In the months running up to No Time To Die’s originally settled April 2020 release date, the anticipation was revving up to a fever pitch. Trailers were hyping the fans, all sorts of theories were starting to sprout up about Rami Malek’s villain Safin, and Billie Eilish became the youngest singer to co-write and sing a 007 title song. Releasing a track like that into the world has always been a traditional signal that we’re in the endgame for a new Bond film’s release. And yet, as composer Hans Zimmer recently noted, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
During his recent interview with Variety, Zimmer continued to heap praise on No Time To Die’s opening number, recalling the meteoric journey that came to a crashing halt in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas came up with this great song, and we did a bit of that. It was great, because we played the BRITs [Feb. 18], Johnny played guitar, and we were moving forward. Suddenly it became a No. 1 hit, and the movie was going to come out, and then everything stopped.
By time the decision was made to postpone writer/director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s entry into the venerated James Bond canon, No Time To Die had quite a bit of steam coming out of its promotional engines. So naturally, when the new November release date was set for the 25th 007 film’s debut, it kind of deflated the fact that the Billie Eilish theme tune had become a huge hit. Fans were going to have to wait a little longer for that new Bond adventure, which meant that the song might have peaked prematurely on the charts.
It’s no one’s fault really, as current events could not have been foresee. And despite the hand that No Time To Die was dealt, the Hans Zimmer collaboration with Billie Eilish and Finneas still remains a fantastic and successful addition to the ranks of musical landmarks the James Bond series has celebrated. To be completely honest, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if the song resurges on the charts closer to the film’s release, as fans of both Eilish and Bond aren’t going to let it go any time soon. In fact, let's get another listen in on that tune right now, shall we?
From a certain perspective, especially through Hans Zimmer’s own musings, it’s unfortunate that No Time To Die’s theme song was released at what felt like the wrong time. With the world waiting to turn back on, and movie theaters looking forward to reopening their doors, there’s all sorts of opportunities out there for films of any stripe. Even the dutiful agents at MI6, and their adversaries, might be able to boost their fortunes in whatever this new world will bring, and along with those exploits will be a brand new Hans Zimmer score for all to delight over hearing for the first time. Now that’s really something to look forward to, isn’t it?