The final chapter in Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond has taken a very long time to get here. Craig’s uncertainty about returning for another film after 2015’s lacklustre Spectre, and director Danny Boyle’s exit due to disagreements with producers about the script direction initially hampered efforts. Even after an exhaustive director search eventually landed us the brilliant Cary Fukunaga, things still didn’t go smoothly thanks to multiple script rewrites, on-set filming injuries, and more. After all of that drama, will No Time to Die actually be worth the wait? If pure size is what is used as the criteria for that question, then the answer is a resounding “Yes!” as the upcoming James Bond film will be the longest in the franchise’s history by a considerable margin.
That’s according to Regal and Pathe, two of the biggest American and Dutch cinema chains, respectively. Both chains are listing No Time to Die as having a bladder-bursting runtime of 163 minutes long. Now it has to be noted that this has not been officially confirmed and cinema chains sometimes do get these bits of info wrong. If correct though, it would mean that Craig’s Bond swan song will eclipse’ Spectre’s 148 minutes to take the crown for the longest runtime in the franchise’s 58-year history. Other notable lengthy entries in the series include Casino Royale (144 minutes), Skyfall (143 Minutes), and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (142 minutes). Craig’s second Bond film, the critically derided Quantum of Solace, is actually the shortest Bond film ever with just 104 minutes.
It makes sense why No Time to Die is so long though. With Craig wanting to wrap up his Bond run with a big bang, tying up all the loose ends from his entire time as the character, a lot needs to happen. And, reportedly, a lot needs to happen very early as franchise fan Twitter account JamesBondLive is claiming that No Time to Die will boast a 20-minute long pre-titles intro sequence, also the longest in franchise history if true. So basically, try to avoid the large drinks if you don’t want to miss any of the action for a toilet break on this one.
And there’s going to be a considerable amount of action based on a newly released featurette narrated by Fukunaga himself. In the behind-the-scenes look, the director (who also contributed to the film’s script) pulls back the curtain a bit on the so-far very clandestine production, explaining what he wants to bring to the character.
For me as a writer and as a director, it was essential to rediscover Bond. Where is he? After five years of retirement, who has he become? He’s sort of a wounded animal struggling with his role as a double 0. The world has changed. The rules of engagement aren’t what they used to be. The rules of espionage darker in this era of asymmetric warfare. The people close to Bond, the people he considers to be family, are at great risk.
That risk will seemingly be coming from Oscar-winner Rami Malek’s Safin, the mysterious scarred villain of the film. A villain who actually has nothing to do with Spectre – not the movie, but the evil criminal organization of the same name led by Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld that had been revealed to have been pulling all the strings in Bond’s life up until recently.
Now there’s someone new out there, more dangerous than anyone he’s ever encountered. Whoever they are is smarter and stronger than Spectre.
While this film won’t have any further to say on the Spectre story arc – despite the fact that Waltz is reprising his role – Fukunaga continued by explaining that “No Time to Die is the culmination of all that Bond has become.”
With all that he’s seen, all the trauma, the loss… What is that mission that would be his most challenging and most difficult? That was our target. We aimed to do something extraordinary with this one.
We’ll find out if Fukunaga and Craig can live up to that goal when No Time to Die releases on 2 April 2020.
Last Updated: February 27, 2020