Danny Boyle Reveals What He Would’ve Done With James Bond: No Time To Die


Danny Boyle, who was originally going to direct No Time To Die, would have set the film in Russia, had he not left over ‘creative differences.’


Danny Boyle, a renowned filmmaker best known for directing Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, was originally going to direct Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film, No Time To Die.

Boyle signed on in 2018 with John Hodge – his long-standing screenwriting partner – but just three months later, both Boyle and Hodge left No Time To Die and Cary Joji Fukunaga took over as director.

It was announced that Boyle and Hodge quit due to ‘creative differences’ – the old faithful Hollywood excuse – but it was rumoured that the two stepped away from No Time To Die because they wanted Bond to die, and longtime Bond producer, Barbara Broccoli and Eon Productions (the production company that owns the rights to James Bond) were not on board with that particular storyline.

Obviously, now that we know that Bond (spoiler!) did die in the film, that mustn’t have been the ‘creative difference’ between Boyle & Hodge and Broccoli & Eon Productions. Well, in an interview with Esquire UK, Boyle revealed his and Hodge’s original plan for No Time To Die – and if they had gotten their way, the film would’ve been set in Russia.

“Weirdly – it would have been very topical now – it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and [Eon Productions] just lost, what’s the word… they just lost confidence in it.”

Danny Boyle

While Boyle admitted it was “a shame” that he left the Bond film, he has no regrets; especially since he was nervous about signing on to direct No Time To Die in the first place. This is because it’s a part of a huge franchise and franchises have never really been Boyle’s bag.

“I remember thinking, ‘Should I really get involved in franchises?’ Because they don’t really want something different. They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and [Hodge and I] wanted to do something different with it.”

Danny Boyle

Boyle also revealed that the plot twist ending of Bond being a father actually started out as one of Hodge’s ideas. Apparently, Hodge thought it would be interesting for Bond to have a child but that’s as fleshed out as the idea got while he and Boyle were still working on No Time To Die.

Boyle did, however, praise Fukunaga and writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the different approach they took to Hodge’s original idea.

“The idea that they used in a different way was the one of [James Bond’s] child, which [Hodge] introduced [and which] was wonderful.”

Danny Boyle

As for whether Boyle will ever sign on to direct a future Bond film with a brand new actor playing the beloved 007 spy, Boyle was quite quick to answer with, “I don’t think so.”

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