After nearly 60 years and 24 movies, fans thought they knew what to expect from a James Bond movie’s conclusion: 007 stops the villain, lands a kiss (or more) with his latest love interest, and lives to save the world again in the next film. But No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as the super-spy, turned out to massively flip the script. In a flagrant bit of false advertising, Bond did have time to die when he was blown up, defeating the evil Safin (Rami Malek).
While there had been whisperings that Craig’s era might end with the secret agent meeting his maker, this ending still came as a massive shock to audiences and miraculously never leaked out despite the many delays NTTD faced. This feat was achieved by keeping those who knew about the explosive conclusion to a minimum. Appearing on Deadline’s Crew Call podcast, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson explained that they shared a “decoy” script with most of the crew that included an “alternate version” of the third act.
“We’re very confidential with our scripts, but we have to produce scripts for the crew, obviously, and for other people that have to be aware of what we’re doing,” Broccoli said. “So we basically had an alternative version where we just removed and rewrote the ending, that would be a decoy.”
In the same interview, Broccoli confirmed Daniel Craig’s recent claim that he had been planning to kill Bond off since he first pitched the idea to her at the premiere of his first movie, Casino Royale, in 2006. Wilson also touched on how difficult it was to find the exact right way for the character to kick the bucket, as previously revealed by director Cary Fukunaga. All in all, Broccoli admits she was “amazed” that the crew was “respectful” enough not to let slip about No Time To Die‘s twist.
However, this isn’t the end of Bond, as the producers are currently looking for the next person to pick up his Walther-PPK. We can presumably expect another continuity reset, then, much as Craig’s era broke away from the canon established from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan. As for who’s going to the new 007, many actors have thrown their names into the hat. Exactly how his revival will be handled might be a mystery, but we can say that James Bond will return.