Cary Fukunaga Had to Direct ‘No Time to Die’ Scene Without Knowing How It Fit Into the Story

"Somehow it all fit together," Fukunaga said.
"No Time to Die"
"No Time to Die"

Cary Fukunaga told Esquire Middle East that he swore never to film a project while it was still being written after his experience on Netflix’s “Maniac,” but that promise didn’t last long. “With Bond, we were still writing when we’d wrapped,” the director said. “I was even writing in post!” The filmmaker behind the upcoming 007 tentpole “No Time to Die” was forced to direct scenes without any idea of how they would factor into the larger plot following Daniel Craig’s set injury. The Bond actor hurt his ankle and couldn’t film, but the production did not stop. Instead, Fukunaga had to pivot to scenes without Bond even though he was clueless how they fit into the movie.

“The only set which was really ready to go was M’s office in MI6,” Fukunaga said. “I knew more or less in the outline that I made what I wanted to have happen in that section, but none of the body of the script had been written yet. Luckily, I was sitting there with some of the greatest actors in the world.”

The scene being discussed here featured Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Rory Kinnear. As Fukunaga explained, “I was writing dialogue that was intentional enough, but vague enough, that I could apply it to a number of different things happening in the third act. It was almost like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novel writing these pages: ‘If this happened here, and you have to go here, then this page will work for that.’”

Fukunaga continued, “When we finally put the film together, it all made sense, somehow all fit together. But I’ll tell you a secret, that I think is okay now that we’re so close to release, there are pieces that Ralph Fiennes says in the trailer that neither Ralph nor I knew exactly what he was saying it for.”

“No Time to Die” doesn’t open in U.S. theaters until October 8, but the film has already started rolling out overseas. IndieWire chief film critic David Ehrlich called the latest 007 film “the most emotional Bond movie ever made” in his B review.

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