Warning: SPOILERS for No Time To Die.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) died at the end of No Time to Die but there were a few other instances across the franchise when 007 also ‘died’ in different ways. With No Time to Die, Daniel Craig has completed the fifth and final film in his incredibly popular and successful career as James Bond. Craig’s 007 exists in a separate universe and his film cycle, from Casino Royale for No Time to Dietells a complete, serialized story that ends with the noble death of the British secret agent.
Prior to Daniel Craig’s reinvention of 007, James Bond’s invincibility was built into the character. Bond always wins in the end, no matter what kind of death trap the megalomaniacal villains he faces may conjure. In the original James Bond film continuity, stretching from Sean Connery in 1962 Dr. No for Pierce Brosnan in 2002 die another day, 007 was never beaten and he certainly never died. And yet, in some of the Bond films, circumstances were invented where James Bond was presumed dead or his death was faked as part of a British Secret Service scheme. Interestingly, the idea of 007 dying came early in the franchise and was a recurring theme throughout Sean Connery’s career as James Bond. The original James Bond actor had a love/hate relationship with the role that made him a global superstar and Connery’s films have had more instances of James Bond ‘dying’ than any other actor, which felt like catharsis for Connery. until he finally left. the role after 1971 Diamonds are forever.
After Roger Moore took over the role, followed by Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, James Bond was not put in a circumstance again where he would have died for most of the 1970s until the end of Brosnan’s run in the early 2000s. Of course, that changed when Daniel Craig rebooted James Bond to be more flawed and more human from the 2006 origin story, Casino Royale. Craig’s 007 was a marked departure from its predecessors in many ways, and his changes in secret agent culminated in the death of James Bond in No Time to Die. While 007 didn’t really ‘died’ in the original James Bond canon like Craig’s, here are all the times Bond movies ‘killed’ o07 and why.
From Russia with Love (1963)
From Russia with love it literally begins with the ‘death’ of James Bond and was the first depiction of 007 dying on screen, although it was soon revealed to be a hoax. From Russia with love begins with 007 and one of the movie’s villains, Red Grant (Robert Shaw), hunting each other through a maze. Grant manages to knock Bond and the garrote to death, but the British secret agent is quickly revealed to be an imposter when Grant removes his victim’s James Bond mask. The entire scenario was a training exercise on SPECTER Island and was Grant’s successful ‘audition’ for the job of assassinating James Bond as SPECTER’s revenge for the death of Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). Sean Connery played the fake James Bond in the scene until he was killed by Grant.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
You only Live TwiceThe title literally alludes to how James Bond is ‘killed’ at the beginning of the film, when 007 is in Hong Kong making love to a woman who immediately betrays him. Bond is thrown into a trap where the bed he is lying on bounces into a wall as men with machine guns burst into the room. Bond is stuck in the wall while being ‘killed’ by the machine gun. James’ death is publicized with a front-page obituary in the newspaper before 007 is buried at sea. But Bond’s corpse is recovered by MI6 and he is alive and well.
Bond’s ‘death’ was just a ruse to trick his enemies so that 007 could begin his mission in Japan investigating the disappearance of space capsules. It is notable that James Bond is identified as the British Naval Commander in his obituary, which makes sense as MI6 would not release him as a Double-0 agent with a license to kill. But You only Live Twice it was the first instance acknowledging that James Bond is ‘famous’, as opposed to a secret agent whose identity is closely guarded.
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Diamonds are foreverthe sixth and final canonical appearance of Sean Connery as James Bond (before playing 007 once more in 1983 Never Say Never Again) featured more jokes about 007 ‘dying’. In search of a contraband diamond ring, Bond poses as Peter Franks (Joe Robinson) and makes contact with his supplier, Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). When the real Franks arrives, Bond has to fight and kill him, but he also puts his wallet in Franks’ pocket to maintain his cover. After Tiffany searches for the dead man’s ID, she gasps, “You just killed James Bond!” 007 retorts, “Is it who it was? It just goes to show that no one is invincible.” This joke also continues the idea that James Bond is a famous spy. later on Diamonds are forever, there’s another inside joke about James Bond’s death when 007 is placed in a coffin and sent to a cremation oven, which he survives.
Die Another Day (2002)
Although James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) does not die in die another day, he is rejected and left for dead by MI6 at the beginning of the film. 007 is captured by the North Korean army and imprisoned for fourteen months before Bond is released as part of a prisoner exchange. Although Bond was alive, he was tortured and abused in prison by North Korean soldiers. Bond was unable to escape while M (Judi Dench) and MI6 believed 007 leaked information under duress. Bond’s arrest by the North Koreans could have led to his death had he not been released, and the title die another day alludes to how Bond was lucky enough to escape certain death. Still, the arrest in North Korea was the worst situation James Bond faced in any of Pierce Brosnan’s 007 films.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is ‘killed’ by friendly fire at the beginning of Sky fall. During a mission in Turkey, M (Judi Dench) orders Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) to shoot Bond as he fights an enemy agent, despite Moneypenny not having a straight shot. Moneypenny misses the villain and hits Bond, who falls from the roof of a train into the river below. The title is released as “missing and presumably dead.” Although James survived, he lived off the grid for three months while he healed and Bond considered himself retired from MI6. 007 only returned to London when he learned of Silva’s (Javier Bardem) cyberattacks, but Bond was also a shell of himself physically since his ‘death’ and failed his initial exams to return to active duty.
No Time to Die (2021)
Inside No Time to Die, James Bond finally died. Bond and Nomi (Lashana Lynch) infiltrated the secret island headquarters of Safin (Rami Malek), who planned to use a nanobot bioweapon called Project Heracles to kill millions. Bond ordered missiles to destroy the island, but before 007 could escape, Safin shot Bond and injected him with a virus specifically targeting the DNA of Bond’s lover, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), and her four-year-old daughter Mathilde. (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet). Bond chose to remain on the island, as it was annihilated by missiles, rather than escape and risk infecting Madeleine and Mathilde, which would cause their immediate death. The first and only time 007 actually died on screen, James Bond sacrificed his life to protect the woman he loved and his only child at the end of No Time to Die.