The Daniel Craig era saw James Bond deconstructed and rebuilt from the ground up, delivering an iteration of the iconic character unlike anything we’d ever seen before, an impressive feat for a franchise that began all the way back in 1962.
Introduced as a rookie MI6 operative earning his 00 status, the five-film saga offered the greatest sense of continuity we’d ever seen from the Bond series, with No Time to Die tying up multiple story threads from as far back as Casino Royale to send Craig out in fitting fashion.
The actor’s tenure deliberately avoided many of the standard tropes while still leaning into them; the gadgets were there but they weren’t quite so outlandish, the female supporting players actually had some agency about them, and any quips were few and far between.
In an interview with Empire, Craig revealed why he sought to pull back on Bond’s signature one-liners, even if he did ultimately get more than a couple of zingers in No Time to Die.
“There are no restrictions on it, but it’s definitely James Bond. A lot of people are talking about the humor in the movies, and there’s a lot more humor and gags when Roger Moore did it. I’ve always said I’d love to do gags, but with the way we’ve done the movies, you can’t write gags. The one-liners are going to feel out of place. I was always maintaining that if I start trying to say one-liners, people are just gonna go, ‘No’.”
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Craig has a point, throwing in jokes for the sake of it would have felt out of place with both his grounded portrayal of James Bond and the world that he inhabits, but that doesn’t mean his stint has been completely humorless by any means.