Daniel Craig Explains Why His James Bond Death In No Time To Die Needed To Happen

Killing off Daniel Craig’s James Bond at the end of No Time to Die was expected, but still crushing for those who loved Craig’s take on the super spy. It was emotional as he sacrificed himself in a missile explosion to save Dr. Madeleine Swann and their young daughter’s lives. While it was a somber moment for Bond fans, it was a much-needed change for the Hollywood A-lister. The No Time to Die star explained why his death in his Bond swan song needed to happen.

According to Craig, the international spy’s death was years in the making. He opened up to The LA Times about speaking with producer Barbara Broccoli following the premiere of 2006’s Casino Royale. He mentioned pitching to Broccoli about killing off the British spy in his final appearance. Even early in his Bond tenure, the James Bond actor knew it was important to end on an unprecedented high note. By proposing his Bond’s demise, he was thinking about the franchise’s future as well as his own. In his words:

Two things, one for myself and one for the franchise. One, for the franchise, was that resets start again, which [the franchise] did with me. And I was like, ‘Well, you need to reset again.’ So, let’s kill my character off and go find another Bond and go find another story. Start at [age] 23, start at 25, start at 30.

His stance to cast a younger Bond fell right in line with the reported age requirement for Daniel Craig’s successor. Compared to previous Bonds, Craig had the wherewithal to think about the franchise’s future. He didn’t want producers to come back to him if the new James Bond didn’t garner the fanfare needed for the next outing. It wouldn’t be the first time the film series has double dipped, with original Bond actor Sean Connery coming back for 1971’s Diamonds are Forever after saying goodbye to the character with 1967’s You Only Live Twice. But the Knives Out star didn’t want that for himself, so killing off the suave spy was his solution.

His pitch was a bit self-servant, as Craig was ready to move forward with other projects outside of the spy film series. It wasn’t surprising given he almost left the franchise following the release of Spectre due to numerous injuries. He did walk back on that though after signing on for his Bond swan song. The stage and film actor said his No Time to Die explosive death allowed him to move on in a meaningful way.

The other was so that I could move on. I don’t want to go back. I suppose I should be so lucky if they were to ask me back, but the fact is I need to move on from it. The sacrifice that he makes in the movie was for love and there’s no greater sacrifice. So, it seemed like a good thing to end on.

Daniel Craig was ready to hand the super-spy mantle to another actor. Having played the character for two decades, the Glass Onion actor wanted to move his career beyond just Bond movies. Of course, he did other roles during his tenure, including the first Knives Out and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now, the 54-year-old actor has the freedom to take on different projects, like his viral Belvedere vodka commercial.

Things have gone swimmingly for Daniel Craig’s post-Bond career. He starred in a revival of Macbeth on Broadway earlier this year. That doesn’t mean he’s left his movie career behind, as he plays Detective Benoit Blanc once more in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story, which arrives in theaters for a limited theatrical run beginning on November 23, and then it will begin streaming on December 23 with a Netflix subscription. Even before the murder-mystery film premieres, the Knives Out sequel is already receiving rave reviews. Until the film comes out, you can go stream every James Bond movie, including the Craig era.