Ending Explained No Time To Die

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Ending Explained No Time To Die

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
This 007 adventure deserves a deep-dive! For this video, we'll be dissecting the ending of Daniel Craig's final James Bond film and what it means for the future of the franchise. Our video includes a recap of past events, a breakdown of the thrilling conclusion to "No Time To Die", what lies ahead for the franchise, and more!
Transcript

Ending Explained No Time to Die


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re explaining the ending of “No Time to Die.”

For this video, we’ll be dissecting the ending of Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film and what it means for the future of the franchise. Obviously, there will be spoilers.

What did you think of “No Time to Die?” Let us know in the comments!

After almost sixty years and twenty-four movies (well, twenty-six if you count the non-Eon titles), you’d think that James Bond would’ve done it all. The latest Bond film, “No Time to Die,” honors the classic era while still maintaining the gritty realism of the modern series. It’s all brilliantly executed, but doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve seen in the past. That is until we get to the final act where the film does something never before portrayed on the big screen: kill James Bond.

“No Time to Die” builds to a thrilling climax where Bond faces Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin. Although some theorized that Safin would be this incarnation’s version of Dr. Julius No, the film never solidifies this. While an original creation overall, Safin’s wardrobe, lair, and even some of his dialogue seemingly pay homage to Dr. No. It’s fitting that a character with subtle echoes of Bond’s first onscreen nemesis would bring about the hero’s end. Naturally, Bond foils Safin’s plan. Before he’s finished off, though, Safin exposes Bond to genetically coded nanobots, meaning he can’t go near Madeleine and Mathilde without killing them. Bond ends Safin’s life and opens the missile silos, setting the stage for the island’s destruction.

In a typical Bond picture, this would be where our hero pulls off a daring, inexplicable last-minute escape. Instead, Bond has Q patch him into Madeleine, letting her know that this will be his last mission and their final conversation. [6] While his time has run out, Bond tells Madeleine that she has “all the time in the world.” This recurring line, of course, stems from 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and its theme song. In that film, George Lazenby’s Bond assures his new wife Tracy that they have all the time in the world. This is tragically inaccurate, as Tracy has died on their wedding day. “No Time to Die” reverses things with Bond meeting his end while Madeleine lives to die another day.

Madeleine takes this time to confirm what Bond and the rest of the audience suspected: Mathilde does have Bond’s blue eyes, meaning she’s his daughter. Bond accepts his fate and, as the title alludes to, finally finds the time to die. The missiles hit, destroying the island, the nanobots, and James. So, this might sound like a silly question, but… could Bond have survived? In this continuity alone, we’ve seen James miraculously bounce back after his heart virtually spotted, and after a gunshot sent him plunging into a river. Bond doesn’t quite reach superhero or slasher villain levels of invincibility, but he comes close. That said, we see Bond EXPLODE on screen, which is hard to come back from without cheapening the moment.

Blofeld tells Bond at one point that Madeleine’s secret will “be the death of [him].” At first, it sounds like Madeleine has done something that’ll leave Bond feeling betrayed and heartbroken. While that’s not exactly the case, one of Madeleine’s secrets does connect to Bond’s demise. For five years, Madeleine hid Mathilde’s existence from James. After meeting his daughter, keeping her safe is all that matters to him. When Safin infects Bond with the nanobots, he doesn’t instantly die, but his spirit is broken. Bonds always had something that kept him going, be it a mission, revenge, the woman he loves, or a martini. Knowing that he can’t be with Madeleine or Mathilde, Bond has nothing left to live for.

Even if Bond had found a way to get off the island, he couldn’t go back to retiring in Jamaica knowing that he had a daughter out there. Maybe MI6 could’ve found some sort of remedy eventually. By simply being alive, though, Bond was a danger to Madeleine and Mathilde. Plus, there could’ve been other consequences. The risks were too high and with no clear escape anyway, Bond finally stops running. In that sense, Madeleine’s secret was the death of Bond, but he died content.


In the wake of Bond’s passing, Ralph Fiennes’ M recites a quote from novelist Jack London: “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” Author Ian Fleming previously used the quote in his book, “You Only Live Twice.” It appears in an obituary for a presumed dead Bond, although he actually survived that brush with death. In both this film and the book, the quote epitomizes James Bond. He’ll live every day as if it’s his last and go out in a blaze of glory.


In the final scene, Madeleine and Mathilde drive to their new life in Matera, Italy. After years of shielding Mathilde from her father, Madeleine prepares to tell her daughter the story of James Bond, guaranteeing that his legacy will live on. The ending mirrors the opening in more ways than one. Early in the film, we see James and Madeleine in Matera. [15] Even more significant, the film commences with the iconic gun barrel sequence. The closing shot sees Madeleine and Mathilde driving through a tunnel, looking like a bullet traveling through a barrel. Thus, the ending brings the story full circle.

Before Cary Joji Fukunaga came on, Danny Boyle was set to direct “No Time to Die,” but he left over creative differences. Boyle has stated that his departure was due to a script dispute, not wanting to part ways with screenwriter John Hodge. He didn’t go into much detail beyond that, but some sources claim that Boyle was against offing Bond, allegedly calling the idea “ridiculous.” Whether this is true or not, Craig has been ready to retire as Bond for a while. So, we imagine he was in favor of ending his Bond tenure on a dire note. Maybe Craig will make a cheeky cameo in a future Bond picture, but don’t expect him to pull a Sean Connery and reprise the role.


While Craig likely won’t return, the end credits clearly state that “James Bond Will Return.” James says at one point that 007 is just a number. Lashana Lynch’s Nomi takes on the 007 moniker for a period. While she lets Bond reclaim it for his final mission, Nomi may be the new 007 now that James is gone. Nomi might not be the last 007 either. Perhaps Mathilde will grow up to become an MI6 agent, inheriting her father’s old code number. The ending doesn’t say “007 Will Return,” however. It promises James Bond, meaning the next installment in this franchise will likely take place in a new continuity. Either that, or it’ll turn out that James survived, but got plastic surgery to look like Tom Hardy or Henry Cavill. Or maybe they’ll pull an “Into the Spider-Verse” with Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, and George Lazenby all meeting up. Eh, maybe just hit the reboot switch.


Regé-Jean Page, Luke Evans, and Idris Elba are just some of the other dream casting choices that’ve been tossed around, but producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson stated that they’re not talking about recasting until 2022. Broccoli did confirm, however, that Bond will remain a male character, but she added, “I hope that there will be many, many films made with women, for women, by women, about women.” Whatever awaits the franchise, the fact that we’re already contemplating replacements proves one thing: even in death, James Bond will live forever.
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