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‘No Time to Die’: Release date, trailer and everything else we know about the new James Bond film

Daniel Craig in the poster for "No Time To Die."
(Image credit: MGM Studios)

The movie’s most famous spy, James Bond, will return to the big screen in 2021 with No Time to Die. The film, which will be the fifth and final outing for Daniel Craig as 007, will also be the 25th entry into the iconic franchise.

This is one that movie fans have been waiting a long time to see, so without further ado here’s everything that you need to know about No Time to Die.

What is the plot of ‘No Time to Die’?

The last time we saw James Bond in Spectre (hard to believe that was all the way back in 2015) he was driving away from MI6 and the espionage world with Madeleine Swann at his side. As we’ve seen from trailers and other promotional material, at the start of No Time to Die Bond is still enjoying his life in retirement, but you just can’t keep a good spy down.

Felix Leiter from the CIA tracks Bond down and asks for his help to rescue a kidnapped scientist. However, Bond soon finds he’s in deeper than he thought as the trail leads to a mysterious villain, Safin, that unbeknownst to Bond has ties to Madeleine. This all leads Bond back to MI6 and sees him working with the new 007.

As has been the case for all of Daniel Craig’s James Bond films save for Casino Royale, this is an entirely original story and not based on a work from Bond creator Ian Fleming. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga wrote the screenplay.

Who makes up the ‘No Time to Die’ cast?

Leading the way since 2006, Daniel Craig plays the suave super spy James Bond. With No Time to Die being his fifth appearance in the franchise, Craig only trails Sean Connery and Roger Moore in number of James Bond films — Connery appeared in six (seven if you account the non-canon Never Say Never Again) and Moore starred in seven. Craig has solidified himself as one of the best Bonds ever and looks to go out on a high note with No Time to Die.

The rest of the No Time to Die cast includes the following:

  • Rami Malek - Safin
  • Léa Seydoux - Madeleine Swann 
  • Ralph Fiennes - M 
  • Naomie Harris - Eve Moneypenny 
  • Ben Whishaw - Q 
  • Jeffrey Wright - Felix Leiter 
  • Lashana Lynch - Nomi (new 007) 
  • Ana de Armas - Paloma 
  • Billy Magnussen - Logan Ash 
  • Christoph Waltz - Ernst Stavro Blofeld 
  • Rory Kinnear - Tanner

Who is directing ‘No Time to Die’?

After Sam Mendes directed the last two Daniel Craig Bond films (Skyfall and Spectre), the franchise is getting some fresh blood with Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Fukunaga is best known for directing all eight episodes of True Detective’s first season, but his credits also include Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation and the Netflix series Maniac.

Interestingly, Fukunaga is the first American to ever occupy the director’s chair for a James Bond film.

What is the ‘No Time to Die’ release date?

Originally, No Time to Die was set for an April 2020 release date. But around the time that the pandemic was officially declared, No Time to Die was one of the first major movies to announce that it would push back its release date. While first hoping for a fall 2020 premiere, the decision was ultimately made to push No Time to Die until 2021.

Now, No Time to Die has an official release date of Sept. 30 in the U.K. and Oct. 8 in the U.S., essentially a year-and-a-half later than its original intended release. 

While the Bond franchise is one of the biggest in the world, it actually hasn’t occupied a traditional summer blockbuster spot most tentpoles aim for in a long time. You’d have to go back to Licence to Kill in 1989 for a James Bond film to have been released during the summer. Since then, Bond has found a home mostly in November, so the fall release date is par for the course.

Ahead of the No Time to Die release, fans are being treated to a new documentary, Being James Bond, that will look back at Daniel Craig's tenure as the character, as well as include never-before-seen archival footage from his films, including No Time to Die.

Is there a ‘No Time to Die’ trailer?

There have been a few trailers for No Time to Die. As the film has had to stop and start a few times because of the delays, there have been multiple trailers released to keep the film front of mind for film goers, including a teaser from July proclaiming that Bond is back ahead of its October release (in the U.S.).

We also now have a final international trailer as the film is one month away from debuting in the U.K. and other international markets. Just a handful of new clips as they of course try and keep the big plot points under wraps, but it's abundantly clear that No Time to Die is going all out with big set pieces to close out the Daniel Craig era. Watch the new trailer below.

Not to be left out, a final U.S. trailer was also released shortly after the international version.

How to watch ‘No Time to Die’? 

No Time to Die will play exclusively in theaters when it is released in Oct. 8. While there were rumors throughout the pandemic about the likes of Netflix or Apple TV Plus bidding big for the rights to stream the film, no deal was struck. Even after Amazon acquired MGM’s library, which holds many James Bond films, the producers were adamant that No Time to Die would have its debut on the big screen, as would future films in the series.

However, how long No Time to Die has an exclusive theatrical run is up in the air, as theatrical windows are shrinking from the previous standard of 90 days. And with the Amazon deal, it is likely to first appear on Amazon Prime Video whenever it does become available for streaming.

Who’s performing the ‘No Time to Die’ theme song?

Almost as big as the actual movie itself are the theme songs that play over the opening credits of each Bond film. Some of the best that the franchise has had include Adele’s Oscar-winning “Skyfall,” Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger,” Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” and others from the likes of Madonna, Duran Duran, Tina Turner and Gladys Knight.

So who’s joining that impressive roster of musicians to lend their voices to the James Bond franchise? None other than Billie Eilish.

Eilish’s theme song, “No Time to Die,” was actually released in February of 2020, ahead of the film’s original release. You can give it a listen below.

Who will be the next James Bond?

Guessing who the next actor to play James Bond is always a fun pastime, but with Daniel Craig taking his final bow as James Bond with No Time to Die, speculation has been rampant over who may don the tuxedo next.

The oddsmakers have their current favorite with Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, according to The Express in June. Page leads Tom Hardy and James Norton in these most recent odds.

Of course, there has been no announcement as to who will be the next James Bond, or who is even under official consideration at this point. It’s all rumors and wishful thinking. In that spirit, if I could throw my two cents into the conversation, how about The Green Knight star Dev Patel?

Expect the casting rumors to hit overdrive after No Time to Die comes out, but it could take some time. We didn’t know Craig would take over for Pierce Brosnan until nearly three years after his last outing in Die Another Day.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.