no time to die director

We still have a few months before we can see Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film, No Time to Die. But back when everyone thought this movie was coming out in April, director Cary Fukunaga sat down for an interview with filmmaker Miranda July and talked about all the hectic work that went into crafting a Bond film. He also talked about the script contributions of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and his own wild idea to make the ending of Spectre a dream.

In an amusing new interview with Miranda July at Interview Magazine, Cary Fukunaga opened up about making No Time to Die, the latest Bond film. According to the director, the making for the film was an almost non-stop job for a full year, and it took its toll on him. “During the shoot, I feel like I stopped moving as an animal and started slowly becoming some kind of inanimate object,” he says. “I could feel my body deforming.” Thankfully, he feels like he’s back to normal now.

This interview was conducted before the film’s release date was delayed due to the coronavirus, and there’s an interesting excerpt where Fukunaga talks about how he wishes he had even more time to work on the film:

“We were originally going to release the film in November, but when Danny Boyle left the project and I came onboard, there was a whole reset. So we pushed it back to March, and then I was fighting to push it back even further, because I just didn’t think we had enough time to finish it. Something I hadn’t realized, even until now, is how far in advance studios swoop up these windows for their films to come out, in order to give them the best chance of having a good box office.”

Of course, as we all know now, the filmmaker did end up having even more time to work on the film due to the delay. But in a more recent comment, Fukunaga claimed the movie was, in fact, ready to go and he wasn’t doing any additional work on it. “Some people have asked me this and although more time would have been lovely, we had to put our pencils down when we finished our post-production window, which was thankfully before COVID shut everything else down,” the director said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Fukunaga talks about Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s work on the script. July asks if Waller-Bridge was specifically brought in to make the latest Bond film more feminist, but Fukunaga says that’s not the case:

“Well, first of all, Barbara Broccoli, one of the main producers, is either the first or second most successful female producer. Feminism is something she has slowly been turning up the dial on for decades. The inclusion of a new female 00 agent had come from Barbara. I only found out through working with her that she had wanted to do a spin-off of Jinx, which is Halle Berry’s character in Die Another Day. The female characters in the film, who they are and what they stand for, was definitely something Barbara had already had in mind. And Phoebe—who is a brilliant writer regardless of her gender, but is writing really fun and more fully fleshed-out female characters than anyone else right now—brought a lot of ideas about how to make the characters we already had that much more interesting.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview comes when Fukunaga reveals an idea he had that would make the entire third act of Spectre, and the first two acts of No Time to Die a dream. “I had an idea that this movie could all be taking place inside the villain’s lair from the last film. There’s this scene [in Spectre] where a needle goes into James Bond’s head, which is supposed to make him forget everything, and then he miraculously escapes by a watch bomb,” says the director. “And then he and Léa [Seydoux] blow up the place, and go on to save the day. I was like, ‘What if everything up until the end of act two is all inside his head?'”

That idea never made it past the “what if?” stage, but I’m pretty sure plenty of people would be fine learning that most of Spectre didn’t actually happen.

No Time to Die opens November 25.

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