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Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die

No Time to Die may have been pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak, but it is set to finally hit theaters later this year after a long development period. Before Cary Fukunaga was tapped to direct, the plan was for Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle to helm what was simply known then as Bond 25, as well as work on the script with John Hodge.

Both Danny Boyle and John Hodge ended up leaving the James Bond movie due to creative differences, and while it’s never officially been revealed what the duo had in store for Daniel Craig’s 007, according to No Time to Die set designer Mark Tildesley, it was quite bonkers. As Tildesley put it:

Unfortunately Danny’s crazy, madcap ideas didn’t quite tie up with what Barbara and Michael had planned. It was definitely a good thing to do. Maybe another time though. I’m revving Barbara up to have another go with Danny.

Had Danny Boyle stayed aboard Bond 25, it would have been his first time working on a major franchise. Considering his directorial resume also includes things like 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire and Yesterday, one would imagine that he would have brought a unique filmmaking sensibility to the James Bond film series, which has been going for almost 60 years now.

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Mark Tildesley added to Total Film that Danny Boyle and John Hodge’s Bond 25 script featured “some extraordinary ideas, they just needed a little pulling together.” There have been various rumors about what Boyle’s Bond 25 would have included, such as a “modern day Col War” with Russia and James Bond perhaps even being killed off. Whether any of those rumors are true or not, evidently Boyle’s vision for Daniel Craig’s final Bond adventure didn’t line up with what Eon Productions heads Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson had in mind.

Danny Boyle and John Hodge ultimately decided to step away from Bond 25, with Boyle later saying that the powers that be “didn’t want to go down that route” with him and Hodge. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who’d penned the previous Daniel Craig-led James Bond movies, were brought back to write a new script, and Cary Fukunaga was hired not long after. Purvis said:

Effectively, we went back to what we’d done. And then we changed things with Cary over several months in the attic at Eon.

While Mark Tildesley indicated that he’ll try to get Danny Boyle looked at for another James Bond movie down the line, it seems unlikely that Boyle would be game for that, as following his exit from Bond 25, he said he learned that he’s not cut out for franchises. It hasn’t been announced what Boyle’s next movie will be, but count on it existing outside the mainstream franchise sphere.

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As for No Time to Die, which also received a script polish from Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, it takes place five years after the events of Spectre and follows James Bond being pulled out retirement to help find a missing scientist and uncovering a new threat to the world involving advanced technology. Reprising their respective roles alongside Daniel Craig are Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kenner and Christoph Waltz, while the new faces include Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik and Billy Magnussen.

Previously set for release in April, No Time to Die will now be released in theaters on November 25. Check out our 2020 release schedule to see when the rest of this year’s movies will drop.

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