2 where you see Sarah Connor turning into bones. But we wanted to show that he wasn’t going to jump down a sewer at the last second. So that wider shot of the island being pummelled was a mixture of macro and micro. The full effect is, ‘Yes, he’s gone, but he succeeded in making sure none of that weapons would go on into the future.'”
Given the number of deadly threats that all versions of James Bond have faced over the years, Fukunaga noted that he wrestled with Craig’s finale throughout the production.
“I was really struggling, because it couldn’t be conventional action,” Fukunaga admitted. “It couldn’t just be a demonic device, it had to be tied into the central theme of the story.”
No Time to Die is out now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD.
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