Daniel Craig’s final James Bond flick, No Time To Die, is out in theaters. And while filming the movie, Craig wanted to be sure his legacy ended in the most action-packed way possible. So he helped the crew come up with scenes that would leave our hearts racing.
And one particular scene ended up being a death-defying feat. In it, Bond was desperate to get back to Madeleine as quickly as possible. Originally, Bond was going to be chased on foot through the streets of an old Italian town. But Craig had a better idea—he thought he’d hop on a motorcycle instead.
In an interview with Variety, Daniel Craig’s stunt coordinator, Lee Morrison, talked about how challenging it was to create the chase.
Craig and his stunt double took turns filming the scene in Matera, Italy. And Morrison said that the surface in the city was “the worst” he’s ever “shot on.”
“The stone is ancient, so we thought it would be bad to shoot in winter, so we shot there during the summer,” he recalled. “I put road burners on the road, but we found it to be really dry and the surface was worst. The polished sandstone was treacherous and slippery.”
A Challenging Motorcycle Chase in ‘No Time to Die’ Took Bond Through the Streets of Italy
The filming also took Bond through pedestrian areas and up rocky stairs. And Morrison had to get special permission to ride in those areas. Craig worked hard with the director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, to make sure they weren’t adding action “for the sake of action.” So a lot of planning went into crafting the perfect stunt, which took place in Guillermo Square.
“The story came from Cary and Daniel late in the day,” he added. “And I worked with Mark (Tildesley, production designer) to design a stunt that was story-driven and justify him going out there.”
They decided to create a jump that would put Bond in the square doing donuts as he realized he’d “been betrayed and double-crossed.” And the shock of that realization left him open to attacks as he pondered what happened.
But when they finally put everything together and started filming, the weather didn’t cooperate.
“The motorcycle jump scene took three days to shoot,” Morrison said. “We had two days getting the lead-up and then the jump to the square. On the day of shooting, the wind played a huge factor. I was monitoring the wind conditions because that jump, as you jump up, you’re not traveling very fast for the flight.”
Morrison and the stunt double practiced the risky stunt many times. And when the double would try to land with the wind fighting him, he’d fall.
“I had to constantly watch the wind making sure it was suitable for the jump and then the clouds came in, and it would start raining which would make that surface treacherous.”