The Director Of BOND 26 Will Not Be Daniel Craig

The rumor mill starts up, gets shot down.

Things have been reasonably quiet on the No Time To Die front through the summer as the production got down to business and cranked through the remainder of its shoot, with little further incident to report other than MGM being rather heavy-handed about people in Matera, Italy sharing videos on social media of the car chase being filmed just outside their windows.

Filming wrapped just last month, as confirmed by the official 007 Instagram feed in an image from the Pinewood set seen in the teaser poster issued on James Bond Day, so the film is now deep into editing, scoring and all that other technical stuff while fans are left pleading for at least a teaser trailer. An MGM earnings call this week suggested that we won’t really see any marketing for No Time To Die until the New Year, but allowed that the studio’s executives are aware that once the film is released they will have some big decisions to make about the future of the Bond franchise, including who will portray 007.

To date, the lack of widespread marketing is not a big deal given the tabloid newspapers’ willingness to keep the existence of a new Bond film in the public eye, and the latest entry information came from the Daily Mail (yes, I know) last week in a report from a “source” claiming that while Daniel Craig would definitely be stepping down from the lead role, he would instead be taking a position behind the camera in future, as the director of a future Bond 26.

This immediately sounds like bullshit: Daniel Craig hasn’t directed so much as a short film and not once has EON Productions entrusted the franchise to a first-time director. The last time they really took a gamble in choosing a director was Lee Tamahori on Die Another Day (2002) and, well, that didn’t really work out too good…

In the meantime, Daniel Craig is doing the press rounds for Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (which is terrific, and has Craig showing off both his comic timing and chemistry with No Time To Die co-star Ana de Armas) and is inevitably being peppered with Bond questions, and is being very forthcoming in his answers. 

When asked by German publication Express if his Bond chapter is really over, answered, “Yes! In the future someone else has to do it!” which, while probably subject to interpretation after going through two levels of translation, indicates No Time To Die is definitely his swansong. He’ll be okay, though, adding “I'm in the lucky situation of being sent a lot of scripts and offered different roles. My only plan is to work with good and nice people. "

Craig’s reply when asked if he might direct a future Bond movie is unambiguous. “For God's sake, no! I want to come home, eat something and then go to bed. If you're a director, then at night you're still on the phone with the producers, screenwriters and who knows who else. And then, after two hours of sleep, you have to go back up to the set. No thanks!” Craig has experience as a producer, so knows whereof he speaks here, and given the general tone of his interviews of late it doesn’t sound like he’s in the flippant mode that gave us the now-notorious wrist-slitting comment that’s still used to beat him over the head.

So there you go: Daniel Craig will not be directing Bond 26. However, given his deep involvement and fruitful relationship with the holders of the franchise, and credit as a co-producer on SPECTRE, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hanging around in that capacity and having at least some input into not just the identity of his successor, but also the overall direction of the series. Undoubtedly we’ll be talking about this at length in the future.

Lastly, it just wouldn’t be a No Time To Die update if we didn’t have a date change, and the previously-announced April 3rd 2020 UK release has now become April 2nd, which will also see the film released in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

Over to you: jonesing for that No Time To Die teaser? Interested in the idea of Craig directing? Got a better translation of “In Zukunft muss das ein anderer machen!” Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for further No Time To Die coverage as we get closer to the release date.

As of this writing, No Time To Die will be released in selected markets including the UK on April 2nd 2020 and April 8th 2020 worldwide.