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How No Time To Die’s Ending Was Hinted At Earlier In The James Bond Flick

Daniel Craig as Bond in No Time To Die
(Image credit: MGM)

Whether fans had an idea or not, Daniel Craig’s fate as James Bond was set in stone pretty much from the beginning. One of the best kept secrets in the nearly 60 year long legacy, the actor’s five film run flew by, with an ultimate endgame always in mind. In fact, you could say that when it came to 007’s big finale in No Time To Die, the writing was yet again on the wall, as an early moment in the film pretty much spells the ending out. You’d just need to be able to read Latin in order to pick up on it.

This time, the metaphorical wall happened to be the tomb of James’ dearly departed Vesper Lynd. Eva Green’s Casino Royale character played a crucial role in the final film of the Craig era, and co-writer/director Cary Joji Fukunaga revealed yet another hint that was dropped towards the eventual demise of Commander Bond. In conversation with Variety, Fukunaga gave up this literal secret from the grave: 

There’s even a really important Easter egg on that tomb Bond visits in Matera. Over Vesper’s grave — we never make a big deal of it, there’s no focus on it, but for anyone who goes back — two skeletons are holding up a banner carved in stone. It’s a Latin phrase that Mark [Tildesley] and I had seen on the main basilica where the bridge is located. The phrase says, ‘What you are I once was, and what I am, he will become.’ So it was written in the beginning.

Variations of this phrase have been found throughout history, whether it be in art or on gravestones much like that of Ms. Lynd’s tomb. Including such a classical reference could even be seen as a reminder of Commander Bond’s mindset on life, as he’s always lived like each day was his last. By time we catch up to him at the beginning of No Time To Die, such a warning does feel rather apt with Vesper’s shadow looming over every mission since Casino Royale’s tragic finale.  

Teasing his Bond film before it was released into theaters, Cary Joji Fukunaga had always promised a finale that would close the loop on the arc that started with 2006’s origin story reboot. Upon deeper reflection of the ending to the 25th Bond movie, the Latin phrase inscribed on that tomb makes even more sense. Just as Vesper died to protect James on his first big mission, Bond sacrificed himself to protect those he loved when Safin’s DNA targeted villainy left him no choice. The crossroads that she stood at the end of her journey was eventually the same spot James found at the finale of his own destiny; which only enforces the choice of ending as a meaningful finale. 

It should be noted that No Time To Die almost feels like it’s the most dissected James Bond film of our modern time, if not ever. Serious awards conversations are happening on behalf of the Daniel Craig era’s epic swan song, and as a result a lot of very interesting stories have come out about just how well crafted this story arc has been. Whether this keeps up in the next run of 007 adventures has yet to be seen, which means that much like our own morality, we should take every opportunity to savor this moment; because who knows what’s next? 

Audiences looking to take the ride of No Time To Die once again can do so, as the film is available to rent or purchase, on physical and digital media. 2022’s release schedule is also a good place to head off to, if you’re ready to start planning your moviegoing future. James Bond will return, but until he does, at the time of this writing you can catch Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace on Netflix. 

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.