Daniel Craig Talks Other Ways He Wanted to End His Tenure as James Bond

by Leanne Stahulak

Daniel Craig, whose 15-year James Bond arc ended this fall with “No Time To Die,” discussed the ending of the film and how they could’ve done it differently.

WARNING! Massive spoilers ahead for the ending of “No Time To Die,” the latest James Bond movie.

For the first time in the franchise’s 60-year history, a villain successfully killed off James Bond by the end of the film. According to CinemaBlend, Craig discussed the idea of killing off his Bond as early as 2006, at the “Casino Royale” premiere.

But in an earlier interview Variety, Daniel Craig and director Cary Joji Fukunaga discussed the ways they talked about killing James Bond off in “No Time To Die.” When Fukunaga signed on for the film, he quickly learned that Bond’s death was already decided.

“There were a few things that Barbara and Michael and Daniel had earmarked. This was definitely one of them. How he meets his end wasn’t decided yet. It was just the fact that he would, so the question then became how to do it,” Fukunaga said.

The creators discussed several different avenues for 007’s unfortunate demise. They ranged from bizarre to realistic. Craig revealed that one idea was a “bad oyster,” while Fukunagag said another involved “blowing him up in a rocket.”

“A bullet, like an anonymous bullet, I remember that one,” Fukunaga continued. “But it just seemed like a conventional weapons death didn’t seem appropriate. Given how much he had been able to escape from everything else, the fact that it would just be a bullet that always had your name on it from the beginning, as a sort of the thematic element seemed, while realistic, for Bond it had to be something even beyond that — like the impossible, impossible situation.”

So, How Did Daniel Craig’s James Bond Die in ‘No Time To Die?’

Ultimately, Daniel Craig and the other showrunners decided on a different approach to kill off Bond. Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), the main villain in the film, created a DNA-targeting weapon called Project Heracles. This project ended up infecting Bond with a virus that would only be deadly to Dr. Madeleine Swann (his former lover) and their daughter Mathilde.

To save them, Bond remained on the villain’s island as it was blown up by missiles. He refused to go home and infect them with the deadly variant.

“I think the important thing was that we all try to create a situation of tragedy,” Daniel Craig said about Bond’s death. “The idea that there’s an insurmountable problem, there’s a greater force at play, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.”

Craig continued, “The greater force being Safin’s weapon. And that it [kills] the only thing that Bond wants in life, is to be with the people he loves and that he can’t be with them. And therefore, there’s nothing worth living for.

“He would in fact endanger their lives, and that’s the last thing on earth he wants to do. So that element was incredibly important to sort of thread in there, because it couldn’t feel like a random act,” Daniel Craig concluded. “It had to have weight — without it, it wasn’t gonna work. And if we hadn’t have got that weight, I don’t think we would’ve done it. We would’ve found another way of ending it.”

Based on the reviews and audience reception for “No Time to Die,” it seems the ending paid off.