Daniel Craig As James Bond Is Back In The Terrific First Trailer For ‘No Time To Die’

No Time to Die

No Time To Die

Universal

Well, that was worth the wait. MGM and Universal just dropped what is frankly a terrific teaser trailer for No Time to Die, the 25th official James Bond movie. The movie looks gorgeous, excessive in scale, rooted in character over spectacle and seemingly up to the task of using the cards Spectre dealt it to its advantage. Christoph Waltz is back as Blofeld, even if his prison cell monologue amusingly reminded me of similar grim predictions for Ethan Hunt in the last Mission: Impossible movie. Anyway, this is, by default, the best James Bond preview since the second Skyfall trailer back in August of 2012, and a rousing declaration that the franchise still matters in a time when Marvel, Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible rule the blockbuster world.

The odd thing about the Spectre ad campaign was that it didn’t have much to sell. Putting aside my issues with the movie, the first teaser trailer was a pretty courageous action-free preview, offering merely the idea that Daniel Craig’s James Bond was back and that the movie would A) pick up from the tragic finale of Skyfall and B) insert the fabled “Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion” treehouse into the rebooted Daniel Craig-as-Bond continuity. But even the second trailer, which debuted just in time for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (a movie that would end up containing some surface-level plot similarities with the 007 flick), offered little beyond the mere idea of another James Bond flick going through the James Bond motions.

The marketing was accurate, as the finished product offered little beyond surface-level 007 tropes (high production values, big-budget action, exotic locales and various attractive women). The only mark of distinction, aside from implicit references to every prior 007 movie, was only a singular plot twist that A) everyone and their sister guessed years earlier and B) was made even dumber by additional information (Christoph Waltz IS Blofeld and Blofeld IS is actually James Bond’s brother-by-adoption). Now, to be fair, folks go to James Bond movies because they want a James Bond movie, and as such Spectre became a classic example of how even bad reviews can help a movie as long as they assure audiences that the movie still contains that which they came to see.

Cue a $200 million domestic/$881 million worldwide cume. Four years later, we’ve got Daniel Craig’s fifth and final 007 movie and a first trailer for Cary Fukunaga and (among others) Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s No Time to Die. The motif for this trailer is essentially “Okay, here’s what else we got!” The No Time to Die trailer offers James Bond in retirement mode, actually making a life with the last film’s (Lea Seydoux) love interest. We’ve got Lashana Lynch as Bond’s replacement as 007, in what is a pretty clever “have your cake and eat it too” plot choice. We’ve got Oscar winner Remi Malek as the bad guy, Jeffrey Wright back as Felix Leiter for the first time since Quantum of Solace and “mystery box” plot threads alongside the action beats.

The overall crux of this pitch, presumably the first of two main theatrical trailers, as the second will probably line up with Super Bowl Sunday (February 2) and the theatrical release of Birds of Prey (February 7), is making the case that “Yes, James Bond is still relevant in an MCU/Fast and Furious/Mission: Impossible world!” It’s not the first time the 007 series has had something to prove. Hell, they seem to flourish when their back is against the wall, be it a new actor (GoldenEye), a reboot (Casino Royale) or a recovery from a poorly received prior installment (from The Man With the Golden Gun to The Spy Who Loved Me). And the nature of this franchise allows for a clean slate every time.

In terms of offering evidence that No Time to Die is a “big event movie” in a world where big event movies are giants among giants, this fun, zippy and colorful trailer makes the sell. The action is solid, the cast looks like they are having fun (Ana de Armas is having a moment, isn’t she?) and the entire pitch is entirely confident in their ability to deliver the top-tier goods even in a world where Fast & Furious is bigger and (all due respect) Mission: Impossible is better. I wrote when it was announced as such that the title was a declaration that the 007 series was still “alive and well” despite the long absence and changing world. This trailer is Exhibit B.

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Well, that was worth the wait. MGM and Universal just dropped what is frankly a terrific teaser trailer for No Time to Die, the 25th official James Bond movie. The movie looks gorgeous, excessive in scale, rooted in character over spectacle and seemingly up to the task of using the cards Spectre dealt it to its advantage. Christoph Waltz is back as Blofeld, even if his prison cell monologue amusingly reminded me of similar grim predictions for Ethan Hunt in the last Mission: Impossible movie. Anyway, this is, by default, the best James Bond preview since the second Skyfall trailer back in August of 2012, and a rousing declaration that the franchise still matters in a time when Marvel, Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible rule the blockbuster world.

The odd thing about the Spectre ad campaign was that it didn’t have much to sell. Putting aside my issues with the movie, the first teaser trailer was a pretty courageous action-free preview, offering merely the idea that Daniel Craig’s James Bond was back and that the movie would A) pick up from the tragic finale of Skyfall and B) insert the fabled “Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion” treehouse into the rebooted Daniel Craig-as-Bond continuity. But even the second trailer, which debuted just in time for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (a movie that would end up containing some surface-level plot similarities with the 007 flick), offered little beyond the mere idea of another James Bond flick going through the James Bond motions.

The marketing was accurate, as the finished product offered little beyond surface-level 007 tropes (high production values, big-budget action, exotic locales and various attractive women). The only mark of distinction, aside from implicit references to every prior 007 movie, was only a singular plot twist that A) everyone and their sister guessed years earlier and B) was made even dumber by additional information (Christoph Waltz IS Blofeld and Blofeld IS is actually James Bond’s brother-by-adoption). Now, to be fair, folks go to James Bond movies because they want a James Bond movie, and as such Spectre became a classic example of how even bad reviews can help a movie as long as they assure audiences that the movie still contains that which they came to see.

Cue a $200 million domestic/$881 million worldwide cume. Four years later, we’ve got Daniel Craig’s fifth and final 007 movie and a first trailer for Cary Fukunaga and (among others) Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s No Time to Die. The motif for this trailer is essentially “Okay, here’s what else we got!” The No Time to Die trailer offers James Bond in retirement mode, actually making a life with the last film’s (Lea Seydoux) love interest. We’ve got Lashana Lynch as Bond’s replacement as 007, in what is a pretty clever “have your cake and eat it too” plot choice. We’ve got Oscar winner Remi Malek as the bad guy, Jeffrey Wright back as Felix Leiter for the first time since Quantum of Solace and “mystery box” plot threads alongside the action beats.

The overall crux of this pitch, presumably the first of two main theatrical trailers, as the second will probably line up with Super Bowl Sunday (February 2) and the theatrical release of Birds of Prey (February 7), is making the case that “Yes, James Bond is still relevant in an MCU/Fast and Furious/Mission: Impossible world!” It’s not the first time the 007 series has had something to prove. Hell, they seem to flourish when their back is against the wall, be it a new actor (GoldenEye), a reboot (Casino Royale) or a recovery from a poorly received prior installment (from The Man With the Golden Gun to The Spy Who Loved Me). And the nature of this franchise allows for a clean slate every time.

In terms of offering evidence that No Time to Die is a “big event movie” in a world where big event movies are giants among giants, this fun, zippy and colorful trailer makes the sell. The action is solid, the cast looks like they are having fun (Ana de Armas is having a moment, isn’t she?) and the entire pitch is entirely confident in their ability to deliver the top-tier goods even in a world where Fast & Furious is bigger and (all due respect) Mission: Impossible is better. I wrote when it was announced as such that the title was a declaration that the 007 series was still “alive and well” despite the long absence and changing world. This trailer is Exhibit B.

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I've studied the film industry, both academically and informally, and with an emphasis in box office analysis, for nearly 30 years. I have extensively written about all

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