Ahead of the release of No Time to Die, audiences knew that it would be Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond, yet fans hadn't entirely expected its finale to feature such a definitive ending for the character. The film was directed by Cary Fukunaga, who recently pointed out that he gave audiences a bit of a clue that Bond would be joining his beloved Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) by the time the film concluded, thanks to a subtle nod in the film's opening sequence. There are currently no confirmed plans for when audiences can expect a new James Bond film.
WARNING: Spoilers below for No Time to Die
Craig's Bond debuted in Casino Royale and fell in love with Vesper, though she died before that film's conclusion. Despite Bond being known as a bit of a lothario, subsequent films saw him harboring the love he lost, despite going on to form other connections. The opening scenes of No Time to Die featured Bond visiting Vesper's grave, which featured carvings of two skeletons holding a banner with a Latin phrase that teased Bond would also be dead by the end of the adventure.
"There's even a really important Easter egg on that tomb Bond visits in Matera," Fukunaga confirmed with Variety. "Over Vesper's grave -- we never make a big deal of it, there's no focus on it, but for anyone who goes back -- two skeletons are holding up a banner carved in stone. It's a Latin phrase that Mark and I had seen on the main basilica where the bridge is located. The phrase says, 'What you are I once was, and what I am, he will become.' So it was written in the beginning."
After all of the adventures James Bond has had over the years, this installment marked the first time the character actually died. Fukunaga previously detailed the challenges of giving the character an authentic sendoff that avoided the implication that he could have somehow survived the film's finale.
"I wasn't trying to be obtuse with it," the filmmaker noted to Empire Magazine. "I wanted to be clear with it. But I wanted it to be tasteful. We didn't want that shot in Terminator 2 where you see Sarah Connor turning into bones. But we wanted to show that he wasn't going to jump down a sewer at the last second. So that wider shot of the island being pummelled was a mixture of macro and micro. The full effect is, 'Yes, he's gone, but he succeeded in making sure none of that weapons would go on into the future.'"
Stay tuned for details on the future of the James Bond franchise.
Did you catch this reference in the film's opening? Let us know in the comments below!