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We Have a Lot of Feelings About This Final No Time To Die Trailer

Daniel Craig with soot on his face as James Bond in the movie 'No Time To Die'

This morning, MGM released what it calls the “final” trailer for the next James Bond movie, No Time To Die. Billed as the last film to star Daniel Craig in the secret agent role (though he’s no longer 007—more on this later), the much-anticipated No Time To Die is slated for release on October 8th, 2021.

No Time To Die was originally supposed to hit screens way back in April 2020, and remains the highest-profile movie to keep having its release date pushed by the pandemic.

Considering the fraught will-they-won’t-they-release-it relationship we have with No Time To Die, the rollout of the last trailer this morning was somewhat stressful. The trailer appeared on the official James Bond YouTube account, leading to a flurry of early-morning press coverage and social media chatter, only to abruptly be deleted. This forced tons of articles about the trailer to update that it was no longer available. The trailer got pulled around 10 AM EST. Then, about an hour and a half later, it was uploaded again to the Bond YouTube account and tweeted out into the world. Oh, Mr. Bond, how you do toy with our emotions.

I think the International Trailer is even more fun than the one for the US market, so here it is if you need more Bond:

It’s likely that the trailer somehow went public on YouTube earlier than planned, leading to a scramble and deletion, but this feels like a teachable moment. It’s generally a better idea to leave something gaining buzz in place rather than cause curious people who click on articles about the trailer to find said trailer removed. No Time To Die prompted some confusion this morning at what should have felt like a more triumphant moment.

Anyway! Now that the trailer drama is behind us, let’s take a look at what’s in store for Bond. I am an unabashed James Bond fan since childhood and I enjoy Daniel Craig’s rugged, wounded Bond quite a lot. It’s hard to believe that Craig has been in the role for fifteen years and that Casino Royale bowed in 2006; this seems an absolute lifetime ago, and for many younger viewers, it was. Craig’s Bond may be the only Bond they’ve ever known.

Along with Craig’s more realistic spin on the character—less toxic masculinity, more damaged by his missions and the rigors of time—the new Bond updated the franchise for a new era. Dame Judi Dench’s M was flawless, and now Ralph Fiennes does what he can in the role (big shoes to fill). Naomie Harris gave us a modern Moneypenny who can hold her own, and Ben Whishaw’s whip-smart Q in a succession of questionable sweaters brought youthful energy and a delightful generational clash with Bond.

The movies also delivered some of the best actors around in the villain role, including Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), Javier Bardem (Skyfall, a perfect movie), and Christoph Waltz (Spectre, a movie). I wish I could tell you who the bad guy is in Quantum of Solace but I underwent the procedure from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to remove that film from my memory.

In No Time To Die, we have another recent Best Actor recipient, Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr. Robot), as the big bad. Malek plays Lyutsifer (yeah) Safin, a not-nice man who seems to enjoy wearing a mask and expounding upon mortality. I have a feeling a lot of No Time To Die is going to be about, well, Craig-Bond’s time running out (though the movie will be the longest Bond film ever, at 162 minutes).

Safin has a nefarious plot to destroy and/or take over the world and now it involves some nefarious technology in the cloud or something, but the plot of a James Bond film never matters so much as its set pieces, action, emotion, and of course, some snazzy clothes and cool spy gadgets.

These elements appear to be in place for No Time To Die, which features the return of Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, a brilliant French psychologist and once Bond’s love interest. Swann has a shady family history, which may be the “secret” Christoph Waltz’s imprisoned supervillain Blofeld is warning his little brother (IT’S A LONG STORY OKAY) Bond about. We also see an endless succession of the kind of over-the-top action we associate with Bond: car chases, motorcycle chases, jumping off of bridges, running across rooftops, underwater missions, cars that can shoot guns, armed teams walking down the sides of buildings, and a whole lot of explosions.

Prior trailers have suggested that Bond left active service in MI6 in order to lead a more normal life with Swann, but something derails this idyll, and Bond gets pulled into the plot at the request of his old CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright, who is in absolutely everything right now as he should be). This trailer also implies that Swann and Safin have a history, as Safin says to Bond, “License to kill, in love with Madeleine Swann. I could be speaking to my own reflection.”

Bond’s “retirement” is the reason why we have a new agent with the 007 designation, played by Captain Marvel’s wonderful Lashana Lynch. The brief scenes we see of Bond and 007 working together look like a ton of fun, and their chemistry is already great. What’s better than one 007? Two 007s. The trailer also shows us Craig’s Knives Out costar Ana de Armas as Paloma, a CIA operative who looks like she can outdress Bond for a fancy party and kick all of the ass.

This movie has a lot of ground to cover, and the inflated runtime suggests it will do just that. No Time To Die exists in a strange space: expectations for it are high, and yet it feels in some ways like we’ve moved past it. Worries about COVID-19 still make its opening and audience reception uncertain. The movie’s long delay means we know Craig is moving on with more Knives Out sequels, while the ongoing debate (and in the U.K., betting) over who will assume the Bond mantle is making more headlines than the new movie. Right now, Brigerton’s breakout star Regé-Jean Page is leading those gambling odds, speeding past other oft-mentioned names like Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, and James Norton.

My excitement to see Bond, Q, Moneypenny, M, and the new 007 in action aside, there are a few more reasons I’m hopeful about No Time To Die. It’s directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who gave us something special and strange with the first season of True Detective. The production also brought in Fleabag quintuple threat Phoebe Waller-Bridge to work on the script. It’s difficult to imagine saying goodbye to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, but at least No Time To Die seems primed to do it with pathos and panache.

(image: MGM)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.