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James Bond UK release date – Complete guide to No Time To Die cast, plot and how to watch

Everything you need to know about Bond 25, from release date to cast, locations and plot.

James Bond no time to die

It’s here! The day we thought might never arrive is upon us, with No Time To Die finally available to watch in UK cinemas.

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Bond fans up and down the country look set to flock to cinemas this weekend to enjoy Daniel Craig’s swan song, with the popular actor stepping down from the role after 15 years as the iconic 00 agent.

And it’s definitely not just a temporary farewell, with Craig confirming at Tuesday night’s premiere that he has no plans to return to the character in a Sean Connery style comeback further down the line.

With a 2 hour 43 runtime the film really is an epic affair, full of all the action and gadgets you’d expect from a Bond film and with a real emotional edge as well – you can read our full No Time To Die review for a spoiler-free view.

Given it marks the end of Craig’s highly successful tenure, the movie was always likely to be an espionage extravaganza – and its runtime makes it the longest Bond movie ever.

The duration and Craig’s exit are far from the only notable things about No Time To Die, and franchise newcomer Lashana Lynch has teased that her character Nomi represents “one of the biggest leaps ever” for Bond.

“The franchise has taken very definite steps to reflect the world that we live in over the years and with this one, No Time To Die, they have taken I think one of the biggest leaps ever with Nomi,” she told RadioTimes.com exclusively.

“The fact that she was an idea on the page, or even just in the writing room, feels like quite a moment for a Black woman in this industry, to be able to feel confident that there are people who are pushing the needle forward when writing these scripts.”

Keep reading for everything you need to know about No Time To Die.

James Bond: No Time To Die release date

No Time To Die is in cinemas now, having finally been released on 30th September 2021 – almost 18 months after its originally slated release date.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the film was expected to arrive in cinemas on 3rd April 2020 in the UK and 8th April in the US, but in March the film’s official Twitter account released the shock news that No Time To Die would be postponed until November 2020, on account of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was then delayed once again until 2nd April 2021, and then for a third time to the 8th October 2021 – before landing on the current 30th September date.

Filming for No Time To Die eventually wrapped, funnily enough, on the day it was originally supposed to hit cinemas.

Although there’s been a big enough delay to allow time for substantial edits to the upcoming Bond film, Director Cary Joji Fukunaga said in July that he has resisted the urge to “tweak” No Time To Die during the pandemic, telling Empire that he had “mentally finished the film” before its original spring release date.

“You could just fiddle and tweak and it doesn’t necessarily get better,” he says. “For all intents and purposes, we had finished the film. I had mentally finished the film. Mentally and emotionally.”

How to watch James Bond: No Time To Die

The film is now available to watch in UK cinemas, having been released two days after premiering at the Royal Albert Hall on 28th September.

You can watch it in pretty much any major cinema throughout the UK, with the film set to dominate showtimes for the coming weeks. In total, the film will open in over 700 cinemas – so expect a busy time at the box office this week.

The film is also now available in various other territories, including large parts of Europe and South America.

But viewers in some other countries have to wait just a little bit longer, with the film set to be released on 8th October in the USA and Canada and not arriving in China until 29th October.

Unfortunately for fans in Australia, the film will now be arriving even later due to the country’s current pandemic restrictions, being delayed until 11th November Down Under.

Although many films have been released on streaming and theatrically simultaneously since the onset of the pandemic, the Bond producers were desperate for this not to be the case in this instance – and as such the film will only be available to watch in cinemas for the time being.

How long is James Bond: No Time To Die?

The film is something of an epic with a runtime of 2 hours and 43 minutes, making it the longest 007 outing in Bond history.

But star Rami Malek has urged fans not to be put off by such a long running time, explaining to Digital Spy, “People have heard that the running time is a little bit longer than most Bond films, but I’ll tell you, from start to finish it is a gut punch every second.

“I think when you get out of that theatre, you will be moved, you will be entertained, you’ll get everything you want from a Bond film, essentially. Daniel’s just done a marvellous job, [it’s] a great send-off for him.”

Interestingly, the four longest Bond films have all been released during Daniel Craig’s tenure, with the previous record being held by the most recent film Spectre, which came in at 2 hours 28 minutes, and Casino Royale coming in third and fourth respectively.

But, believe it or not, Craig’s other film, Quantum of Solace, is in fact the shortest ever 007 flick, at just 1 hour 46 minutes.

The longest non-Craig film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the one film with George Lazenby as 007 – which is 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

James Bond: No Time To Die cast

As well as Craig in his final outing as Bond, Ralph Fiennes (M), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) and Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) all reprise their roles for the new film.

The main antagonist? After months of speculation, Rami Malek was confirmed to be joining the No Time To Die cast in a live reveal in April 2019. He plays a character called Safin.

He revealed via video link that he was going to play a Bond villain, saying: “I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond doesn’t have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing.”

He later added on Good Morning America: “This is just a perfect follow-up to Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Queen biopic which saw him win his first Oscar in February 2019. “Going from one iconic Brit to an iconic British franchise.”

Malek has also revealed that he sought reassurance from director Cary Fukunaga that his character wouldn’t be portrayed as an Arabic-speaking terrorist.

B25_25403_RCSafin (Rami Malek) in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Safin (Rami Malek) in No Time To Die

“It’s a great character and I’m very excited,” he told the Mirror. “But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary. I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That’s not ­something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out’. But that was clearly not his vision. So he’s a very different kind of terrorist.”

In October 2020, Malek went into more detail on his menacing new role in an interview with GQ, which delved into the character’s dark psychological state of mind.

“When I think about Safin I think about someone who is meticulous but measured, and there is something about that that is really unnerving and unsettling,” he said. “He’s someone that at times I feel gives you the sensation that you’re being watched and that again is quite unsettling. He asks you to question what you think is right, what you think is wrong and is your interpretation of those two things as accurate as it seems to be?”

Alongside Malek are a host of famous names. Ana de Armas plays an enigmatic gun-toting character named Paloma, while Captain Marvel’s breakout star Lashana Lynch stars as a character called Nomi, who reportedly gets the code name 007 after Bond retires.

In an interview with Tech Radar, Lynch said that No Time To Die fixes the problematic depiction of female characters that James Bond films have suffered in the past.

She said: “I think with women’s current agency, [it’s] the way in which they view themselves and the way in which they portray themselves as being – with the women that I’ve been in contact with – completely authentic and completely knowing that they’re enough.

“You see that oozing through the characters in this, both the female characters that have [already] existed within the franchise, and the brand new ones like myself. You just have this whole sense of empowerment that is really important to feel when you’re going to work, but also important to show younger generations coming up.”

David Dencik plays a character named Valdo, while Billy Magnussen stars as CIA agent Logan Ash and Dali Benssalah joins the cast as a villain called Primo.

Intriguingly, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (played Christoph Waltz) returns to the Bond franchise, the villain from Spectre (and many classic Bond films prior) making a comeback in the film’s first full trailer.

B25_16764_R James Bond (Daniel Craig) visits Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in his prison cell in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) visits Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in his prison cell
MGM

James Bond: No Time To Die plot

No Time To Die has been written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on a story by Purvis, Wade and Fukunaga.

With Phoebe Waller-Bridge part of the No Time To Die writing team, the film features all the jokes you might expect from the Fleabag writer.

“There’s something about James Bond that always intrigued me in a similar way that Villanelle did,” the Killing Eve  scribe previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “They live a fantasy! But it’s a life none of us would ever want, if we’re honest. We don’t want to go put a bullet in someone’s head to sleep with people and have martinis. It’s a kind of fantasy nightmare.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Getty, SL

Waller-Bridge added: “A lot has been made of me coming on board because I’m a woman, and that’s wonderful. But also I can’t take credit for the movie that was written. It’s Cary’s movie.”

As told by director Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film kickstarts not following Bond, but Léa Seydoux’s Madeline. Viewers are plunged into a memory in which Madeline is chased by Safin (Rami Malek) across a frozen lake.

After the opening titles, the film starts with Bond living in the Caribbean, no longer working for Her Majesty’s Service.

“Bond is not on active service when we start the film, he is actually enjoying himself in Jamaica. We consider Jamaica Bond’s spiritual home. He starts his journey here,” executive producer Barbara Broccoli said.

The film’s official synopsis reads: Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.

Naomie Harris, who plays Eve Moneypenny fuelled speculation ahead of release saying that No Time To Die would be a “tie-up of Skyfall and Spectre” with plenty of shocking moments.

“[No Time To Die has] massive, massive surprises that even had me like, ‘Oh, wow!’ So I think we’re going to really shock people,” she told GQ in an interview.

She added: “We’re definitely seeing a Bond who’s more in touch with his feelings and more open to falling in love.”

Screenshot from trailer of No Time To Die (Youtube)
No Time To Die

A behind-the-scenes sneak peek from director Cary Joji Fukunaga revealed that Bond will have been in retirement for five years at the start of No Time To Die.

“Where is he? After five years of retirement, who has he become?” the director asks in the clip.

“He is sort of a wounded animal, struggling with his role as a 00. The world has changed, the rules of engagement aren’t what they used to be, the rules of espionage are darker in this era of asymmetric warfare.”

He also appears to tease the threat posed by Malek’s Safrin: “There is someone new out there, more dangerous than anyone he has ever encountered, and whoever they are is smarter and stronger than Spectre.”

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The film opens with a car chase (we wouldn’t expect anything less) with Bond accompanied by lover Madeleine Swann, the French psychologist we met in Spectre, played by Lea Seydoux. We also know from the trailer that Bond discovers a shocking secret about Madeleine early in the film.

Will this be Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007?

Since taking the reins from Pierce Brosnan as the secret agent in 2005, Craig has garnered universal praise for his portrayal as Bond in the last four films.

In August 2017 Craig confirmed he would be back playing Bond for “one last time” in the 25th film, with rumours rife that Bond may die in the closing moments.

Asked by The Late Show host Stephen Colbert if he was “done with Bond” in November 2019, Craig confirmed, “Yes – it’s done.”

Meanwhile, with Craig departing, will this be the end of the road for supporting characters such as Ben Whishaw’s Q as well?

Well, it’s too early to say, with Whishaw telling RadioTimes.com that, “I haven’t had a conversation about it – and that’s really the honest truth.”

Who will be the next James Bond?

With Daniel Craig hanging up his Walther PPK, the ongoing conversation around who’ll replace him as 007 has inevitably intensified.

According to bookmakers, the favourites include Tom Hardy, Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page and the likes of James Norton and Henry Cavill.

Broadcaster and critic James King recently told RadioTimes.com that the decision would be a difficult one for producers to make, explaining “It’s not an easy job. And I spoke to the head of casting, for example, who’s heavily involved in these decisions – this is not an easy thing that they take lightly. So the decision will be very long and complex I’m sure, which is as it should be.”

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli themselves have admitted that the series is at a “critical juncture” as Craig moves onto other projects, with pitch-perfect casting required to safeguard it for another generation of spy stories.

And Daniel Craig recently had his say on whether the next James Bond actor should potentially be a woman – telling Radio Times, “The answer to that is very simple. There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”

The rumour mill has continued to throw up a rotating roster of familiar names who’ve been linked to the role several times in the past, though in July 2020, a RadioTimes.com poll of more than 80,000 Bond fans from all across the globe saw Outlander actor Sam Heughan emerge as top contender.

Heughan – who scored almost 30 per cent of the total vote – previously played a Bond-type character in the 2018 film comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me and has admitted that playing Ian Fleming’s super spy would be “a dream role“.

The top 10 fan favourites for the next James Bond, as voted for by fans in our poll, are:

  1. Sam Heughan (30 per cent)
  2. Tom Hardy (14 per cent)
  3. Henry Cavill (11 per cent)
  4. Idris Elba (10 per cent)
  5. Tom Hiddleston (five per cent)
  6. Richard Madden (four per cent)
  7. Michael Fassbender (three per cent)
  8. Aidan Turner (three per cent)
  9. Cillian Murphy (three per cent)
  10. James Norton (three per cent)

James Bond: No Time To Die trailer

Thanks, in part, to the prolonged delay, there are several trailers for No Time To Die.

One was unveiled during the Super Bowl, suggesting that the 25th Bond film will “change everything”.

The first trailer showed the return of Bond arch-nemesis Blofeld (once again played by Christoph Waltz).

It also hinted at a dark secret being concealed by Bond’s love Madeleine Swann and introduced us to Rami Malek’s villain, known only as “Safin”.

Then there was a No Time To Die preview trailer teasing Billie Eilish’s new theme track for the film.

On 3rd September, Bond bosses unveiled another trailer full of geared-up spy vehicles (planes, cars, you name it), ominous statements, eye-popping stunts and allusions to Safin’s plan and his links to Swann.

Luxury watch company Omega, who have been partnered with the James Bond brand for nine films now, also released a short teaser.

The clip showed off some of the pieces featured in No Time To Die, as well as offering fans a few all-new shots to chew over.

And then on 31st August 2021, the final trailer was released for the new film, featuring some of the same scenes but also some brand new footage, including more of the previously teased encounter between old nemeses Bond and Blofeld.

At the same time, a new US trailer was also released with some slightly different new footage – including a look back at some of the double-0 agent’s previous adventures and a few new clues as to Safin’s plot. Check it out below.

Fans were also offered the chance to watch a free documentary ahead of the film’s release, with a 45-minute film titled Being James Bond seeing Craig reflect on his 15 years as the world’s most iconic double-0 agent.

The documentary is available to stream for free on the Apple TV app and sees Craig share his personal memories in conversation with 007 producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, in addition to previously unseen archival footage.

And you can also check out a two-minute clip that details Bond’s long-running collaboration with Aston Martin – showcasing some of the best cars the character has driven across 60 years.

James Bond: No Time To Die theme song

Billie Eilish writes and performs No Time To Die, the title track, making her the youngest artist ever to perform a 007 number – she co-wrote the song with her brother, singer/songwriter Finneas.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” Eilish said. “To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honour. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”

No Time To Die producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, meanwhile, have described the song as “incredibly powerful and moving”, adding that it has been “impeccably crafted to work within the emotional story of the film”.

You can watch the moody music video for the track – which premiered on the 1st October 2020, some seven-and-a-half months after the track first debuted in March – below.

Alongside black-and-white shots of Eilish performing the song, we get to see glimpses of Bond and Madeleine’s love affair and subsequent split, with her departing on a train following a dramatic chase in 007’s Aston Martin. There’s also an intriguing snippet which shows Madeleine burning a mystery piece of paper while a stony-faced Bond looks on.

Oscar winner Hans Zimmer provides the score for No Time To Die, replacing original composer Dan Romer who left the project in December 2019.

Speaking to Variety, Zimmer revealed that he would be bringing guitars back to the score – a decision he reached after a conversation with The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr.

He said, “I’ve known Barbara Broccoli for a long time, and we’re friends. I never thought we would work together on something like that, so it was surprising just to get the call.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. So I phoned Johnny Marr and I said, ‘I have two questions to ask you. First question is: what’s the only guitar part worth playing in a movie?’ And he said, ‘The Bond part’.

“And I said, ‘Yeah right. Second question: Do you think I should do the movie and would you play the guitar part?’ So that sort of settled that. Johnny was right.”

James Bond: No Time To Die ending

The producers took no chances with No Time To Die plot leaks, with some reports suggesting Fukunaga had shot three different endings to the film.

Meanwhile, director Fukunaga has said that an “infinite number of possibilities” were explored when deciding how to end Craig’s spell as the spy, explaining that there was a very lengthy discussion process.

“There was this table in Michael’s office in EON in Piccadilly – this round table that looks like a Napoleonic era campaign table – and I spent hours sitting around that table with Michael and Barbara and Daniel and sometimes the different writers that were working on the project, just discussing the plot, the story points, the characters,” he said.

“It was actually really fascinating and I think one of the things I took away from it is how difficult it is to make these films, [and] tell these stories.”

What cars are there in James Bond: No Time To Die?

Bond’s car in the new film will be… the Aston Martin Valhalla. The hybrid car is capable of going from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds, and is powered by a specially-developed turbocharged V6 petrol engine.

The Valhalla – which replaces the model used in Spectre – is priced at £1.5 million, and follows in the tradition of Aston Martin naming its cars with the letter ‘V’, this time drawing on Norse mythology.

“Aston Martin model names always attract a lot of attention,” explained Aston boss Andy Palmer. “They do so because they invariably capture an emotion or tell a story.

Read more about James Bond:

“Norse mythology contains such powerful language and rich storytelling it felt only right that the AM-RB 003 (as it was formerly named) should follow the Valkyrie’s theme.”

The classic Aston Martin DB5 – first featured in 1964’s Goldfinger and reintroduced for the Daniel Craig era in 2006’s Casino Royale – also plays a part in the film.

A new guide to the classic James Bond car, the Aston Martin Db5, is set for release on 14th April, 2010, but you can pre-order it already.

Plus, another old favourite makes an appearance, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Eagle-eyed Bond impresarios have already clocked the number plate: they have seen it before in 1987 Bond film The Living Daylights, in which Timothy Dalton played 007.

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Behind the scenes of James Bond: No Time To Die

The team released a snazzy behind the scenes look at No Time To Die. Take a look at Fukunaga and Craig in action on set below.

An official picture from No Time To Die, featuring a bloodied Bond, was also released in early November 2019.

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James Bond: No Time To Die filming locations

The film was shot in Jamaica, Matera in Italy, London and Norway, where early scenes were filmed by a frozen lake. The James Bond Twitter account shared a few photos from Italy.

The 007 Instagram account teased fans in July 2020 by posting a picture of Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Ralph Fiennes) having a tense conversation by Hammersmith Bridge in London – a scene filmed a year ago.

James Bond: No Time To Die posters

A poster arrived for the film in early 2020, teasing its original release date, which would ultimately be scrapped due to the coronavirus lockdown.

No Time to Die – James Bond poster
MGM

In September, another poster was unveiled to drum up excitement for the film’s release in November, with Daniel Craig in another classic Bond pose.

James Bond, No Time To Die Poster
MGM

How did Daniel Craig injure himself during filming?

During an action shoot on set in Jamaica, Daniel Craig slipped while sprinting, sustaining an injury to his ankle.

The production team confirmed on Twitter in May 2019 that the 007 actor would be out of action for two weeks as he underwent “minor surgery”.

However, the tweet added that the film should still be on course for its April 2020 release date.

Just a few weeks later, in June 2019, an explosion caused a minor injury to a crew member, and destroyed some of the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

But by mid-June, things looked back on track when the official Bond Twitter page shared a photo of Craig hitting the gym in preparation to restart shooting.

Actress Naomie Harris told Entertainment Weekly: “He’s such a trooper and such a strong guy that I think even if he was still in pain, he would just chug along and make sure that we complete it on schedule.”

And by the end of the month, the official James Bond Twitter account had shared a picture and video of the star filming with an Aston Martin V8 in Whitehall, London.

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No Time To Die will be released in the UK on 30th September 2021. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Movies hub for the latest news.