Just before we start, no. It wasn’t so he could make T3: Judgement Day.

Now then. Looking back over the directors who have worked their magic with Daniel Craig across his 007 efforts, there is some serious talent to consider.

Straight out of the gate, Martin Campbell returned to the franchise after helming GoldenEye with the acclaimed Casino Royale. Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) then took over for Quantum of Solace, which despite boasting its champions remains somewhat divisive amongst franchise fans.

On the other hand, majority audiences agreed that Sam Mendes (American Beauty) knocked it out of the park with Skyfall, so it was no surprise to see him reprise his directorial duties on Spectre.

You may have assumed early on that he’d be brought back to round off Daniel’s run, but nevertheless, fans of such films as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later were thrilled to learn that it was Danny Boyle’s turn to get creative with the gadgets and gizmos.

Yet, it simply wasn’t meant to be, with Cary Joji Fukunaga subsequently stepping in on No Time to Die instead.

It’s interesting to imagine what may have been, but before then it’s worth asking… why did Danny Boyle leave Bond?

still from No Time to Die final international trailer, Universal Pictures UK, Eon Productions et al., YouTube

Why did Danny Boyle leave Bond?

As the director has discussed himself, the primary reason for him leaving stems from creative differences aboard the crew, as the producers disagreed with Danny regarding how the script should play out.

Essentially, significant changes to the script may have resulted in him parting ways with co-writer John Hodge, an idea he wasn’t ready to entertain.

The 64-year-old British filmmaker officially signed on to direct No Time to Die back in may 2018 and his take on 007 was set to begin principal photography by the end of 2018. However, he and John Hodge exited the project just a few months later in August.

While in conversation with The Guardian, Danny gave some insight into the situation and explained:

“I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up … We were working very, very well, but they didn’t want to go down that route with us. So we decided to part company.”

As for his faith in the material itself, he added: “What John Hodge and I were doing, I thought, was really good. It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good … You have to believe in your process and part of that is the partnership I have with a writer.”

No Time to Die | Final Trailer

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No Time to Die | Final Trailer
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“He gave me his blessing”

Cary Joji Fukunaga has been celebrated for his body of work across film and television so far, having helmed the likes of Beasts of No Nation and True Detective.

Chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, he reveals that some time ago he wished to be considered for the forthcoming Bond project. However, he admits that he “sort of forgot about that and went on to” other projects.

Things later took a turn with Danny departed the 007 vehicle:

“As I was finishing Maniac, news broke that Danny Boyle was dropping out of Bond. I emailed Barbara Broccoli, producer] and was like, ‘Is there a chance to talk about this?’ She responded right away, and we set up a meeting the next week. I didn’t have a pitch or anything, just asked them what they’re after and what wasn’t working.”

It has been acknowledged that the team was seeking a more sincere script and approach to the material, whereas Danny’s vision was said to be a little more playful than they wanted.

Cary eventually landed the gig and messaged Danny out of courtesy: “I wrote Danny, and he gave me his blessing, wished me well and was really, really cordial.”

No more time to die

The time has finally come and No Time to Die is screening in UK cinemas from Thursday, September 30th 2021.

It was originally scheduled for release in November 2019, so to say this one is highly anticipated would be something of an understatement.

You can expect a range of actors to reprise their roles from across the franchise, as well as new faces thrown into the mix. It’s also worth noting that this is the longest Bond movie to date, capping in it a monumental 163 minutes.

No time for toilet breaks!

In other news, Does James Bond die in No Time to Die? Ending rumours and spoilers