'No Time To Die' producers had to clear the Bond film's title with a rival studio (exclusive)

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Senior Editor
·7-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA - APRIL 25:  (L-R) Producer Michael G Wilson, cast member Daniel Craig and producer Barbara Broccoli attend the
(L-R) Michael G Wilson, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli at the "Bond 25" film launch, 2019 (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

When Daniel Craig's fifth and final James Bond film No Time To Die was officially announced to press in 2019 at Ian Fleming's Jamaican home Goldeneye, it was simply codenamed 'Bond 25'.

The official title was announced in August later that year and hardcore fans were quick to point out that the 25th James Bond film shared its name with a 1958 war film produced by Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli, the producer of the Bond films from 1962-1995.

And while current producer Barbara Broccoli says they didn't consciously copy the title from the 1958 film (directed by Dr No's Terrence Young, and written by long time 007 screenwriter Richard Maibaum), it did cause headaches when they realised where it came from.

Read more: The best James Bond films, according to its biggest fans

"Funny enough, we came up with a title and then realised that it was also the title of one of Cubby’s earlier films, so we had to actually get the title cleared by Columbia Pictures," Barbara Broccoli tells Yahoo.

"So it's nice that it was a Cubby title. And it really reflects the film so it worked perfectly. Hopefully when you see the film, you'll agree."

Left to right: British author and creator of James Bond Ian Fleming (1908-1964) with co-producers Harry Saltzman (1915 - 1994) and Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli  (1909 - 1996) on the set of 'Goldfinger', directed by Guy Hamilton, 1964. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
L-R: Ian Fleming (1908-1964) with co-producers Harry Saltzman (1915 - 1994) and Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli (1909 - 1996) on the set of 'Goldfinger', directed by Guy Hamilton, 1964. (Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

As for why it wasn't announced at Goldeneye in April, co-producer — and Cubby's stepson — Michael G Wilson says they simply hadn't decided yet.

"Very often, we don't actually come up with a title until after we've started the film," explains Wilson. "We have a lot of titles kicking around. And we debate it a great deal with the writers and the director and everyone. 

"And finally, when it gets down to when the time has almost run out... this [title] Barbara came up with, and we said ‘that was great’. And then we realised there was a poster in the Danjaq offices in LA at one time which had the title up!"

Read more: 16 actors who could be the next James Bond

"So I wasn't that clever after all!" adds Broccoli.

"No, but she remembered. It was fantastic," laughs Wilson. "And it was just right for us."

Here's what else we learned about No Time To Die, which arrives in UK cinemas on 30 September, from Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson.

Yahoo: What do you think Daniel Craig’s legacy will be after his five James Bond films?

LONDON - OCTOBER 14:  Actor Daniel Craig (C) poses with Barbara Broccoli (L) and Michael G Wilson (R) as he is unveiled as the new actor to play the legendary British secret agent James Bond 007 in the 21st Bond film Casino Royale, at HMS President, St Katharine's Way on October 14, 2005 in London, England. Speculation as to who might replace Pierce Brosnan (who played Bond from 1995-2002) has been fierce, with Clive Owen, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Colin Salmon, Colin Farrell and Goran Visnjic in the running, but the most likely candidates were whittled down to Craig and Henry Cavill until today's decision.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Daniel Craig (C) poses with Barbara Broccoli (L) and Michael G Wilson (R) when he was announced as Bond on October 14, 2005 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Barbara Broccoli: Well, he's been an incredible Bond, ever since Casino Royale. He's brought a lot of humanity to the role, I think. And we've really been able to explore the emotional complexity of the character and the relationships. I think he's been remarkable. And not just for Bond films. But for cinema in general.

You recently said that the Bond franchise is at a critical juncture - what is the biggest challenge facing the Bond films in the future?

Michael G Wilson: Well, it's hard to think about the next film at this stage when we're releasing this one. It takes a long time to prepare and make it, and then we have to release it. So when we get through all of that, then maybe we can think about the next film.

How important is it for you to keep evolving these films to stay relevant, while also staying true to Fleming?

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

BB: I think it's essential. I think that's why they've lasted now almost 60 years. Next year [2022] will be our 60th anniversary of cinema Bonds. I think they have to remain relevant, they have to evolve. And that's one of the great things about when we go to choose an actor. It's been in the past that the actor has a lot to do with creating a Bond for the times, and I think no-one has done that as well as Daniel, who really has created a 21st century Bond.

Barbara, you've said that you spotted Daniel Craig in Elizabeth, which was quite a few years before Casino Royale. Do you think that you've already seen who the next James Bond will be at this stage?

BB: I have no idea. I'd seen Daniel before then. I'd seen him in Our Friends In The North and I'd seen a lot of his theatre work, which has always been exceptional.

Daniel Craig's James Bond emerges from the Bahaman surf in Casino Royale (Eon/MGM/Sony Pictures)
Daniel Craig's James Bond emerges from the Bahaman surf in Casino Royale (Eon/MGM/Sony Pictures)

But I think it just struck me when I saw him walking down that corridor in Elizabeth, I thought, ‘boy, he just eats up the screen’. You know, he is just... you can't take your eyes off him when he's on the screen. And you look at the tremendous work he did before Bond and he'd managed to do all of that work without becoming an international name, very much by choice.

Watch: Daniel Craig reflects on being 007

It's well known that he was sort of reluctant to take this role on because he knew it would change his life, which it has. I mean, it's changed his life in certain ways. It hasn't changed the man. The man is still the great man that he was when we first met him. So we're very, very proud of him, and his achievement is extraordinary and we just can't wait for people to see this film: his final film in the series.

Tell us about some of the other characters that will meet in this film.

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

MGW: We’ve got Rami Malek [as Safin], of course. Anything he touches, he brings magic to it. We have Lashana Lynch, a new Double O, who represents as you said, 'the world has moved on Mr. Bond'. She fully embodies that. 

And we have back the usual Bond characters: Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw, of course, as Q. And Lea Seydoux, who, of course, is a critical part of the story. And it's that relationship which is so key to the emotional basis of the story.

The film was delayed by the pandemic - is this the biggest challenge the film series has ever faced?

MGW: Of course. Of course it has been. But it's for everyone. It's not for Bond. The whole country has had to go through a big challenge. Cinemas, this whole cinema industry, the restaurants, retail businesses and the high streets. Almost everyone's been badly affected. So all of us have been challenged and let's hope now that, by the end of this year, we can all start to get back to a normal life.

Your director Cary Joji Fukunaga came on fairly late in the day - do you feel like he stepped up to the plate and delivered what you were hoping for?

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

BB: Boy did he ever! He did step up to the plate, and he hit a home run as far as we're concerned. He's an incredible filmmaker. And I think it was a huge challenge for him. And he is a man who loves the challenge. And he has directed a really extraordinary film. 

We're deeply, deeply grateful to him. And I think audiences will love what he's done.

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

No Time To Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, from a screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with a story by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga.

No Time To Die will be released in UK cinemas 30 September. Watch a trailer below.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting