Ed Sheeran almost changed the shape of the James Bond franchise.
The “Shape of You” Grammy winner revealed he was initially hired to sing the “No Time to Die” theme song for Daniel Craig’s final turn as the famed MI6 agent. Sheeran confirmed during “That Peter Crouch Podcast” that he had begun writing the ballad before Billie Eilish took over amid production moving in a different direction.
“I was within a fucking gnat’s pube of doing one,” Sheeran said. “They changed directors, and then they just changed scripts, and that was it. But we had done all the meetings. I had started writing it.”
Eilish went on to win an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy for “No Time to Die,” co-written with her brother Finneas O’Connell. Sheeran added that it is still his dream to do a Bond theme song someday.
“You’ve got to — eventually, as an English singer — want to do a Bond song,” Sheeran said. “I’m not going pretend it didn’t hurt not doing it. If they come back, I’ll be like, ‘Yeah yeah, of course.'”
Danny Boyle was linked to “No Time to Die” after signing on to the project in 2018 alongside longtime screenwriting partner John Hodge.
While promoting Amazon’s Prime Video documentary “Sound of 007,” longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli recalled Amy Winehouse being attached to sing the “Quantum of Solace” theme song in 2008, three years before Winehouse’s fatal overdose.
“Well, that was a very, very distressing meeting, she was not at her best, and my heart really went out to her,” Broccoli told Entertainment Weekly of discussing the role with Winehouse. “She was very fragile emotionally and, you know, you understood how she could create such moving material, because she has a great depth of feeling and it was very, very tragic.”
Broccoli added, “What an incredible talent, what an incredible voice, what an incredible person she was and it was very, very sad.”
The “Quantum of Solace” theme song, “Another Way to Die,” was recorded by Jack White and Alicia Keys instead.
There is no word yet which recording artist will be crooning on the upcoming Bond installment, the first sans Daniel Craig since his debut in 2006. Producer Broccoli stated that the incoming Bond, rumored to be Regé-Jean Page, cannot be “some kid out of high school” for the franchise reboot.