When Daniel Craig first got on the show, he felt that something had gone wrong. “You got the wrong guy,” he told the producers. But Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson insisted. No, he is. He is James Bond. Craig, then a rising performer but never far from the expected choice, never aspired to star with James Bond. He guessed he was caught as part of a huge casting machine, screen tested on dozens of actors.
“After I found out, I was very flattered and deeply confused,” Craig recalled in an interview. “It seemed to me that I was not the right person.”
Fifteen years and five movies later, Craig’s tenure is coming to an end as 007. No Time to Die, which opens in the US on Friday after a 16-month delay due to the epidemic, made Craig’s last hooray in the popular Bond era, a stewardship that once saw Craig’s remake and once deeply regressive superspot — more than $ 3 billion at the box office. Once labeled as “Blonde Bond”, Craig was a resounding success.
“It paid off in Spades,” Broccoli said. “He’s really great. He’s rebuilt it into the 21st century. He’s explored Bond’s inner life.
But would Craig ever suffer with it if he knew what he was for?
“If I knew more, I wouldn’t think I could do it. The less information I had at the time, the better,” said Craig, who spoke to Zoom from New York. I didn’t really understand. ”
He pauses. “I don’t think I really understand it now,” Craig added. “I pretend to understand. Aging means the same thing. I pretend to be better than I was then.”
No Time to Die, directed by Carrie Joji Fukuna, is, of course, Craig’s last turn on the tracks. But this is the culmination of where Craig is driving Bond. His 007 is a character, not a symbol, that causes grief and sadness and is far from bullet proof. That evolution takes a major step in No Time to Die.
“I always thought: How do these things affect him? In a Bond world. Not in the way of Hamlet. But in the world of Bond,” said Craig, who will not play a play about Hamlet but Macbeth – the dangers of ambition on Broadway next year.
No time to die began unsteadily Exited with creative differences with writer-director Danny Boyle. Fukuna stepped in and the script was completely rewritten. The fact that the film is also happening in the first place has come as a surprise to some. After a previous entry, the Specter of 2015 suggested that Craig should cut his wrist without doing another. The physical number and time commitment of the movies – “it’s a year,” he said about every movie – wore on him.
“I’m often criticized for complaining about it,” said Craig, 53. I went after “Specter”: I’m no longer able to do this. Phone Call Home – This is not a good phone call, and it has been going on for many years.
He laughs. “It happened as well, but you go.”
During filming in Jamaica, Craig slipped while walking on a wet harbor and seriously injured his ankle. Little did the filmmakers know that losing their star temporarily was one of the many headaches to come. Before the outbreak, No Time to Die opens in April 2020. Television commercials aired. Craig went live Saturday night. The movie theme written by Billy Elish has been released and the movie won a Grammy months before its London premiere.
No time to die comes at a crucial moment for the movie business. Recently, some ticket sales have reached pre-epidemic levels. Bond is not only saving the world once again, he is ready to give a lift to movie theaters. Sales in the UK over the weekend were similar to the start of Skyfall 2012, which reached $ 1.1 billion at the box office.
However, change is everywhere. In May, Amazon announced plans to acquire Bond’s home studio, MGM. With it came vows that Bond movies would always be released in theaters.
“We were told by MGM and Amazon and take them according to their word,” Wilson said. “Throughout Bond’s history, we ‘ve seen our studio sold under us many times. For 60 years, we have had countless different owners and we have been able to continue to build our films and maintain the bond.”
The Craig Exit franchise could be tested better than Guard’s previous 007 change since Sean Connery’s exit. During his five films, Craig created the entire series as long as he had his character, bringing in top filmmakers and raising the bar overall.
“I asked them directly. I said: Listen, the confidence I need to play this role – if not one of the most loyal people in film history, if not the most loyal person in film history – I should be able to participate,” Craig said. “I need to know what’s going on and have an opinion. , I feel like I have a voice. They just said, we want you to get involved. ”
“A lot of money has been spent on these films,” Craig added. “If we have to spend a lot of money for these films, we have to get the best ones. We have to get the best ones in the industry. I’m very proud.”
Over the next year Craig is expected to hear endless rumors and speculation of a successor. (Onion Wallace reports crookedly that Shawn is in the mix.) Broccoli and Wilson, however, say their current focus is on celebrating the Craig swan song. They set no parameters except to say that Bond is the male character as the foundation.
“It’s not like we’re trying to escape,” Broccoli said. “We’m not in a position to start thinking about where we can go yet. So, I think this is a clean slate. We can go anywhere with the character.”
Craig will see to it that movies are relevant in the future. But he was almost happy that those concerns were not his own.
“Fortunately, this is not me anymore,” Craig said with a laugh. “I adore it from a distance.”
In the meantime, the once rigid power structures of the Bond world have been partially demolished from within. In No Time to Die, Lee Sedox returns as Madeleine Swann, the first Bond love interest — the so-called Bond Girl — to take place between movies. In the film, the relationship between Swan and Bond is not reusable. It is central.
“She’s not in the stereotype. She’s not a sex object,” Sedoux said. “Daniel, a feminist, really wanted to have more interesting female characters.”
“I want everyone on screen to have weight, somehow,” Craig said. “I liked some of the characters in past movies and they make an impact. But there are a lot of very memorable ones because they were trained for something or anything. I want everyone to remember that they deserve to be on screen there.”
Lashana Lynch also made Bond history in No Time to Die as the first time 007. (Bond relinquishes his service name and code name.) Lynch, a British Jamaican actor, was caught by Craig only in 2006 when he took over at Casino Royale.
“As a black woman, if I want to be in a relationship with this white man, it’s magic,” Lynch said. “That’s the power that Daniel Craig brought to the franchise, but also the power of the creators behind the fact that they keep fans on board and invite new fans to join in the entertainment.”
On the set of the movie, the last shot in a day is named Martini. When it came time for Craig to film his final scene and complete his 15 years as a band, it was raining and cold in the backyard of Pinewood Studios.
But the staff, producers, department heads and actors all came to see the occasion. Broccoli detects the fitness of the scene – Craig escapes from the camera into the darkness. As you can see in the widely shared video clip, Craig was shocked when he spoke to the assembled staff. You could say he moved in with Martini.
“The last day of filming is rarely the punch-in-the-air moment. It’s usually hard at the end of the day. Everyone wants to go home,” Craig said. “I thought: ‘Oh s-. I have to make a speech. ” ‘