James Bond makes his final stand in the last trailer for No Time To Die, a Cary Joji Fukunaga feature that places the fate of the world in the hands of one man and his paling legacy. 007 squares off against a nefarious villain whose schemes could leave humanity in darkness, but the odds are grim and the consequences (should he fail) equally so. Taking the fight to a megalomaniac more insidious than Ernst Stavro Blofeld may very well spell the end of James Bond, but legends are miracles in action; if 007 is truly outmatched, then may the record testify to his unbridled tenacity in the face of certain death. A fitting yet bittersweet swan song for the iteration of the super spy Daniel Craig originated in Casino Royale, No Time To Die is the Knives Out star’s closing merry-go-round as the M16 agent.
Feast your eyes on the emotional gut-punch that is the final trailer for Daniel Craig’s No Time To Die:
The trailer for No Time To Die opens smart: it begins the countdown to the end with an incandescent show of how far Craig’s Bond has come. From his silky-smooth reintroduction to every trial by fire that has knocked him loose and gone, there is no thug 007 can’t down, near-miss he can’t outmaneuver, or mission he can’t resolve — until now. Every James Bond movie relies on nostalgia to hit, and the approach rings true of any 007’s enduring legacy. Callbacks to past Bonds have dominated Daniel Craig’s movies since Casino Royale; it’s high time one of his own refocuses the spotlight on the man still wearing the classic suit. And in No Time To Die, Fukunaga does.
The first half a minute takes fans down memory lane: Craig disembarking a plane, a momentous restroom brawl, a nearly 200 feet drop from a moving crane, his Aston Martin flipping on its back, an impressive leap from a crumbling train carriage, and a harried attempt at freeing a loved one from an underwater cell. Like every Bond preceding him, Daniel Craig’s man of the hour hasn’t survived every perilous wreck without cruelly outlasting his peers or making difficult sacrifices, a brutal fact that more than aptly sets up the events of No Time To Die.
Every superhero — and yes, James Bond qualifies as one after 68 years on the field — has an expiration date, and Craig’s 007 may have finally arrived at that juncture. He is after all “a kite dancing in a hurricane,” and anything in the air is bound to plummet eventually. As he once told his employer, “Well, I understand 007’s have a very short life expectancy.” Daniel Craig’s Bond crosses 15 years in a little over an instant, and we feel the weight of time passing through as the trailer converges on the present-day. Bond returns to M16 to deal with a new threat and he’s none too pleased being back. But duty calls.
The doors of the agency creak open as the trailer segues to an abominably scarred man in a white mask; he gasps in the snow, seemingly jolted awake. This is terrorist leader Lyutsifer Safin, played by Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek, the designated antagonist in No Time To Die and Bond’s death personified. This is our first and only preview of Malek as Safin; previous trailers remained coy on the subject of Daniel Craig’s final baddie, though the movie’s official IMDB has proved transparent from the start.
Safin is a unique and far more malevolent adversary for James Bond than Blofeld, in that he considers 007 an unusual reflection of his own brand of unemotional savagery and latent need for connection. Like our hero, Safin is skilled in the art of infiltration and murder, loving Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) just as much. And nothing could be more challenging than facing our own mirror. Just as Daniel Craig’s Bond could facilitate Safin’s demise, so could Malek’s equally incomprehensible revolutionary.
The trailer navigates scenes like clockwork. Secret Service operatives surround what looks like Safin’s headquarters, while Daniel Craig’s Bond falls back in a crowded ballroom, stunned to have suddenly lost the cover of anonymity; a bioweapon is promptly retrieved as Ralph Fiennes’s M mourns the agency’s newfound exposure to the elements. “We used to be able to get into a room with an enemy,” he muses with Bond looking on. “And now they’re just floating in the ether.” The hunted has become the hunter, with M16 unceremoniously shoved on its knees while Safin oversees the chaos. He pulls out a pistol and riddles the frozen pond under his feet with bullet holes; a man, trapped under six inches of ice, struggles to evade the shots.
A detained Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) from the last movie taunts Bond from inside a cell; he mumbles, confident in the certainty 007 will lose, “When our secret finds its way out, it’ll be the death of you.” Rami Malek’s pockmarked final boss is implied to be privy to such a reveal, one that could either decimate M16 or liquidate Bond — or both. Shots of tunnels engulfed in flames and missiles firing into the sky alternate between the agency’s attempts at curbing the destruction. Horrified at the perfidious hold Safin has over the populace, Craig finishes Q’s (Ben Whishaw) sentence: “Oh my god. Target enough people and the people become the weapon.” A hooded cult hides in the shadows while scores of innocents walk the streets unaware of the devastation heading their way.
A Mr. Robot-esque sequence finds a mysterious HUD scanning the crowd for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Safin’s men are presumably using face detection technology to tie their attacks to the right people, in a villainous scheme reminiscent of Mark Millar’s Kingsman, Black Mirror’s “Hated in the Nation,” and 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
In one scene, Safin speaks to Bond with astounding ease, as if marveling at a beautiful relic rather than a tested foe; his monologue offers viewers a sneak peek into the specifics of his plans, which appears to revolve around leaving a monstrous legacy that will have the whole world in ruins. “Only your skills die with your body,” he ruminates, “and life is all about leaving something behind, isn’t it?” Safin and Daniel Craig’s 007 are destined to leave “something” behind after the credits roll, but is it lasting peace or anarchy? Whatever the case, the stakes are higher than ever. “If we don’t do this,” Bond proclaims, “there will be nothing left to save.”
The trailer concludes on a cliffhanger: Bond and Dr. Swann are sitting inside a parked Aston Martin somewhere in the Mediterranean, flanked by goons. The car is heavily armored and manages to sustain significant damage while a strangely phlegmatic James Bond ponders his next move. His tired indifference coupled with Dr. Swann’s urgent screams paints the picture of a 007 that has lost all will to live — then at the exact opportune moment, recovers it, turns the Aston Martin around, and begins spattering the air with the car’s built-in turret system. But the super spy is believed dead at this point, and so M is helplessly scouring the satellite feed for his fallen colleague. Craig’s in-universe relief, a second 007 played by Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch, makes a brief cameo at the end, flying a fighter jet with Daniel Craig in the back.
No Time to Die stars Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, and David Dencik. The film hits theaters on October 8.