No Time to Die might’ve been the last time audiences will get to see Ralph Fiennes as MI-6 head M. The film served as Daniel Craig’s swan song after playing James Bond for two decades. The franchise wanted to make sure Craig would never return by killing him off in an explosion. Months after Bond 25 was released, Fiennes offered his honest thoughts about Craig’s Bond being killed off.
The Schindler’s List actor finally spoke about 007’s No Time to Die death in a profile with The New York Times. The Oscar-nominated actor was looking back on his prolific career across stage and screen. The conversation turned to his tenure as M in the beloved spy franchise. Some actors might look at losing their franchise star as an upsetting moment in their career. Fiennes was quite the opposite as he mentioned being for the risky decision.
Who knew Fiennes felt so much pressure taking over for Dame Judi Dench? But the Voldemort actor did have some major shoes to fill considering Dench played Bond’s boss over seven films, going back to Goldeneye. A generation or two had grown up with the MI6 leader being a stern motherly figure to the international spy. Hearing her voice and seeing images didn’t help the film and stage actor feel comfortable taking over the pivotal role. Luckily, he found his footing upon assuming the role of M in Spectre.
The Harry Potter star understood the long-running franchise is needing a refresh after following the same cast for five movies. After Craig’s departure from the Bond franchise, the search for a new 007 has begun with new parameters for the potential candidate. Getting a new Bond doesn’t mean the No Time to Die cast isn’t open to returning for another film. Having some holdovers from the Daniel Craig era would make the transition to a new 007 easier for audiences. But given Craig’s lengthy tenure, it might be time for a new M, Moneypenny, and Q to serve as the backbone for a new James Bond.
Fiennes has been defending multiple decisions lately. He recently came to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s defense over her controversial comments about transgender women. The 59-year-old actor isn’t just defending his past work as he will return to the stage as renowned urban planner Robert Moses in the play Straight Line Crazy. The No Time to Die star will return to the big screen in the horror comedy The Menu, which arrives in theaters on November 18.
You can revisit Ralph Fiennes’ time as M by streaming the James Bond movies in order through an Amazon Prime Video subscription. Once you’re done bingeing the Bond films, look into what upcoming movies are dropping in 2022.