When the name of the new Bond movie was announced this week — No Time To Die — the reaction from fans was muted, to say the least.
In fact, George Lazenby, who played Bond in 1969, was more than kind.
Lazenby cheekily commented on his Instagram: “Great title, but not as good as my film.”
He added a wink emoji to soften the blow. He was, of course, referring to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a title and film of some repute.
One wonders what 007 author Ian Fleming might say — if anything, he had a knack for popular titles. Casino Royale, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, to name but a few.
This particular title? Well … perhaps it will grow on us, or maybe it’s a temporary title.
According to The Guardian, the new title references two key scenes from 2015’s Spectre.
In the first, Bond tells Blofeld: “I came here to kill you,” and Blofeld replies: “And I thought you came here to die.” In the second, Bond says, “Doesn’t time fly?” and then throws an exploding watch at Blofeld.
The callbacks to these two scenes suggests that No Time to Die will resume the intense to-the-death rivalry between Bond (Daniel Craig) and Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), The Guardian reported.
Meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the 1970s-styled title feels appropriately nostalgic and perhaps signals that director Cary Fukunaga’s film will depart from the plodding broodiness of the last entry, “Spectre,” and harken back to the Bond eras defined by Sean Connery.
It is rumored that the film’s previous director, Danny Boyle, left the project because he wanted to kill off James Bond in the end, a decision that Eon Productions wouldn’t stand for.
No Time To Die fittingly feels like a politely passive-aggressive rebuttal to Boyle, and a promise that just because this is Craig’s last outing it doesn’t mean that the character will die.
According to media reports, Bond 25 will see 007 “enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica after leaving active service before an old friend, Felix Leiter, from the CIA turns up asking for help.”
Bond then embarks on a mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist while hunting down a “mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology” — genetic technology, it’s rumored — a classic Bond film after all?
Or will director Fukunaga add some twists and turns to the same old story? We will know when the film debuts on April 3, 2020 in the UK and April 8 in the US.
Here’s what we do know: Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes also reprise their roles as MI6’s Q, (Miss) Eve Moneypenny, and M, respectively.
Rory Kinnear is back as MI6’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. Kinnear previously appeared as Tanner in Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
After appearing in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace but sitting out the last two Bond films, Jeffrey Wright returns as 007’s CIA counterpart Felix Leiter.
Lea Seydoux reprises her role from Spectre as Dr. Madeleine Swann, the French psychologist who was the daughter of Spectre’s infamous Mr White.
No Time To Die also stars Oscar winner Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnusse, Ana de Armas, David Dencik and Dali Benssalah.
Lynch is reported to be the new 007, the MI6 agent who assumed the “00” designation after James Bond decided to drive off into the sunset at the end of ‘Spectre’.
Meanwhile, according to The Economic Times, Daniel Craig will reportedly receive a fat pay cheque of £50 million for his last outing. The 50-year-old actor will also get an executive producer credit, along with endorsements and profits.
That’s a far cry from previous Bonds. Timothy Dalton churned £4 million from two appearances followed by Pierce Brosnan raking in £13 million in four films.