To make There’s no time to die – the 25th and final Bond film starring Daniel Craig as 007 – two seasoned editors who are both new (and longtime fans) of the series participating in the project: Tom Cross, who won an Oscar for Whiplashand Elliot Graham, Academy Award nominee for Milk.
The pair knew they would need to deliver the action and suspense that Bond fans have come to expect while balancing action with an emotional story – a “character-driven drama”. Control has action,” in the words of Graham. As Cross recalls, producer Barbara Broccoli emphasized “the importance of making it emotional, above all else.”
As the story progresses, Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), his love from The spectre, to Italy for a romantic getaway. “They began to have a deep conversation about whether James could forgive Vesper [Lynd, his love from Casino Royale, who betrayed him] and forget the past so he can move on with Madeleine,” said Cross. “And that’s how you start acting…because what follows is what Bond considers treason: a string in Bond’s emotional arc.”
The first action sequence “is more than just an action scene, because you have this string of betrayal entwined with the action,” Cross said. When Madeleine receives a mysterious phone call from villain Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), the editors focus on how Bond reacts. They reached the center of a square, where their car was crushed by ammunition and Cross recounted, “Bond was just sitting there. He is separating himself and almost punishing her, until at last he looks at her and he is satisfied. What we see happen next is something different from what you get in the previous Bond movies, which is him weaponizing his emotions. He weaponizes his anger.”
Cross and Graham carefully considered exactly how long Bond’s inactivity would last after the gunfire began. “It has to be long enough for his inactivity to resonate, but not” too long, when it really feels like Bond is ruthless,” Cross said. It’s a line that manufacturers have been wary of crossing. “
Editors say great performances helped shape the story, including (spoiler alert) during the final struggle between Bond and the villain Safin (Rami Malek), and the moment when Bond realizes he’s come into contact with a biological weapon, which they keep on Craig’s face when he can’t. show a range of emotions. “[We stay] stay in that scene long enough to see Daniel go through all of the different emotional movements,” Cross said, “first confusion and then shock. Then he sent Safin “no revenge in any way, really just a matter of fact, because he’s not even thinking about revenge. He’s thinking about much deeper things.” .
For both editors, the performance encapsulates Craig’s Bond and ends the story with the emotional elements it began with. Cross said: “He wanted to create this vulnerable character, a real person [with] all that hurt, all that emotion and pain – it all comes from Casino Royale come There’s no time to die. ”
This story first appeared in the November 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.