007 Documentary Reveals Daniel Craig As A 'Music Superfan' With Real Influence On The James Bond Theme Songs

Daniel Craig smiles while laughing in an interrogation in No Time To Die.
(Image credit: Danjaq, LLC and MGM)

60 years, 25 movies, and countless memories make up the history of the James Bond movies. The recent celebration of all of those moments took place last week, as the documentary The Sound of 007 debuted on Prime Video, alongside a concert experience taking place at Royal Albert Hall. As director Mat Whitecross dug into decades of archival footage, and conducted new interviews to paint the picture of how that Bond sound got around, he also learned something important: Daniel Craig is apparently a "music superfan."

In addition to that discovery, it was also reinforced that the actor also had some pull with what songs to include in a James Bond movie. No Time To Die is perhaps the greatest example of this fact, as we had already heard that Daniel Craig apparently rejected a previous version of that entry’s theme song. However, in his interviews for the documentary, the sixth James Bond actor also admitted that once he knew where the film was going, he wanted “We Have All The Time In The World” from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to play a role. As I was able to speak with Mat Whitecross of Prime Video (opens in new tab) and on behalf of the launch The Sound of 007, I recalled this very story above in our interview. 

That opened a window for the director to discuss the level of sway that he felt Daniel Craig had on the role of  Bond in the 15 years he played it. Here’s what Mat Whitecross told CinemaBlend about Craig and his influence on Commander Bond:

Yeah, I loved that. It’s interesting, isn’t it; because I think it sounds like [Daniel] progressively got more and more involved in the films and shaped more and more of the character. It sounds like he and Barbara [Broccoli], I think it was after the premiere of Casino Royale, way back when, they started hatching the idea of No Time To Die, and saying ‘Well, maybe we’ve thought of an appropriate way to finish off this arc of the character.’

In the wake of No Time To Die’s release, there have been tons of stories about Daniel Craig planning the death of his James Bond from day one. Mat Whitecross’ comment in our chat directly references one story that Craig himself told to Variety about how the Berlin premiere of Casino Royale was where this idea was hatched. If Craig could kill Bond, you know he had some sort of clout.

As for the Casino Royale star’s music prowess, he’s not the only person that possesses that trait in The Sound of 007’s lineup of celebrity commenters. Mat Whitecross even mentioned Rami Malek as a further example of an actor who knew more than they would admit in connection to the franchise's music. Whitecross discussed encouraging the most recent Bond actor, and others, to geek out a little more, as follows: 

I love the fact that, specifically talking to Daniel about music, because I think he’s a music superfan. [He has that] in common with a lot of other actors, he’s like, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t be talking to me about this. You should talk to Hans [Zimmer], or Steve Mazzarro.’ But he’s actually incredibly knowledgeable and very, very smart when it comes to music, he just doesn’t think he is. So I had to just keep on trying to encourage him, and say, ‘Honestly, I love everything you’re saying. It’s brilliant.’ … A lot of these guys, they’re all Bond superfans, that’s why they did it. But it’s funny how they kind of distrust themselves, and think, ‘Well, you know. I’m not a musician. What do I know?’ I think that’s the great thing about Bond, is that we’re all experts in this. We’ve lived through the songs and the music in these films for such a long time, we’re all experts in Bond now.

There’s one more story that absolutely seals Daniel Craig's love of music, James Bond-related or otherwise. As it so happens, one of the best sections of The Sound of 007 involved both Craig and former Bond collaborator Sam Mendes, and their love of Radiohead. It’s a fandom that resulted in not one but two alternate themes for Spectre, which were ultimately discarded. Even Mat Whitecross himself was stunned by that, as he remembered that conversation rather fondly: 

It’s so funny, because Sam Mendes is a multiple Oscar-winning director [and] Daniel Craig [is] one of the most famous actors of all time, and they’re both like little fanboys when it comes to Radiohead. It was very sweet and charming, the fact that they were starstruck in front of Radiohead, and Radiohead was probably starstruck in front of Sam and Daniel.

The stories of Daniel Craig’s love of James Bond music are only part of what you can expect from The Sound of 007. With a wealth of tales throughout six decades of franchise history, there’s some amazing history that even die-hard Bond fans are set to discover. If you have a Prime Video subscription, you can enjoy this documentary, as well as the concert highlight special that was taken from the Royal Albert Hall event of the same name. Also, you can watch all 25 007 movies again; which is always a good thing to be able to do.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.