James Bond Owner Opens Up About the Emotional End to ‘No Time to Die’

by Allison Hambrick

Barbara Broccoli, owner of James Bond, revealed the behind-the-scenes processes that went into the emotional and surprising end of No Time to Die. Broccoli inherited the rights to James Bond along with her brother, Michael G. Wilson. The two have both been involved with the franchise since their father, Albert Broccoli, died in 1996.

While she is mostly known for the creative role she’s played in Daniel Craig‘s Bond films, Broccoli’s history with the franchise is much deeper. In 1977, she joined the publicity department for The Spy Who Loved Me. Afterwards, she worked her way to assistant director on Octopussy. Then, in the late 1980s, she became an associate producer for the series.

Arguably, this gives her a better understanding of James Bond than any other producers who’ve worked on the films. As a result, her word on No Time to Die has merit.

“It’s the ultimate sacrifice,” Broccoli told Variety. “As Michael says, it’s very appropriate because people in this line of work put themselves at risk all the time. The amazing thing was that the audience managed to keep this secret, and that’s really a testament, I think, to the Bond fans, that they didn’t want to spoil other people’s enjoyment by telling them the end of the story.”

Daniel Craig Wanted His James Bond to Die

Interestingly, Daniel Craig revealed that the twist wasn’t exactly a surprise. In fact, he’d planned it way back when he first took on the role of James Bond.

“I’m going to tell a story here, whether or not anybody remembers it or agrees with it,” said Craig. “But it was 2006. Barbara 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.'”

“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,” Craig continued. In the years since Craig’s Bond became iconic. While Sean Connery is still the most popular, Craig is a close second. Recasting him or killing off the character would be controversial/

“Eventually, the odds catch up with you,” said Wilson. “It’s also emotionally very important to understand the risks that people like Bond engage in.” The filmmakers agreed it was time for Craig to retire, and they also agreed to kill him off. In order to do so, they felt it had to be “a situation of tragedy,” something “insurmountable.” After all, it was James Bond–a simple bullet cannot take him out.

“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,” said director Cary Joji Fukunaga.