Isnt his death discussed in the latest official Podcast with the writers and cast. I think its pretty much official
We don't know how lonely Bond was in Jamaica, so it's just guessing to say he disliked it so much. He lost one M and gained a new one. In fact he has a group of friends in MI6. He also saves the world and his family. I see Bond's death as sacrifise, not suicide. More like the soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends than the soldier blowing his brains out in the barracks.
Meanwhile Blofeld's death is completely useless and puroseless, he gains nothing by his death. And how can anyone say Blofeld won when his life's work, SPECTRE, is completely destroyed?
Vodka Martini Shaken Not Stirred. None of this Heineken nonsense! 😁
Of course, you left out what follows. I mean . . .
Two frames of him being vaporized, followed by a wide of that entire section of the island being blanketed in fiery death? What exactly are you allowing for in terms of physics here? 🤔
Snort. It's just guessing that there's no way he survived the end of NTTD, too. Until the next film comes out, we won't know if anything is final.
The evidence onscreen in NTTD is Bond is pretty lonely in Jamaica, and the dialogue suggests he hasn't kept up with his friends in years -- or they, he. Further, these are all his work friends. There is zero evidence has any other.
In terms of throwing himself on a grenade, no. It's more like he was standing by himself, pulled the pin on a grenade, and just accepted it was going to blow him up because he had no reason to live. He didn't run or try to put the pin back. He committed suicide.
The film sets Blofeld up winning in the first 10 minutes -- when the bomb at Vesper's grave goes off and Bond believes Swann was in on it and deserts her. Five years goes by, and Blofeld has clearly succeeded in having sown the seeds of hate and distrust. Then, we the hope of something more is dangled in front of Bond for a few brief moments, that gets taken away, too.
There are two tracks to Bond's life in the Craig films. The first concerns his career while the second his personal life. In the previous iteration, it's nearly all his career, and Bond is shown winning 98% of the time. Even when he loses personally -- as in OHMSS -- it doesn't eclipse all the professional victories in his life. He continues to not just live but to thrive, professional, personally, and romantically. He is, despite some circumstances, happy and optimistic.
In the Craig iteration, Bond wins, maybe, 50% of the time, and that's if we give him generous credit on a small level and not the big picture. His victories are fleeting and come at great expense (e.g., he stops LeChiffre but it costs him the money and Vesper loses her life; he stops Silva, but it costs M her life), and he quits the Secret Service more than once. But on a personal level, he loses 98% of the time. He loses his parents, he loses Oberhauser, he loses Vesper (and he's haunted by her death his entire adult life after), he loses Mathis, he loses his surrogate mother in M, he loses Felix, he loses Swann, he's never going to be there for his daughter, and in the end, he commits suicide by being bombed from his own forces through a strike he called to stop a weapon created by his own boss.
What does Blofeld lose? Ostensibly SPECTRE, but SPECTRE, like MI:6, is an organization, not a living being. It can certainly be resurrected. Blofeld dies, but if you're going to argue Bond somehow saved everyone by standing atop a missile silo to kill himself, then Blofeld just as much sacrificed his life to get Bond -- his machinations certainly led to luring Bond back out of hiding to pursue Saffin and the weapon which ultimately led to Bond's death, which by the way, was witnessed by his girlfriend and daughter. Blofeld wins.
Going to a white screen and then black. Do you not see this? You posted one frame. You don’t see him vaporized. You don't see his clothes blasted off, his skin seared, or his body ripped apart. He simply appears to remain standing and unaffected by either the heat or concussion of the apparent explosions. You then see him apparently enveloped in a flash that goes white and then black and then cuts to a distance shot. The fade to white and/or black is a standard editing move. It could mean death, the passage of time, or merely a shift to another scene, for instance. It’s used at the end of Star Trek II and multiple times at beginning of Star Trek III, for example, to transition from Spock’s tube and Genesis scenery and eventually to space.
This is the wiggle room they have should they decide to show Bond surviving the attack, as a variety of possible scenarios posted in various threads posit. All they have to do is show us what could have happened in that transition, should they decide Bond survives. They can speed up or slow down the action all they want, as in the Sherlock Homes movies.
We've certainly seen similar impossible moments in Bond films, especially recently. In Tomorrow Never Dies, for example, Bond’s jet appears to be “vaporized” from an explosion also sent by his own forces that then severs communication — only to be shown seemingly impossibly flying out of the heat and flames not only unscathed but without any of the weapons slung under its wings detonating.
So, no, it’s not impossible. Unlikely, but certainly not impossible.
Blofeld doesn't sacrifice his life to get Bond. Neither Bond nor Blofeld knew that incident would kill Blofeld. Bond on the other hand knew perfectly well he sacrificed himself to save his family. He couldn't really "put the pin back in the grenade" without risking the life of Madeleine and their daughter. He could throw himself on the grenade or walk around with it in his clenched fist for the rest of his life without a pin to put back in. By that I mean walking around in the world with the virus in his body, always fearing any contact will create a chain of carriers transfering the virus to his family and killing them.
You said Blofeld tricked Bond into being away from his family. True. But then he loved his family and Bond really had something to live for. He loves his family or he has nothing to live for. Make up your mind, because you can't have both.
Craig says he's no longer Bond, the writers say Bond died, the producers and the promotion says Craig's quitting as Bond. (He's also about the age Connery was when he made NSNA). We also see the mountain he's standing on get blown up by missiles. At this point Bond's death is no longer guessing. If Bond was lonely or not in Jamaica on the other hand is guessing.
Maybe he's running for cover in the dust? Is that the theory?
The explosions happen in front of, on, and actually behind him (between him and the camera), with rubble scattering toward camera. (Watch this at .25 speed: https://youtu.be/NqT1ao_iJe8 )
It then in the film cuts to a MATCH CUT of the other bombs hitting the island, then it cuts (with the continuous audio being your cue there is no time jump here; editing 101) to everyone reacting (including a vital signs monitor showing Bond flatlining).
There's no "fade" to white or black in that moment (are you looking at the film or the edited clips on YouTube?). In the film it's a contiguous series of shots making up a sequence. There's no fade-out, no time cut (your Spock example doesn't even apply here; yes there is a time cut in that sequence and a thousand other sequences in other movies, but Spock is Super Dead until sci-fi magic brings him back in the sequel) until the sequence is over and every character has reacted, at which point there's a fade to white back to London for the toast, which indicates a passage of time (also evidenced by Nomi and Q no longer being halfway around the world). THAT'S your time cut, but you're conflating it with the death scene, which is a real-time sequence in the film.
If they wanted it to be ambiguous, they would have structured this very differently. And since you seem pretty unhappy at the direction Craig's run has taken the series in general, I suppose you should hope you're wrong! Try to be an optimist! He's dead!
These are missiles not bullets 😂
Anyhow listen to the official podcast - if I remember rightly producers / writers / FX team etc confirm death
I saw an interview in Variety, with Craig, Fukunaga, Broccoli, and Wilson, that may answer some of our questions
By Adam B. Vary, Dec 30, 2021
You all did something that’s never happened in a James Bond movie before: He dies in this film. Was that something you knew you wanted to do from the start?
Michael G. Wilson: If you’re saying the start of when is the question.
Daniel Craig: I’m going to tell a story here, whether or not anybody remembers it or agrees with it. But it was 2006. Barbara and I were sitting in the back of a car driving away from the Berlin premiere of “Casino Royale.” Everything was going well. People liked the movie. And it looked like I was gonna get a chance to make at least another movie. I said to Barbara, “How many of these movies do I have to make?” Because I don’t really look at contracts or any of those things. And she said, “Four,” and I went, “Oh, okay. Can I kill him off in the last one?” And she didn’t pause. She said, “Yes.” So I struck a deal with her back then and said, “That’s the way I’d like it to go.” It’s the only way I could see for myself to end it all and to make it like that was my tenure, someone else could come and take over. She stuck to her guns.
Barbara Broccoli: And I had go and tell Michael and we waited to tell the studio! [Laughs] We wanted to get rid of him. That was the reality. It was like, make sure that this was the way that we get rid of Daniel.
Craig: When he goes, he can’t come back was really what it boils down to.
So what was that conversation between you two like, Barbara and Michael, about how this is something Daniel wants to do and we’ve never done it before?
Wilson: Well, I…uh…
Craig: Well, listen, listen, it was “no” for a long time. Don’t worry. I thought it was forgotten about, put it that way. I didn’t bring it back up again until this one.
Wilson: But I think what happened was, at the end of the fourth one, we wanted Daniel back and he was very reluctant. I think we thought, all of us had thought, that that was the best way to end this whole thing. Now, you know, it wasn’t unusual, because Fleming, he tried to kill him off in “From Russia With Love,” and almost killed him off in “You Only Live Twice.” But I think it’s the fitting way to deal with a situation where a person is risking their life all the time. Eventually, the odds catch up with you. I think Fleming saw it and I guess ultimately we came to that realization, too. It’s also emotionally very important to understand the risks that people like Bond engage in.
There’s also the risk of the audience response. There’s an audience for these movies who walk in expecting that James Bond is going to save the day every time. Was that part of your calculation for what you wanted to do with this?
Craig: If you stay to the end credits, it definitely says, “James Bond will return.” So all is good.
Wilson: Bond does save the day. He does do that.
Broccoli: It’s the ultimate sacrifice. As Michael says, it’s very appropriate because people in this line of work put themselves at risk all the time. The amazing thing was that the audience managed to keep this secret, and that’s really a testament, I think, to the Bond fans, that they didn’t want to spoil other people’s enjoyment by telling them the end of the story.
Cary, when you came on board to direct the film, was the death already baked in?
Cary Joji Fukunaga: There was a few things that Barbara and Michael and Daniel had earmarked. This was definitely one of them. How he meets his end wasn’t decided yet. It was just the fact that he would, so the question then became how to do it.
What was the evolution there?
Fukunaga: There were many, many iterations.
Can you talk me through some of them?
Fukunaga: Blowing him up in a rocket.
Craig: Bad oyster!
Fukunaga: A bullet, like an anonymous bullet, I remember that one. But it just seemed like a conventional weapons death didn’t seem appropriate. Given how much he had been able to escape from everything else, the fact that it would just be a bullet that always had your name on it from the beginning, as a sort of the thematic element seemed, while realistic, for Bond it had to be something even beyond that — like the impossible, impossible situation.
Craig: I think the important thing was that we all try to create a situation of tragedy. The idea that there’s an insurmountable problem, there’s a greater force at play, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. And the greater force being Savin’s weapon. And that it [kills] the only thing that Bond wants in life, is to be with the people he loves and that he can’t be with them, and therefore, there’s nothing worth living for. And he would in fact endanger their lives, and that’s the last thing on earth he wants to do. So that element was incredibly important to sort of thread in there, because it couldn’t feel like a random act. It had to have weight — without it, it wasn’t gonna work. And if we hadn’t have got that weight, I don’t think we would’ve done it. We would’ve found another way of ending it.
What I notice, personality-wise, is Craig is the one who knows what it all "means" and does most of the talking while the others nod. Wilson is the one who reads the books and considers what Fleming meant, so Wilson's my buddy in the gang. Fukunaga is doing what he's paid to do, and Broccoli wants to do whatever Craig wants to do. Makes me wish Wilson was a little more dominant in the creative process, and the star less so.
Thank you very much, CP. That was just the type of interview I've been waiting for. Very clear and informative.
@caractacus potts, I was reading that same article today. I also found it interesting how Craig seemed to be driving the conversation and Barbara Broccoli appeared more than happy to defer him. You would have never seen the lead actor hold so much sway when Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman ran the show. I think Wilson was the stronger creative voice for a long time. He was a producer during the later Albert Broccoli years and pretty much the de-facto spokesman during Brosnan's run. I believe he's 79 years old now and wonder if he just doesn't have the energy to run the show to the extent that he appeared to in the past. I really can't say I've cared for the direction the series has gone in since Barbara Broccoli took on a more visible role and I wonder what the creative landscape will look like when the next movie inevitably starts to gear up.
Glad you enjoyed it, I was worried it might not be worth posting. It does cover a lot of ground, some of which is stuff we've been debating, and clarifies some bits and pieces I maybe misunderstood. More like an official statement from the movie's creators than an unscripted interview. I wish they could expand on those alternate means of death, each one of them stimulates the imagination.
does anybody have a link to the podcast mentioned at the top of this page? that also sounds like a good source of behind the scenes info
It was absolutely worth posting.
Craig killed James Bond. How can I ever watch one of his movies ever again without that in the back of my mind?
20th Century Bond RULZ.
It really does make you watch his other films in a different way knowing his demise is coming. At least for me anyways.
OTOH, I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing... QOS is still an awesome film to me....
Regarding the retirement in Jamaica - lonely, no. Loner, yes. Bond has always been a loner, which is not the same as lonely. With a bachelor’s taste for freedom myself I am always getting people trying to "marry me off", but I love that freedom and independence. I have watched those scenes over and over and I can't wait for my retirement in the Caribbean! 😍
Finally got to see it at the cinema last night (Covid has kept us away).
My view on the 'death' is that EON has decided that the fate at the end of this Bond's professional career is death. Not retirement. This is perfectly satisfactory when you isolate it to Craig's tenure, and this being his last film.
One can imagine all our previous Bonds, Connery to Brozza throwing in the towel and living in Jamaica or Scotland or wherever being completely content. They're happy guys. Hey, Dalton might wind up running the local am-dram society. But Craig, shown especially since Skyfall is not a happy camper when he's alone with his thoughts. While we see in NTTD his brief glimpse of happiness through a (possible) family, it's fleeting to prove the dramatic decision even further.
I like his death compartmentalised as a feature of the Craig universe, and now we've seen the full arc from pre-double-0 all the way to retirement and closure in NTTD it makes me like his tenure more. With missteps along the way we've almost seen the full gamut.
In terms of where to from here? With the next Bond you could isolate it, or you may view the 'end of career' piece differently or totally ignore it...
I'm bumping this thread because it seems to be the only SPOILERS thread dealing specifically with the "shock ending" of No Time to Die
somewhere we had a bit of discussion if there were any previous stories in which Bond died. Casino Royale (the "funny" version) being the only obvious one.
but I had remembered rumours of a self-published fanfic/fraud novel a few decades back. Finally got round to tracking it down, since it turns out theres a wikipedia page on the topic, and its available online
The Killing Zone by Jim Hatfield, selfpublished in 1985 as "A Charter Book" (I don't think there's any such publisher) and fraudulently claiming it was licenced by Glidrose. here is the wikipedia article.
The book can be found at the Universal Exports fansite, which has more info on this page, and the book itself is readable in html form on this page. Their download as a word doc link doesnt work, but you can always copy and paste the text from the html into a word doc. and i see we once had a cryptically named thread on the topic here.
now I realise I've basically given away this book's "shock ending", but I'm not sure theres much other reason to remember this long forgotten obscure bit of proto fanfic, and its relevant now what with the new movie. Has anybody read it? Can you compare and contrast with what EON did in their very official film?
I didnt read it myself, just stumbled across it now and thought I should share, but I did skip ahead to the last page to make sure its true,
A thought I had recently was that Bond basically dies in every Craig movie, apart from QOS (his death probably being cut due to the 2008 writers' strike...)?
In CR, he dies in his Aston Martin after being poisoned, and is resurrected by Vesper.
In Skyfall, he is shot with a direct hit from a sniper rifle, on M's orders, than drowns in a river in Turkey (he later is presumably rescued - or resurrected ? - by mermaids like Peter Pan in Hook, and magically re-appears after several months without any medical care and the bullet still in him).
In Spectre, he dies from the sheer agony after learning that EON actually went with the step-brother idea stolen from Austin Powers instead of an actual plot (a fate coincidentally shared by many viewers and long-time Bond fans).
In NTTD, as we know, he finally gives up and kills himself to protect his constantly shouting ex-girlfriend and her daughter from Covid Nanobots.
Makes much more sense now that we know Craig wanted to kill him all along...
In Spectre, [Craig] dies from the sheer agony after learning that EON actually went with the step-brother idea stolen from Austin Powers instead of an actual plot (a fate coincidentally shared by many viewers and long-time Bond fans).
I remember a fan-theory that he'd died while being tortured and everything after was some sort of vision he has in his final moments. A lot of stuff follows that doesnt make sense, even within the rules of BondFilms: Bond and Madeleine declaring love after sharing three scenes together, Bond escaping and blowing up the evil headquarters in less than two minutes time with no further reference to injury from torture, and of course that single bullet taking down the helicopter.
Good observations. Ornithologist! 😀
My theory, the amount of missiles were required by Daniel Craig to make sure he is not coming back again.
I remember a fan-theory that he'd died while being tortured and everything after was some sort of vision he has in his final moments.
Haha that reminds me of all the theories I read about Inception long ago. It got so confusing with the different dream levels that my favorite was the one where they all remain forever asleep in Mombasa because we never see them wake up. I really, really like the first half of Craigs tenure so maybe this will be the official ending in my mind from now on 😅
Agreed, would have make more sense. All of it was a wish fulfillment to Bond, those moments was when he's dreaming of what he wanted to be.
He's fantasizing those events.
Madeleine falling in love with him all of a sudden, and after all of the brainwashing that Blofeld has did on Madeleine about how Bond killed her father, it's obvious that she's angry at Bond for lying at her, we saw that in the monitoring room, Bond was even explaining at her that she should believe in him instead of what Blofeld's telling at her, she even lets Bond got knocked off to be tortured, then all of a sudden she will set him free and declare a love for him, was there a change of a wind's blow in that scene?
Blowing up the hedquarters very quickly,
Bond used a helicopter from Morocco to London, that's impossible he travelled from Morocco to London that far just using a helicopter.
Cutting the rope when when he's kidnapped and been taken to the abandoned MI6 headquarters, imagine having the strength to cut the rope so easily, and not just that, before that, his head has been covered with a sack then without seeing it, he stole the gun from one of the bad guys and starts shooting them, he cuts the tied rope on his wrists so easily and remove the sack that's covering his head, that scene was very unbelievable.
Shooting down the helicopter with just a bullet.
Seeing the DB5 again after it has been destroyed in Skyfall, how it's been recovered?, we even saw it exploded, well, it's Bond's favorite car so it's a wishful thinking for him that he could get back his car and he's fantasizing for it by having it recovered in his dream.
And all of this was only in Bond's dream.
The point about Bond in the cinema had always been that he narrowly averts death multiple times, vanquishes the villain and (almost always) gets the girl, living on to fight another day. That formula amounted to the genre's pact with the audience - jokey, in a sense, but also reassuring. There even used to be codas reactivating the sense of peril but reinforcing a notion of Bond's invulnerability: just when you thought it was all over, the last remnants of villainy would have a final crack at killing him but would fail (in FRWL, GF, DAF, LALD, TMWTGG). The fact that in NTTD Bond dies - and he definitely does die - flies in the face of established lore about the cinematic Bond. I hope this doesn't have the effect of re-defining him for all time, reducing him to a figure who in any given future film might really die again - but that's my fear.
One suspects that the decision to kill Bond was made against MGW's better judgement; Craig would have pushed for it, from a career point of view, because of how the novelty of it could be construed as bold artistry above and beyond conventional genre fare, making him memorable as a unique Bond. A thespian's vanity project, if you will. But to me, breaking the established 'pact' with the audience seems, ultimately, to make Craig 'less' (of a) Bond than any of the actors who have previously played him. As Macbeth might have put it, "I dare do all that becomes a Bond; who dares do more is none."
So my own take on NTTD is now a little cynical, shifting since my initially favourable reviews. The risk is that other thespians, considered for the part in the future, might also petition to be killed off at the end of *their* tenure, so that the franchise, assuming it has legs, degenerates into a case of Die Every Other Day.