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No Time To Die’s Original Story Is Weaker

Danny Boyle’s original plans for No Time to Die differed heavily from that of the final product, and here’s why the finale was all the better for it.

No Time to Die gave the ultimate send-off to Daniel Craig’s take on James Bond, but director Danny Boyle had a much different idea in mind for Craig’s swan song. Craig’s Bond was the first to have an overarching story linking each of his five films, which made giving the proper conclusion to his story a task that was all the more important to pull off correctly. Thankfully, 007 was given an emotionally-charged farewell with one of the finest Bond films to date in No Time to Die, ending his story in a satisfying manner.

Before director Cary Joji Fukunaga took the reins of the finale and delivered his exhilarating send-off to Craig’s 15-year tenure as the iconic British MI6 agent, director Danny Boyle was attached to the project and had a very different outlook on where the story of No Time to Die would take Bond. Boyle’s narrative had 007 in Russia, uncovering his origins while a present-day plot unfolded. While he hasn’t unveiled much more about his version of the film than this description, it’s safe to say that this was a wildly different conclusion than the one that the character received in No Time to Die.

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Boyle’s narrative certainly could have had some potential to be a solid Bond outing, but after seeing Fukunaga’s final product, it’s hard to see how Boyle’s film could have matched the emotional nuance of No Time to Die. The 25th Bond film really feels like the perfect note for Craig’s 007 to end on before the next James Bond actor fills in his shoes. Bond’s arc is a perfect culmination of his five-movie saga and the themes of loss and heroism that made his interpretation of the character so memorable.


No Time To Die James Bond Daniel Craig screencap 1

The idea of a Bond origin story is also a puzzling choice, as Skyfall, arguably one of the very best Bond films, heavily involved Bond’s past and gave audiences a more in-depth look at the man behind the suit than any entry before it. To essentially redo this idea would potentially tread on feeling repetitive for the series. Bond’s reckoning with his past is a large part of his arc, as is seen in No Time to Die as well, but that film uses Bond’s past as a way to push forward towards a satisfying conclusion for his arc, rather than focus solely on it. It’s also hard to imagine after Skyfall‘s dive into Bond’s past that another entry could do it in a way that wouldn’t feel weaker by comparison.


No Time to Die, while not a perfect film, gave Craig a send-off that made sense for his interpretation of the character and brought all of the central themes of his Bond films to a head in an emotionally cathartic way. To dive back into his past again would rob his Bond of a lot of the emotional growth he shows by the end of No Time to Die. For a five-movie arc of films about a man trying to reckon with his past while carving his own life in the process, it feels odd that the final entry of Daniel Craig’s 007 films would spend so much time in the past rather than trying to move forward.

Next: How Daniel Craig’s James Bond Fixed Your Criticisms Of 007



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