After almost 14 years, five movies, and a handful of particularly harrowing injuries, Daniel Craig is ready to hang up his holster as James Bond with No Time To Die. Following his final 007 adventure, the superstar actor who helped revitalize the Bond series will certainly be missed, but he has one last thrilling film that’ll tie off his tenure in the series.
It’s been teased that this final film will wrap up the story that Skyfall and Spectre have started, but that implication in and of itself leads to a wider implication. As serialized storytelling has been particularly embraced by Craig’s James Bond, everything from Casino Royale to Spectre is on the line when it comes to the events of No Time To Die.
To honor the end of Daniel Craig’s days as 007, we’d like to provide an all-encompassing guide that chronicles the story that has been told during the modern reboot of Ian Fleming’s classic literary agent provocateur. This article contains spoilers from the recent Bond films, so proceed with caution of you're not caught up!
Casino Royale (2006)
An orphan with a chip on his shoulder, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is introduced to the audience as a brand new 00 under the command of MI6 chief M (Judi Dench) in Casino Royale. Though he doesn’t know it, his first missions in the field are the beginnings of a saga that will span all the way through to the current film, No Time To Die.
His first major obstacle is Le Chiffré (Mads Mikkelsen,) a gambler who in concert with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen,) are the first terror agents we meet in the world of 007. Bond eventually defeats Le Chiffré at a high stakes poker game in Montenegro, but not before having a couple close calls with death at his nemesis’ hands. A victory that introduces James Bond to a vital friend and ally, CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright.)
Working with MI6 treasury agent Vesper Lynde (Eva Green,) Casino Royale sees James Bond fall in love with his colleague, which eventually turns into a tragic affair. Vesper betrays Bond, as she’s been secretly working as a double agent to ensure her captured boyfriend’s survival.
After a huge action sequence that sees Bond dispatch of Vesper’s evil handlers, she commits suicide by drowning, emotionally scarring 007. With a posthumous clue left to him by Vesper, Bond captures middleman Mr. White (Jesper Christensen,) starting down a path of infamy he’ll follow straight to its end.
Quantum Of Solace (2008)
Picking up moments after Casino Royale, James Bond’s next adventure is a rampage of death and revenge, in director Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace. After a failed interrogation of Mr. White reveals that MI6 is further compromised, 007 begins an unorthodox investigation into a web of terrorist activity that is being orchestrated by a shadowy organization: Quantum.
With the previous film introducing Le Chiffré and Mr. White as agents working in Quantum’s employ, we’re now introduced to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric,) an environmental industrialist with some shady intent. Allied with deposed Bolivian General Madrano (Joaquín Cosío,) Greene offers his assistance in a coup that will return the military leader to power; in exchange for sole control of Bolivia’s water supply.
Avenging the death of Vesper, and looking to uncover just how far Quantum’s reach really is, 007 teams up with fellow avenging angel Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), to put a stop to Dominic Greene’s schemes. Though Montes is more interested in taking out General Madrano, the man who killer her family as a child.
With a little assistance from Felix Leiter, who returns despite the CIA having no interest in stopping Greene’s plans, Bond and Camille kill Madrano and disrupt his deal with Greene. Leaving their adversary in the desert, with only a can of motor oil as liquid refreshment, Bond returns to active service after M asks him to. Though, as he tells her in the end of Quantum of Solace, he never left.
Returned to standard operations with MI6, James Bond finds himself on a failed mission sees a list of all his fellow agents real identities and cover names out in the open. Shot by fellow field agent Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Bond is presumed dead after this massive intelligence failure.
An inquiry is launched to investigate the supposed failures of MI6, headed up by the chairman Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes). Though not long after, a bespoke cyber-attack, taunting M to “think upon [her] sins” finds the MI6 offices destroyed. Britain’s spy agency is still vulnerable.
While M is being investigated, and forced to retire, ex-MI6 agent/Quantum cyberterrorist Silva (Javier Bardem) has an ax to grind with his former boss. Previously abandoned to the Chinese government, in exchange for the return of several captured agents, Silva escaped and has been planning vengeance against M ever since.
Those plans, and the efforts of the recently reinstated Bond lead to a a climactic showdown at Skyfall, James Bond’s ancestral home. Bond attempts to protect M alongside groundskeeper Kincade (Albert Finney,) but eventually M is mortally wounded by Silva and dies as a result. Killing Silva in revenge, James Bond sees his boss and would-be maternal figure buried in a state funeral. Once her opposition, newly formed ally Gareth Mallory is named the new M.
After the death of the previous M, Bond starts off on another mission to uncover a shadowy presence in the world of international crime and sabotage. With the posthumous clues left to him by his former boss, and further information provided by the still living Mr. White, he finds his way into a rabbit hole that leads all the way down to the discovery of his greatest foe.
It’s revealed that Quantum is only part of a larger organization, known to the world as Spectre. Everyone James has fought up to this point, has been working for this overarching antagonist organization. Operated by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz,) the group sabotages world governments and commits great acts of terrorism for their own benefit. Further betrayal is uncovered when in the heat of battle, it’s revealed that Blofeld was once named Franz Oberhauser, and was James Bond’s adopted brother.
Jealous of Bond supposedly supplanting him in the family, Blofeld kills his father and eventually becomes the criminal kingpin he is in Spectre. On the verge of infiltrating the “Nine Eyes” intelligence initiative, masterminded by double agent C (Andrew Scott,) Blofeld almost costs Bond the latest love of his life, Dr. Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux.) This heinous plot is not only foiled, but Blofeld is apprehended alive and well, ready to be locked up for a nice, long time.
At the end of Spectre, we see James Bond leaving MI6 behind once more, with Dr. Swann riding off in his Aston Martin by his side. Their relationship, for the moment, is something Bond could have only previously dreamed of having. Though as we’ve seen in the trailers for No Time To Die, something hidden in her past is ready to resurface, and once it does it could send 007 off the deep end for good.
As the film will tie into every Daniel Craig film from the past, there’s a chance that secret will have something to do with Madeline’s father, the late but not so great Mr. White. No Time To Die opens on April 8th in the UK and April 10th in the US, so there’s plenty of time to update our conspiracy diagrams as to what that big twist may be.