DANIEL CRAIG and the cast of no time to die on his final 007 outing…

SWe’ve been expecting you Mr Bond! Love, trust, betrayal, revenge… and the most spectacular set-pieces yet – DANIEL CRAIG and the cast of No Time to Die on his final 007 outing…

  • No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond,  is in cinemas on Thursday after delays due to Covid
  • Bond is the British movie franchise that’s always been an event with few having such a large cultural impact
  • Here, Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and the rest of the cast and crew share the inside story behind the scenes on the cinematic event of the years

There’s a house built on a frozen lake, the biggest explosion in cinema history, a trawler that spectacularly rolls over before it sinks and, of course, beautiful cars, stunning women and Bond, James Bond, shaken but never stirred.

Few films have a cultural impact over and above a simple screening in the cinema, but Bond is the British movie franchise that’s always been an event. 

Nearly 60 years after this series of films produced by EON began, and in a big screen landscape dominated by superhero fantasy films, only Bond can compete in box office takings and the feverish excitement of a new instalment.

And none more so than No Time To Die. It’s not only the final Daniel Craig film and the 25th in the franchise – both huge milestones – but its release later this week, after being rescheduled three times because of Covid, marks what is hoped will be the mass return of customers to the cinema after a horrendous 18 months for the industry.

The film has not been without its issues. 

No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, is in cinemas on Thursday after delays due to Covid. Here, Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and the rest of the cast and crew share the inside story behind the scenes on the cinematic event of the years. Craig is pictured in the film 

The loss of director Danny Boyle over creative tensions, Daniel sustaining a serious ankle injury early on in filming that required time off and a controlled explosion that went wrong, injuring a crew member – not to mention all those reschedules. 

Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson came under tremendous pressure to just put the film out, but she insisted on waiting. ‘It has to be seen in cinemas,’ she says. ‘The film has to be a communal experience, at least at first.’

Everyone will be watching to see how it does when it hits the screen on Thursday – including the studios behind many other blockbusters that have been postponed during the pandemic and remain unreleased. 

With Daniel Craig in the role, the Bond franchise has become ever bigger – Skyfall (his third outing in 2012) is the second biggest film ever released in the UK with £103 million taken at the British box office alone – so it’s not an exaggeration to say that to some extent cinemas are depending on this film being a huge success.

And goodness knows we could all do with the glamour, excitement, escapism and cringey one-liners guaranteed in a 007 film, and No Time To Die gives us a whopping two hours and 43 minutes of it all.

TOP SECRET

We get to see inside Q’s house for the first time. ‘It has a number of gadgets,’ says producer Michael G Wilson. ‘It has a little garden at the back and we get to meet his hypoallergenic cat too. 

‘I have always loved Bond,’ says Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the award-winning writer and actress best known for her dark comedy Fleabag, who was drafted into the film’s creative team to polish up the script as part of its thrust to remain relevant.

‘I love the character and all his complexities, but also the timeless classiness of him. I think that’s why it has lasted so long – he’s classy.

‘One of my earliest memories is when Sean Connery was Bond and he came out of the sea with a snorkel and a seagull on his head.

‘I remember thinking that was outrageous. Up until Daniel Craig, Bond was relentlessly on top of it and in control, he emotionally held it together. 

‘What Daniel gave us was a peep behind the curtain. There’s a promise of learning something about this man and he gives it to us in a flash, we move on and it’s gone.’

The producers have gone all out to make No Time To Die the biggest and most emotional Bond yet. 

Unlike previous Bonds Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby, whose films were complete stories, Daniel’s five outings have had an overarching narrative which will end with, it is hoped, a satisfying conclusion.

The pain of what has happened in the previous films – the betrayal by the woman he loved, Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale, the death of his surrogate mother, M, in Skyfall, and the discovery that his mentor’s son, Blofeld, is actually an international crime boss intent on destroying the world and himself in Spectre – are all carried within him as his attempt to run off into the sunset with a new partner goes horribly wrong. 

‘It’s about relationships and how those relationships affect him and how they change and steer his life,’ says Daniel.

Cuban CIA agent Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, packs a punch with a small but pivotal role in the film, helping Bond on the Caribbean island

Daniel Craig with director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Lashana Lynch (Nomi) in villain Safin’s lair at Pinewood Studios in in Iver, England

 M (Ralph Fiennes) and Bond (Daniel Craig) meeting by Hammersmith Bridge in west London.  In the film Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

‘Whether it’s with the villain or whether it’s the people he works with, this movie has tackled that head on. And the biggest themes are love and trust. You can’t really get much bigger than that.’

TOP SECRET

To show that things have moved on since Spectre, changes have been made to M’s office, including a new leather door. But Q fares even better – his office gets an extra wing. 

The story starts almost where the last one Spectre, which came out in 2015, ended. 

In that film James discovered that the megalomaniac boss of the crime organisation intent on taking over the world for its nefarious ends – and which Bond had managed to foil over the previous films – was run by Ernst Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz, who had a very particular reason for hating Bond.

His ski instructor father Hannes Oberhauser was given temporary custody over the then 11-year-old Bond when his parents were both killed in a climbing accident. 

Blofeld – or Franz Oberhauser as he was then – became so insanely jealous of his father’s close relationship with the young Bond that he staged an avalanche which killed Hannes and left Franz presumed dead. Instead, the young Franz fled the scene, gave himself a new name and set up a vast and shadowy terrorist organisation with a sideline in hurting everyone Bond was close to.

At the end of Spectre, Bond chose not to kill Blofeld but allowed him to be arrested while he tried to start a new life with the beautiful Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux). Madeleine – he presumably hoped – would be the one woman who could understand him as her father, Bond enemy Mr White, was also an assassin.

The action for this new film starts in the stunning Italian hilltop city of Matera with Bond, Madeleine and his iconic Aston Martin DB5. Fans of Sean Connery’s Bond will enjoy the throwback to 1964’s Goldfinger and a car chase in 1965’s Thunderball. 

Bond in Jamaica, which director Barbara Broccoli describes as ‘spiritual home of the Bond series as it’s where Ian Fleming wrote all the novel’

TOP SECRET 

Rumours of a Bond child abound after a call sheet – which details which actors should be on set for each scene – mentioning a child called Mathilde who’s five was put up for sale online. 

Bond has left MI6 and he and Madeleine are intent on a fresh future, but they quickly find they can’t escape their old lives. It soon becomes clear that Madeleine has more secrets than Bond imagined and, haunted by the betrayal by Vesper Lynd, they part ways.

The story picks up again five years later in Jamaica. Bond is still retired, he’s fishing and drinking – he’s lost everyone he loves. But he is needed.

There’s a new villain in town – psychopath Safin, played by Rami Malek who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody – while Blofeld is still causing problems. 

The world’s in trouble, M has made a bit of a mess of things and only one flawed man can save us.

 ‘Bond’s made a definite run for the hills,’ says Daniel. ‘He’s trying to get out. He’s trying to drag himself away from this job. 

‘That is the hardest thing he does but, as we find out, he gets dragged back in.’

And so he’s reunited with his old team, including M, played by Ralph Fiennes. ‘M is caught on the back foot, big time,’ says Ralph.

‘He’s compromised himself by developing a secret programme that he thinks will be for the good of the country.

‘But Valdo, the scientist he’s filched from the Russians to develop it, has gone rogue and turned it into something horrific. He needs Bond’s help.’

Ralph Fiennes as M with Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) in the film. Naomie Harris’s Moneypenny may have given up her gun after accidentally shooting Bond in Skyfall, but she’s happy to get stuck into the action if it involves helping James

The movie is one of the most explosive ever. There are also several explosive scenes – the first takes place in Russian scientist Valdo’s laboratory and was created by linking butane canisters together and then setting them off with computerised detonators

Gadgets supremo Q, played by Ben Whishaw, is back too – and there’s a fun appearance by Bond at the science geek’s home.

BIG BAD 

Rami, as villain Safin  had been on producer Barbara Broccoli’s mind for years – she met him more than a decade ago when he was in a film called Short Term 12, and the pair have been regularly meeting since 

We also see the return of Q’s friend Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) who finds her loyalty to him tested.

Bond has to readjust to the new order in MI6 – especially with thrusting new 00 agent Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch, making it clear she sees him as too old for the job. 

But the biggest shock of all for Bond is the return of Madeleine. Despite their years apart it’s clear their connection remains, but she also has a link to Safin which means things get rather complicated.

‘This is a real love and this film is a love story between the two of them,’ says Lea Seydoux. 

‘Because of that, we see James as a character who is vulnerable and who has flaws and I think that is what audiences like. 

The world of Bond is not the real world but the characters feel like real people.’

But while the connections and the frailties at the heart of the story feel almost everyday, the sets and the stunts are anything but. 

This might be a very modern Bond, but he’s still Bond. And because this is an anniversary film, fans will see constant references to the heritage – whether it’s in the villain’s lair or the locations, they’re shadowing previous incarnations of these stories to create something new, something bigger.

Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 features in a car chase in the Italian city of Matera, Daniel Craig is pictured in his final outing as Bond in Italy

NO TIME TO WASTE 

Billie Eilish wrote the theme song with her brother Finneas on her tour bus in Texas. ‘I was sitting hunched over in my bunk, and it was completely pitch-black!’ says Billie 

Jamaica is key for a reason – not only was it where creator Ian Fleming had his Goldeneye home but key scenes in both Dr No (1962) and Live And Let Die (1973) were also filmed there. 

While for Madeleine’s childhood home in Norway, they did something that had never been done before – they built a house on a lake. London, as ever, remains key with troops from the Household Cavalry making a cameo.

Meanwhile, the effects are spectacular. In a particularly dramatic sequence a trawler rolls over and sinks. And one of the final scenes is simply explosive. 

Spectre won a Guinness World Record for the biggest explosion in film history with 32.6kg of explosives – No Time To Die uses more than four times as much.

Even the music has been stepped up a notch, with legendary film composer Hans Zimmer taking the helm alongside Billie Eilish who wrote and performed the theme tune which has already won a Grammy Award.

Daniel Craig says he couldn’t be happier with his final outing. 

‘There was a story to finish and loose ends that we needed to tie up and I feel we’ve done that,’ he says. 

‘I’m immensely proud of it and of the huge collective effort that goes into making a Bond movie. Being just a small part of that has been an honour.’ 

The Beauties and the beasts: The ultimate insight into the film’s key characters – by the stars who play them

DR MADELEINE SWAN

Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine  is the first significant Bond Girl (or as they prefer to be known now, woman) ever to return for a second film.

Bond and Madeleine became close after Madeleine’s father, the assassin Mr White, asked Bond to look out for her. 

He was given a lethal dose of poison after he left the SPECTRE organisation because he disagreed with them trafficking sex slaves. 

In the last film Spectre we saw that Madeleine – smart and handy with a weapon – was more than a match for Bond. 

After MeToo, men who discard their lovers after they’ve enjoyed them, like previous Bonds, are no longer in fashion. 

At its heart No Time To Die is a love story, but one that goes awry. 

‘At the end of Spectre we think they’re united,’ says French actress Lea. ‘But we find out they have problems to solve. 

‘He’s hurting from Vesper Lynd’s betrayal, but Madeleine is a real love. The film is a love story and that makes it quite modern.’ 

In No Time To Die we delve into Madeleine’s upbringing.

 ‘It helps us understand her,’ says Lea. ‘In Spectre she was harder to relate to, she was a mystery, but now she’s more open and vulnerable.’ 

MONEYPENNY

Naomie Harris’s Moneypenny may have given up her gun after accidentally shooting Bond in Skyfall, but she’s happy to get stuck into the action if it involves helping James.

 ‘Moneypenny trusts Bond completely,’ says Naomie. 

‘And she’s willing to be his eyes and ears in MI6. 

‘This isn’t great on her part, but her heart is in the right place. 

‘She’s the moral compass of this film; she’s willing to put her job on the line in order to speak up for what’s right when things in MI6 aren’t going as they should’.

 SAFIN

Rami Malek plays big baddie Safin – and really did his research. 

‘I looked at almost every villain in the history of film,’ he says. 

‘I thought, “Why not have a sneak peak at all the greats?” Javier Bardem [who appeared in Skyfall as Raoul Silva] was in there. 

‘I may have stolen a thing or two from him… I wanted Safin to be scary and plausible. 

‘Someone who, if you were sitting opposite him, you’d be shaken, no pun intended.’ Safin has a history with Bond’s lover Madeleine and sees himself not as a villain in her life, but a hero. 

‘He’s a product of an innocence that was lost early on, and he has difficulty in justifying what is right and what is wrong,’ he says. 

‘From Bond’s perspective there’s an understanding of right and wrong, but Safin has a way of making you consider if that’s as accurate as it seems to be.’ 

When we first meet Safin his face is scarred and he is wearing an expressionless wooden Japanese Noh mask used in dance (see picture, page 4). 

Costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb says, ‘Depending on how the actor moves and the lighting, it can reverberate different emotions.

‘ It can be scary, serene or aggressive. Those three descriptions were exactly what we wanted Safin to be. 

PALOMA

Cuban CIA agent Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, packs a punch with a small but pivotal role in the film, helping Bond on the Caribbean island. 

While she fits the typical Bond girl mould of devastatingly beautiful and feisty, Paloma is also surprisingly funny.

‘I don’t think people will expect a character like this,’ says Ana.

‘Paloma is a little bit out of the box with her sense of humour and the way she relates to Bond. 

She’s someone I haven’t really seen on screen before. She’s so funny and has this bubbliness. 

Sometimes she’s playful and naïve and messy, but she’s also skilled and trained and she knows what she’s doing. 

She helps Bond navigate through certain things that he wouldn’t be able to do alone. It was cool to have all those colours to play with. 

NOMI

When Lashana Lynch won the part of secret MI6 agent Nomi  she told the stunt team, ‘Make me into a ninja!’ 

And they were all too happy to oblige. Nomi is a ‘00’ agent like Bond – the rumour is she may even have taken his 007 moniker (Lashana hasn’t confirmed or denied) – and she gives the out-of-practice Bond a run for his money.

 ‘She has the new gadgets, she has the fresh training, she’s close to M, all of the things that he doesn’t have,’ says Lashana. 

The actress worked with screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge to make Nomi a well-rounded character. 

‘I wanted someone who has a past and a history and has issues with her weight,’ she says. ‘I wanted her to be a real woman. 

BLOFLED

Like Bond Girls, Bond villains don’t normally return – they’re usually killed. 

But Blofeld is probably the most famous of all the villains in the films and Oscar-winning Austrian actor Christoph Waltz must be thrilled to be coming back after admitting he felt that he hadn’t given his best performance in Spectre.

 ‘I cannot claim that I’ve really nailed Blofeld,’ he said. 

‘I was searching for more inspiration.’ In No Time To Die, Blofeld may be in jail but that doesn’t mean he’s been nullified. 

‘Blofeld’s story hasn’t been fulfilled,’ says producer Michael G Wilson.

 ‘He wasn’t going to sit quietly in jail. He isn’t that type of person and it certainly isn’t the end of the story when he goes to jail. 

He has Primo out there in the world who can be the eyes and ears of Blofeld in prison 

PRIMO 

Part man, part machine, Primo (above), played by Dali Benssalah, will be a memorable Bond henchman. 

He has a distinctive look, with a robotic eye. 

The producers loved what the actor did with the role so much that they decided to extend his scenes. 

‘I think of Primo as an action guy, a kind of war dog,’ says FrenchAlgerian actor and former Thai boxing champion Dali. 

‘He’s a mercenary just looking for a reason to fight. He was born and raised on the dark side, as it were, so he’s a baddie by loyalty.’ 

The most explosive movie ever made: No Time to Die is packed with stunts – including a Mega-detonation mimicking bunker-buster bombs

No Bond film would be complete without plenty of action, and No Time To Die is jam-packed with thrilling moments.

The first, a dramatic car chase in Matera, Italy, required eight stunt replicas of the Aston Martin DB5 built specifically for the production.

Two of the vehicles housed a mine dispenser and machine guns, while another two could be controlled by stunt drivers sitting in a cage on the roof while the actors were inside as the cars sped along. 

No Bond film would be complete without plenty of action, and No Time To Die is jam-packed with thrilling moments. M (above) with the Aston Martin Valhalla and Bond with the classic Vantage car

The Aston Martin DB5 is really put through its paces in Matera. The first, a dramatic car chase in Matera, Italy, required eight stunt replicas of the Aston Martin DB5 built specifically for the production

James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a Triumph motorcycle, in front of rider Paul doing the stunt and a double then jumping off the bridge

Two of the vehicles housed a mine dispenser and machine guns, while another two could be controlled by stunt drivers sitting in a cage on the roof while the actors were inside as the cars sped along 

Despite all the injuries he’s had during his five films, Daniel likes to do as many stunts as possible – and also has an input into how they look. A stunt in the film is shown as a Landrover gets destroyed

James Bond (Daniel Craig) is seen fighting with henchman Primo (played by Dali Benssalah,) in Matera, Italy

The film’s largest explosions, three in one shot, were filmed at the Ministry of Defence site on Salisbury Plain and were designed to replicate the impact of bunker-buster bombs fired from a Royal Navy warship. Bond is pictured 

Stuntman Paul doing the stunt and a double then jumping off the bridge in one of the most explosive and stunt filled Bond films ever

Q helping a plane take off.  Nearly 60 years after this series of films produced by EON began, and in a big screen landscape dominated by superhero fantasy films, only Bond can compete in box office takings and the feverish excitement of a new instalment

A rehearsal of a daring chase with Land Rover Defenders in the new film, which is released in the UK on Thursday

00 agent Nomi pulls up alongside James Bond in her Aston Martin DBS Superleggera sports car, they are both pictured

A stunt car with a cage on top. The film’s largest explosions, three in one shot, were filmed at the Ministry of Defence site on Salisbury Plain and were designed to replicate the impact of bunker-buster bombs fired from a Royal Navy warship

The explosion in Valdo’s lab. Valdo Obruchev is a missing Russian scientist who James Bond tries to track down, he is played by David Dencik

Special forces scale down the side of a skyscraper in London, the movie was filmed in London, Cuba and Jamaica among other locations

One spectacular scene shows a trawler rolling over and sinking causing this extraordinary shot

  ‘It’s great to have the DB5 again,’ says Daniel Craig. ‘It was returned to Bond in Spectre and is now in perfect condition… with a few added extras.’

BOND FACT

For the first time, four Aston Martins feature – the DB5, the DBS Superleggera, the classic V8 Vantage and the £700,000 Valhalla hybrid hypercar, which goes into production in 2023, seen in a wind tunnel at Q’s lab

Despite all the injuries he’s had during his five films, Daniel likes to do as many stunts as possible – and also has an input into how they look.

  ‘He wants to design them so that he’s able to do as much as possible,’ says producer Barbara Broccoli. 

‘Unfortunately he had an ankle injury in Jamaica early on in filming so we had to put a lot of the action at the end of the shoot and he went under an intense physical rehab in order to achieve it.’

However one stunt, an incredible motorbike jump in Matera, was performed by Paul Edmondson, a four-time off-road endurance motorcycle champion. 

There are also several explosive scenes – the first takes place in Russian scientist Valdo’s laboratory and was created by linking butane canisters together and then setting them off with computerised detonators. 

The film’s largest explosions, three in one shot, were filmed at the Ministry of Defence site on Salisbury Plain and were designed to replicate the impact of bunker-buster bombs fired from a Royal Navy warship. 

An extraordinary 135.4kg of explosives were set off, which the film-makers are hoping will make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The world is not big enough! Soak up the spectacular scenery as the production team take you on location of No Time To Die

The exotic locations always add to the glamour of a Bond film, and No Time To Die takes us from the heat of Jamaica and Cuba to the desolate ice of Norway – although not all of the locations are quite what they seem… 

JAMAICA

We find Bond enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica after leaving active service, and for this film a house was built on the island’s northern coast near Port Antonio

‘Jamaica is the spiritual home of the Bond series as it’s where Ian Fleming wrote all the novels,’ says Barbara Broccoli.

‘The first film was made there and it felt right for this, the 25th. When you look at the beauty of the place and the people and the culture, you understand this was the world Ian Fleming’s Bond wanted to save. It’s astoundingly beautiful.’

We find Bond enjoying a tranquil life here after leaving active service, and for this film a house was built on the island’s northern coast near Port Antonio. ‘Bond is like a fish out of water,’ says production designer Mark Tildesley.

‘It’s almost as if he’s planning an escape. He has maps and books lying about pertaining to where else he can test himself.’

New Bond girl Lashana Lynch, who plays Nomi and has Jamaican heritage, says we see a different side of Bond and Jamaica in the film. ‘Bond is very chilled, eating and drinking. You really get to see the people, the colours, the vibrancy and the nightclubs – but then danger creeps in.’

ITALY

Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 features in a car chase in the Italian city of Matera. The stunning historical hillside city of Matera, one of the oldest inhabited places in the world where people have lived in caves for thousands of years, is the backdrop to the first big action sequence of the film – a super-charged car chase involving Bond, Madeleine Swann and his trusty Aston Martin DB5

Bond in Matera with Madeleine Swann at Sapri train station. Two classic DB5s and eight stunt replicas were used, along with other cars, in the action sequence which took six weeks to film

The stunning historical hillside city of Matera, one of the oldest inhabited places in the world where people have lived in caves for thousands of years, is the backdrop to the first big action sequence of the film – a super-charged car chase involving Bond, Madeleine Swann and his trusty Aston Martin DB5.

Two classic DB5s and eight stunt replicas were used, along with other cars, in the action sequence which took six weeks to film.

Matera’s inhabitants had to close their doors and windows for hours on end as filming took place so they wouldn’t be seen, with special effects supervisor Chris Corbould recalling, ‘Everyone was watching from inside their houses and every time we did a shot there was a round of applause. It’s a city with such a rich history and it looks amazing.

Then throw the car into the equation – which is doing more than it’s done since Goldfinger in 1964.

For it to come back in all its glory and have a spectacular sequence again, the audience will love it.’ Filming for the Italian sequence also took place at a train station in Sapri.

NORWAY

For Madeleine Swann’s childhood home, the producers searched for a house in Norway that was totally isolated – a house suitable for an assassin and his family

For Madeleine Swann’s childhood home, the producers searched for a house in Norway that was totally isolated – a house suitable for an assassin and his family.

While they found a forest they liked just north of Oslo, they couldn’t find the right house so they built one – on top of a frozen lake (above).

‘The existing structures weren’t quite right in terms of the geography and the layout of the scene that our director had in mind,’ says location manager Charlie Hayes.

‘So we built one on the lake rather than alongside it. The Norwegian team we were working with were initially a little bit confused by this request.’

This is hardly surprising, particularly as temperatures started to rise and the ice thinned beneath the house.

‘It was safe, of course, but it was a strange thought to get your head around.’

An incredible car chase was also filmed on the stunning Atlantic Road, a five-mile stretch built on several small islands off the west coast of Norway, although parts of it were filmed in the Scottish Highlands and in woods near Windsor Great Park.

FAROE ISLANDS

The production team studied the work of Sir Ken Adam, the godfather of Bond design, with the aim of recreating the magic of some of his baddies’ lairs on films like Dr No and You Only Live Twice. They decided to create a fictional island for Safin and to shoot the exterior of his secret hideout, they used the Faroe Islands in the northern Atlantic

The production team studied the work of Sir Ken Adam, the godfather of Bond design, with the aim of recreating the magic of some of his baddies’ lairs on films like Dr No and You Only Live Twice.

They decided to create a fictional island for Safin and to shoot the exterior of his secret hideout, they used the Faroe Islands in the northern Atlantic.

‘The geography is spectacular,’ says location manager Charlie Hayes.

‘But it was a difficult place to take a film crew. We had to make sure we had enough rescue personnel to allow them to work safely.’

CUBA

When Bond is called back into action he travels to Cuba where, aided by an agent called Paloma (Ana de Armas, above), he infiltrates a lavish ball hosted by SPECTRE

Bond meeting old CIA pal Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) in a bar on the island in the part of the film set in Cuba

Jamaica fills in for some of the Cuban scenes while a huge Cuban set, including a stunning Art Deco theatre, was built at Pinewood Studios. Pictured is Bond’s home

When Bond is called back into action he travels to Cuba where, aided by an agent called Paloma (Ana de Armas, above), he infiltrates a lavish ball hosted by SPECTRE.

Jamaica fills in for some of the Cuban scenes while a huge Cuban set, including a stunning Art Deco theatre, was built at Pinewood Studios.

‘I went to Cuba for reference,’ says production designer Mark Tildesley.

‘It was at one time this burgeoning playground for the Americans and was really wealthy and exotic and wonderful, but now it’s lost and crumbling, though there’s tremendous beauty in what remains.’

LONDON

Bond returns home, but it isn’t the same. ‘He’s not quite as comfortable and secure as he’s been before,’ says location manager Charlie Hayes. Filming also took place aboard the Royal Navy’s HMS Dragon, one of the most advanced warships in the world, which plays a crucial role in the film

Bond returns home, but it isn’t the same. ‘He’s not quite as comfortable and secure as he’s been before,’ says location manager Charlie Hayes.

‘We see him open his old lock-up and dust off his old things. He goes back to his old place of work where he’s given short shrift.’ Familiar places in the capital include Hammersmith Bridge, where he meets M, and Whitehall.

As well as being granted permission to shoot the exterior of the Ministry of Defence building, a troop of the Household Cavalry star in the background as Madeleine Swann walks across The Mall.

Filming also took place aboard the Royal Navy’s HMS Dragon, one of the most advanced warships in the world, which plays a crucial role in the film.

…AND NOT FORGETTING PINEWOOD STUDIOS

The huge studio complex in Buckinghamshire has been the home of 007 since the first Bond film Dr No in 1962, and for this movie it housed a huge water tank (used to shoot the scene featuring a sinking trawler) and the interiors at MI6, in Cuba and at Safin’s lair

The huge studio complex in Buckinghamshire has been the home of 007 since the first Bond film Dr No in 1962, and for this movie it housed a huge water tank (used to shoot the scene featuring a sinking trawler) and the interiors at MI6, in Cuba and at Safin’s lair.

‘There’s a lot of glamour in the different locations but there’s something special about Pinewood,’ says Rami Malek, who plays Safin.

‘You see the 007 emblem all over the place, wherever you are. The craftsmanship, the technicians are all extraordinary people who have worked on many of the Bond films. It feels historic.’

No Time To Die is in cinemas on Thursday. To hear more about Daniel Craig’s time as Bond, watch Being James Bond on Apple TV+. For more backstage secrets about the making of the film, listen to the podcast No Time To Die: The Official James Bond Podcast.

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