'No Time To Die' is 'a love story' between James Bond and Léa Seydoux's Madeleine Swann

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·4 min read

Watch: The latest trailer for No Time To Die

No Time To Die will complete the story arc that began with Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond in Casino Royale, with 007’s romance with Madeleine Swann playing a key part.

“It’s the fifth and final [Bond] film that Daniel Craig is going to be doing,” producer Barbara Broccoli reveals on the first episode of No Time To Die: The Official James Bond Podcast.

“[No Time To Die is] a culmination of everything that his portrayal of the character has been through, and it ties up all the storylines. It’s a pretty epic film, I have to say.”

Part of that arc that the film will address is Bond’s emotional journey from the emotionless ‘blunt instrument’ whose heart was broken by Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, to the secret agent who was ready to settle down with Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann at the end of Spectre.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in discussion with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. (Credit: Nicola Dove © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
James Bond (Daniel Craig) in discussion with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in NO TIME TO DIE. (Nicola Dove/2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM)

“He felt betrayed [by Vesper] and it hardened him a great deal,” adds producer Michael G. Wilson, “he’s been going through these films peeling back that hardness, evolving his humanity.”

Read more: 'Secret idea' prevented Daniel Craig from quitting Bond after Spectre

French star Seydoux says her character plays a key part in Bond’s redemption, in her second Bond film which she describes as ‘more psychological and more emotional’ than Spectre.

Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) share a vodka martini in Spectre. (MGM/Eon/Sony Pictures)
Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) share a vodka martini in Spectre. (MGM/Eon/Sony Pictures)

“We needed Madeleine to tell Bond’s story,” she explains, “I think it was important to see Bond in love again, because he had this relationship with Vesper, but she betrayed him.

“This time, I think [Madeleine] is the real love in a way. I think that the film is also a love story between the two of them, and so it’s very unusual for a Bond film to see James Bond in love, and I think it’s quite modern in a way.”

Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) embrace in Casino Royale. (MGM/Eon/Sony Pictures)
Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) embrace in Casino Royale. (MGM/Eon/Sony Pictures)

Previous to Casino Royale, Bond’s biggest love story in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which saw George Lazenby’s Bond marrying Diana Rigg’s Tracy di Vicenzo. It was a short-lived marriage, as the film ended with her being assassinated by Blofeld. Could a similar fate await Madeleine?

Bond’s determination to root out the bad guys will draw him out of retirement, add screenwriters Neal Purves and Robert Wade.

Read more: The Bond girl rule that can help predict Bond 25’s plot

“At the end of Casino Royale – the book – [Bond] is determined to find, and hunt down, the arm that holds the whip and gun,” says Wade.

“That’s the arc that we’re trying to get to on [No Time To Die]: he can’t stop doing that, even if he’s got a relationship, and even if he’s retired.”

Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in No Time To Die an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film (Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.)
Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in No Time To Die. (Nicola Dove 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.)

In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

The film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM), and Universal Pictures International was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Spectre, Skyfall), Fukunaga, Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Bourne Ultimatum) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve, Fleabag).

Starring Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, with Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes as “M”, No Time To Die lands in cinemas on 12 November.

Watch: Rami Malek introduces his Bond villain in new No Time To Die teaser