Daniel Craig, speaking about his final portrayal of British master spy James Bond, recently admitted that they “were constantly adjusting and readjusting the script” during the development of his 007 swansong. This fact, revealed in a trailer (below) for a forthcoming No Time to Die podcast, which also includes a few fresh bits of footage from the film, is sure to worry some fans, as continuing rewrites frequently result in poorer cinematic consequences.
The film has now been delayed and pushed back so many times that many people may have forgotten it is even scheduled to be released. Nonetheless, these script rewrites should not come as a surprise, given No Time to Die has been beset by delays since its inception. The film was meant to be released in November 2019, but due to a director change, an injury, and then a global halt, No Time to Die has faced growing costs, which have reportedly totaled to $1 million every month in interest until the film is released.
Director Cary Fukunaga has previously assured James Bond fans that No Time to Die is great, and that he has not tinkered with the finished film during all the extra time caused by the various delays. “Although more time would have been lovely, we had to put our pencils down when we finished our post-production window,” the filmmaker explained. While (somewhat worryingly) it does sound like Fukunaga would have liked the chance to polish certain areas of No Time to Die, the finance department put a stop to it. “Short answer is money. And although Bond is a big movie, we still have to weigh cost with value. And like anything, you could tinker endlessly. The movie is great as it is.”
Set five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, No Time to Die finds James Bond having left active service. His peaceful life is short-lived, and he is approached by his friend and CIA officer Felix Leiter, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev has been abducted, Bond must confront a villain whose schemes could see the death of millions.
Featuring Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, No Time to Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, and David Dencik joining the cast as new characters.
No Time to Die will finally have its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 28 September 2021. Its theatrical release will follow on 30 September 2021 in the United Kingdom and on 8 October 2021 in the United States. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as we’ve been led to believe and that the issues with the first test screenings have been corrected.