‘No Time to Die’: 2 Questions Bond Producers Ask Before Every 007 Movie

Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson say they try to tie Bond to the world’s biggest concerns

james bond no time to die
Photo illustration by TheWrap (MGM; Getty Images)

With Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, “No Time to Die,” finally hitting U.S. theaters next weekend, the masterminds behind the successful franchise, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, have come out to discuss the two questions that fueled the creation of the Craig era of Agent 007.

Craig’s arrival came with an immense overhaul of the Bond series, as Broccoli, Wilson and their team at Eon Productions oriented 2006’s “Casino Royale” to be more reflective of the grittier spy films of the 2000s like the Jason Bourne saga. That constant reinvention of Bond has allowed the franchise to last for 25 films over nearly six decades, and Broccoli and Wilson say that reinvention is built upon two questions they always ask before they start work on a new 007 title.

“1. What is the world going to be afraid of in two or three years when the film comes out? And 2. What are the emotional and personal challenges Bond will face? The combination of those two things means that we do something fresh each time,” Broccoli told CNN (via ScreenRant). 

For an example of those two questions at work, look no further than Craig’s 2012 acclaimed film “Skyfall.” Produced at a time when hacktivist groups like Anonymous and LulzSec were making headlines and the issue of internet privacy was rising along with social media, “Skyfall” sees Bond face off with a former MI6 spy turned hacker bent on revenge against Bond’s boss, M. The film also ties that into the personal relationship that Bond and M had developed over the previous two films.

“Of course, now it turned out to be four years hence because of COVID,” Wilson said.” You have to get out your crystal ball and take a stab at it. In this particular case, I think we came pretty close to what the world is concerned about.”

“No Time to Die” was originally intended for release in April 2019, but was pushed back after Danny Boyle left the director’s chair and was replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga. It was then in the can and ready for release in April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced several more delays until this month.

But the wait seems to have been worth it, as MGM and Universal reported on Saturday that the film is on pace for an opening weekend in the U.K. of over $30 million and a global opening of $113 million in 54 countries, both being the highest opening weekends for any film since the pandemic began. “No Time to Die” will be released in American theaters on Oct. 8.