Warning: This article contains spoilers for No Time to Die. If you’ve yet to watch Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie, then turn away now!
No Time to Die sees Daniel Craig’s James Bond take on Rami Malek’s villain Safin, a scientist born into a family of chemists who supply poisons to the criminal group Spectre – so it checks out that one of its key scenes has 007 square off against the baddie in a courtyard full of toxic plants.
According to screenwriters, though, said sequence was originally going to be used in the Pierce Brosnan-fronted Die Another Day way back in 2002.
Talking about how the moment was inspired by Blofeld’s Japanese island known as “Garden of Death” from Ian Fleming’s novel You Only Live Twice, scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have co-written every Bond flick since 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, explained: “[It’s] that thing of always using Ian Fleming as a touchstone – we really wanted to get that in there and we did literally write it into several scripts.”
“It was in Die Another Day at one point,” confirmed Purvis, from the BFI’s ‘In Conversation: 60 years of James Bond’ event (via RadioTimes (opens in new tab)). “We always wanted to use it but what was good about this [No Time to Die] is this is actually about poisons, so it was relevant.”
During the chat, Wade also weighed in on No Time to Die’s shock ending, which sees Bond – injected with a nanobot that would make his touch fatal to Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and their daughter, Mathilde – essentially sacrifice himself to stop Safin from infecting the world. After shooting Safin dead, 007 realizes he won’t be able to make it out of his enemy’s HQ before a missile strike from HMS Dragon obliterates the island, and calls Madeline to say goodbye.
“We’ve been very aware of Bond as a naval person – Commander Bond – and the idea that the Navy kills James Bond is kind of an interesting way for it all to end,” Wade explained.