Bond 25 is officially called No Time To Die, but does this title harbor a connection to 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service? Progress on the 25th James Bond movie is now well underway, but the early stages of production presented a series of troublesome challenges. Daniel Craig had to be tempted back after previously claiming he'd rather "slash his wrists" than play the character again, original director, Danny Boyle, departed the project due to creative differences and several on-set injuries have delayed the filming process. Still, at least they've decided on a name. With many Bond fans feeling that the latest film would've benefited from a new lead actor, No Time To Die is set to be the most divisive entry since On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969.
After original Bond actor, the legendary Sean Connery, stepped away from the 007 role, an Australian model by the name of George Lazenby was cast as a replacement. Perhaps due to his lack of acting experience, Lazenby was lambasted in reviews following On Her Majesty's Secret Service's theatrical release, and some critics believed the film had killed the franchise altogether. In more recent years, however, attitudes towards the first Connery-free Bond adventure have changed. The general consensus on George Lazenby's performance has softened, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service has been widely praised for its story, character development and action sequences.
Since the No Time To Die title was revealed, James Bond fans have been probing the phrase for meaning and one potential link can be found to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The 1969 movie sees Bond fall in love with Tracy, a woman later revealed to be the daughter of an international criminal, and he finally decides to settle down and tie the knot by the end of the film. In a tragic twist, however, Tracy is killed by an attack from Blofeld just before the end credits. Cradling his new wife as she dies, a vulnerable Bond gently says "there's no hurry you see, we have all the time in the world."
While this alone doesn't feel like a solid link between the franchise's past and present, the presence of Léa Seydoux's character in No Time To Die makes for an interesting parallel. Generally speaking, Bond's love interests don't last longer than one film, or indeed one night. On Her Majesty's Secret Service bucked this trend by having Bond finally marry. In a similar way, 2015's Spectre introduced Seydoux's Madeleine Swann, who rides off into the sunset with 007 to close out the film. Swann's return in No Time To Die confirms that their love story will continue, marking one of the rare occasions where Bond has a genuine long-term romantic interest.
In this context, the potential callback to Tracy's death in the No Time To Die title takes on a more sinister meaning, suggesting that, once again, Bond will find himself deprived of the woman he loves. With that said, No Time To Die is confirmed to be offering a more rounded representation of women following the #MeToo and Time's Up movements and the film has hired a female writer (Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge) for the first time since From Russia With Love. For this reason, the gender roles in the final scene of On Her Majesty's Secret Service could be reversed on this occasion, with Bond dying in the arms of Madeleine Swann. This possibility also ties into the widespread reports that Lashana Lynch is portraying a new 007, and would confirm the long-held theory that "James Bond" is merely a code name, rather than a single man.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020