The 25th James Bond film, No Time to Die, is the most expensive Bond movie ever made. Daniel Craig is playing the James Bond character for a fifth and final time in the upcoming sequel. His previous four appearances include Casino Royale (which opened in 2006), Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and most recently Spectre.
No Time to Die was originally going to be directed by Danny Boyle, before the Oscar-winner stepped down over creative differences. He was replaced by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), who is calling the shots from a script credited to franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, along with Scott Z. Burns (The Report) and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Production got officially underway back in the spring and only just wrapped at the end of October, ahead of the film's scheduled release in April 2020.
THR reports that No Time to Die cost $250 million to make, which breaks the previous record for most expensive Bond film set by Spectre (which cost $245 million). The Daniel Craig Bond films have only gotten more expensive since Casino Royale, which itself cost $150 million to produce. Quantum of Solace and Skyfall were budgeted at $200 million apiece before the price tag rose for Spectre, with some estimates pegging its budget at closer to $300 million. The latter's high cost has typically been attributed to its massive practical stunts and set pieces, including a filmed explosion that set a Guinness World Record.
With Craig demanding a larger payday than ever for playing Bond and No Time to Die angling to give his time on the franchise a proper send-off, it's no surprise to learn the film's budget has ballooned as high as it has. Even at $250 million, however, No Time to Die won't crack the top 10 most expensive movies ever produced. It's also a far cry from the hefty price tags for recent blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame ($356 million) and Solo: A Star Wars Story ($275 million), although the latter only cost as much as it did because a good portion of the movie was reshot by Ron Howard after original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left mid-filming.
Skyfall and Spectre grossed $1.1 billion and $880 million at the global box office (respectively), so there's little reason to believe No Time to Die will fail to recoup its budget at the end of the day. The fact that Craig is retiring as Bond after the film makes it all the more of a must-see for audiences. Bond movies are very much blockbuster events that tend to play best on the biggest screen available, which will be additional incentive for everyone to turn out in theaters and see what Fukunaga has done with his $250 million budget. And with early reports saying the film's producers are especially happy with Waller-Bridge's writing (so much that they want her back for Bond 26), No Time to Die should offer a compelling story to go with its spectacle.
- No Time to Die/James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020