Hans Zimmer Explains How Billie Eillish Got No Time To Die Gig

No Time To Die James Bond in his study

When No Time To Die’s now-record-breaking theme song was announced as being co-written and sung by hit recording artist Billie Eilish, the world was rather surprised. As the youngest person to have ever crafted a James Bond theme song, it was an even greater surprise that she said she’d been wanting to do this job for some time now. But between her enthusiasm and musical chops, composer Hans Zimmer was convinced that she absolutely had to have the gig.

This was only confirmed in a recent interview that Hans Zimmer had undertaken, along with Billie Eilish and her co-writer/brother, Finneas O'Connell, as the composer told the following story about how the intro to No Time To Die’s title track was all it took to hook him:

That’s the vibe. That’s the everything. It’s a perfect movie song: In its quietness, somehow, you have a huge landscape in front of you.

Vulture recently spoke with Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell in the run-up to the original release window for No Time To Die. In that conversation, Zimmer was candid about just how much he enjoyed the work that the young siblings brought to the table. So while we’ve heard stories about Daniel Craig having his own opinions of what was in the mix, we can definitely say that Zimmer’s musical expertise was won over by their work, no question.

That’s even more impressive when you consider how a gig as prestigious as singing the theme for a 007 adventure like No Time To Die attracts plenty of talent wanting that very same opportunity. While there were certainly names floating in the ether, no one caught Hans Zimmer’s ear quite like Billie Eillish and Finneas O'Connell. In fact, with the crop of contenders that were involved, whose names are protected below, the Academy Award winning composer had a common problem:

I’m not going to say who. But I am going to get myself into loads of trouble, and I don’t care: I couldn’t get past the intro.

Thinking back to some of the most iconic James Bond theme songs in the franchise’s history, there’s almost always a huge and flashy introduction that pulls the audience right in. From the instrumental punch of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to the blast of rock and roll energy that Chris Cornell uses as his entry into Casino Royale’s “You Know My Name,” the 007 franchise has proven that if you really want to get the audience going, you can’t waste any time.

Of course, if you start with a bang, you need to end on the right note to tie it altogether. And thanks to the collaboration between this trio of musical tastemakers, Hans Zimmer actually scored the privilege of showing a rough cut of No Time To Die to Billie Eillish and Finneas O'Connell. Which, in turn, inspired Eilish to go for the huge belt she embarks on, before climbing back down to the quite, sorrowful energy of this monster hit.

As No Time To Die has been delayed until November, it’ll be a while before we get to hear this song in all of its glory, namely accompanying a Bond opening sequence that will more than likely help this song blow the audience out of the water. For now though, we’ll just have to imagine what Eilish and her brother saw on the big screen, filling in the gaps until reality lets us see just what’s in store.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.