26 Sep 2021

Daniel Craig grateful for chance to cap off 15-year run playing James Bond

1:33 pm on 26 September 2021

Daniel Craig thought he had wrapped up his tenure as James Bond with Spectre, but the actor says his final fifth outing as the British secret agent in No Time To Die allowed him to complete his 007 journey.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 26, 2015 British actor Daniel Craig arrives for the world premiere of the new James Bond film 'Spectre' at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The latest movie was a joy to make, Daniel Craig says. Photo: AFP

Nearly 60 years after the first Bond film Dr No premiered, cinema's favourite spy, known for his love of fast cars and cool gadgets, returns in the highly anticipated 25th Bond movie next week after an 18-month delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Costing an estimated $US200 million ($NZ285m) to produce, No Time To Die sees Bond come out of retirement from an idyllic life in Jamaica to help track down a new villain armed with lethal technology.

"I didn't think that I was going to do another movie after Spectre. I genuinely thought that I was going to ... just pack it in," Craig told Reuters.

"But I'm so happy that I got the chance to come and do this one. And we tied up lots of loose ends. We've tried to tell one story with all my Bond movies. It's like they're all connected in some way and this one just sort of capped it off."

Running at nearly three hours long, the film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, promises the usual Bond action, car chases and stunts in picturesque locations, including the cave dwellings of the southern Italian city of Matera.

It introduces new character Nomi, played by Black actress Lashana Lynch and described simply as a 00 agent at Bond's past employer, Britain's MI6 foreign spy service. She looks just as fierce and skilled as Bond.

"She's also a real human being. She's grounded and she's from a good background and takes every opportunity she gets and really runs with it. She's really shifted things up at MI6 and will continue to do so," Lynch said.

"It's groundbreaking for Black women, for my culture, for the franchise as well that has been pushing the needle forward for a long time now."

(L-R) Cast members Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch attend the "Bond 25" Film Launch at Ian Fleming's Home "GoldenEye", on April 25, 2019 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Cast members, from left: Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at an event in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in April 2019. Photo: Getty Images

French actress Lea Seydoux reprises her role as Madeleine Swann from 2015's Spectre.

"Cary wanted to explore a bit more Madeleine's character ... In a way, she's the heartbeat of the film and the relationship with Bond is much more developed," Seydoux said.

Rami Malek joins the franchise, one of Hollywood's most valuable, as villain Safin.

"I looked at every villain in the history of film almost to prepare for this," he told the movie's official podcast.

After being postponed three times since its original April 2020 slot, No Time To Die holds its world premiere on Tuesday in London.

"I enjoyed them all ... They're always a bit of a struggle but anything worthwhile is always a bit of a struggle so this was a joy to make," said Craig, who began his Bond journey in 2006's Casino Royale.

"(I'm) massively grateful to have been given the chance to do it and ... all of the memories and all the amazing times ... working with just fantastic, amazing people ... it's changed my life ... It's just amazing."

- Reuters

  • No Time To Die opens in cinemas around New Zealand on 7 October.

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