The big movie world news from last week was that No Time to Die, the upcoming 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, was being delayed to November of this year, despite being just weeks away from its planned release. The reason was completely understandable though, as the Covid-19 epidemic has ravaged world box offices (Chinese cinemas are completely shut down) and several countries are frowning upon large gatherings like a big blockbuster cinema release. And, of course, there’s the fact that we’ve waited five years since Spectre, Craig’s last Bond movie, so a few more months won’t make a major difference. But why has it been five years?
It turns out that vodka martinis weren’t the only things that got shaken and stirred during Craig’s tenure as Bond. As the 52-year old actor revealed to GQ Magazine, during the 15 years he’s been in the role (the longest of any Bond actor), Craig sustained numerous injuries while filming. It began with 2008’s Quantum of Solace, his second film in the franchise, where Craig tore cartilage in his shoulder while doing an aerial stunt. Just a short while later, he exacerbated things when jumping through a window on the Italian set and ending up slammed into an opposite wall.
I was just nervous and overcooked it. At that point, my arm was kind of useless.
Things didn’t get any better on Skyfall, Craig’s next outing as 007, as the actor managed to rupture both his calf muscles very early in production. The injury left him needing to alternate between shooting scenes and doing rehab in a swimming pool, which took a toll.
It’s not about recovery, because you know you can recover. It’s about psychologically thinking that you’re going to do it again.
On Spectre, though, Craig really took a beating. And it was one that he asked for. During a fight scene with ex-WWE wrestler and walking man-mountain, Dave Bautista, Craig blew out the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee – a major injury – after he encouraged his co-star to turn up the intensity.
I was like, ‘Dave, throw me, for Christ’s sake.…’ Because he was being light with me. So he threw me, and God bless him, he just left my knee over there.
Bautista didn’t walk out unscathed as both got into the scene more intensely to the point where Craig legit punched him in the face. But a bruised nose was nothing compared to the leg-brace Craig was forced to wear for the remainder of production and which needed to be painstakingly edited out of each shot in post-production, which the actor called “a drag.”
With all of this physical punishment, it now explains why Craig famously told reporters that he would rather slash his own wrists than star in another Bond movie after Spectre. Of course, that eventually changed, but at the time Craig was very serious about it.
I was never going to do one again. I was like, ‘Is this work really genuinely worth this, to go through this, this whole thing?’ And I didn’t feel… I felt physically really low. So the prospect of doing another movie was just like, it was off the cards. And that’s why it has been five years.
In an ironic twist though, a month into shooting No Time to Die on location in Jamaica, Craig slipped while running in a scene and landed awkwardly on his ankle. As a result, production had to be halted while the actor underwent minor surgery to repair the injury. So yeah, while it has been repeatedly stated with utmost conviction that No Time to Die would be Craig’s final time as Bond, if you still had some lingering hope that he would reconsider another film, it’s safe to say that you can shoot those hopes down right now.
No Time to Die is scheduled for release in the UK on 12 November, with our own local release following two weeks later.
Last Updated: March 11, 2020