Is James Bond about to die? What the new 007 title might mean

The superspy’s 25th outing is called No Time to Die, which brings up a number of theories

It has been a long road to get to the title of Bond 25. For a while the film was variously rumoured to be Eclipse (too generic), A Reason to Die (too much like low-hanging fruit for bored critics) and Shatterhand (too much like a worryingly graphic description of someone trying to manually catch their own diarrhoea). But now, finally, the truth is out. The next James Bond film will officially be called No Time to Die.

But what does this mean? What layers of intrigue are buried between those four short words? Let’s explore some No Time to Die theories.

Theory one: the Spectre connection

The title No Time to Die references two key scenes from 2015’s Spectre. In the first, Bond tells Blofeld, “I came here to kill you,” and Blofeld replies, “And I thought you came here to die.” In the second, Bond says, “Doesn’t time fly?” and then throws an exploding watch at Blofeld. The callbacks to these two scenes suggest a couple of things. First, No Time to Die will resume the intense to-the-death rivalry between Bond and his archenemy, Blofeld. Second, it will be full of puns so extraordinarily hopeless that just hearing them will feel like being stabbed in the kidneys by Hitler in hell.

Theory two: the death of James Bond

The word die hangs over the new title like an axe, especially when you consider the reason for Danny Boyle departing the film a year ago. He wanted Bond to die at the end, completing Daniel Craig's cycle, remember? And now there's this. Perhaps Bond really will die in No Time to Die. You know, just like he did in Live and Let Die, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day.


Theory three: there’s a letter missing somewhere

No Time to Die is a relatively bland title – it sounds like a 007 video game made on an especially tight deadline – which leads me to believe that there must have been a typo. After all, wouldn’t you rather watch No Time to Dine, in which Bond is perpetually thwarted in his efforts to go out for a curry? Or No Time to Diet, in which Bond keeps rationalising his steady yet avoidable weight gain? Or, screw it, what about No Tie to Dye, a film that’s exclusively about Bond’s struggles to start his own business making and selling a range of obnoxiously coloured hand-printed T-shirts? You’d watch that, right? I’d totally watch that.

Theory four: James Bond is very busy

We’ve had lots of focus on the “die” part of No Time to Die, but not so much on the “time” part. This feels like an oversight. Maybe this film is about all the demands that Bond constantly feels he has to face – all the emails he has to reply to, all the errands he has to run, that sort of thing. Maybe it’s about Bond feeling like he has no time to squeeze any more obligations into his impossibly busy life, even dying. Maybe – and bear with me here – No Time to Die is actually a mature and sensitive exploration of the causes and symptoms of millennial burnout. Maybe the whole third act just revolves around Bond really getting into mindfulness apps.

Theory five: James Bond is a toddler now

I have a two-year-old son. Let me tell you from painful experience that this title follows the exact cadence of a tired and hungry toddler. If I tell him, “Time to brush our teeth,” he’ll reply, “No time to brush our teeth.” If I tell him, “Time to tidy up,” he’ll reply, “No time to tidy up.” If I tell him, “Time to eat your vegetables,” he’ll reply, “No time to eat vegetables, vegetables stinky yuck.” So logic dictates that in No Time to Die, Craig will waddle around in a nappy angrily bickering with an authority figure who has just told him that it’s time to die. If this isn’t the case, I’ll eat my hat. – Guardian