Daniel Craig reveals that before his character died in No Time to Die, he was ready to leave the James Bond franchise. The English actor played the iconic MI6 agent in five films over 15 years, with his final appearance in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s 2021 film. While the role has changed hands a few times over the decades, No Time to Die made the unparalleled decision to kill off Craig’s version of 007 in the final minutes of the film, effectively bringing his era of the franchise to an end.

In a recent Los Angeles Times profile, the actor admits bluntly that he was prepared for his character’s demise. After playing the iconic spy for so long, Craig struggled to reflect on his time in the franchise a little more than a year after his time in the franchise had ended. The actor has previously spoken out about the physical toll that playing James Bond got on him, and he expands on this point in the interview, stating that he was ready for it to be over. Read on to find out what Craig has to say about his departure:

“Two things, one for myself and one for the franchise. One, for the franchise, was that resets start again, which [the franchise] did with me. And I was like, ‘Well, you need to reset again.’ So let’s kill my character off and go find another Bond and go find another story. Start at [age] 23, start at 25, start at 30.”

“The other was so that I could move on. I don’t want to go back. I suppose I should be so lucky if they were to ask me back, but the fact is I need to move on from it. The sacrifice that he makes in the movie was for love and there’s no greater sacrifice. So it seemed like a good thing to end on.”

Why Was James Bond’s Death Beneficial To The Franchise?

Daniel Craig Explains Why He Wanted James Bond's Death In No Time To Die
Universal Pictures

The James Bond series has certainly taken its toll on Craig as an actor, with some of the most acclaimed action films of the last decade. Bond’s physical ability is no small feat for any actor to portray, and the series’ repetitive nature was undeniably taxing. Furthermore, Craig’s involvement in the series has defined his career thus far, but based on his performances in Knives Out and Glass Onion, it’s clear the actor has strong points he can build on more fruitfully in roles outside of the Bond franchise.

Craig has infamously overplayed his character since the release of Spectre in 2015, but his character’s death aided the franchise in more ways than one. His tenure in the franchise lasted nearly as long as Sean Connery’s, allowing him to become just as iconic. Connery played Bond in seven films between 1962 & 1983, and his franchise-launching performance is widely regarded as the barometer for all subsequent 007s. Although Craig did not appear in as many films as Connery, the length of his time as James Bond is worth comparing, and No Time to Die was a fitting end to his tenure.

With Craig’s tenure as James Bond ending so recently, fans are unlikely to see another Bond for at least a few years. This, however, will give the franchise time to evolve into something new, as it did many times between Connery and Craig’s runs. James Bond is one of the best action heroes in film, and Craig did the role proud with his No Time to Die exit.

Source: Los Angeles Times