The helmer told Deadline’s Contender London that it was a “major, major relief that it didn’t end up on a streaming platform and that audiences are showing up”.
The film has already opened to $113M overseas following its world premiere on September 28 at London’s Royal Albert Hall and its North American rollout, which began Thursday night, has already clocked $6.3M – making it the best Bond domestic preview number ever.
“The numbers are really exciting,” he said.
This comes as it emerged last year that MGM explored selling the film, which was delayed four times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, to streamers such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix or launching it via PVOD.
No Time to Die marks Craig’s his fifth and final turn as Agent 007. After retiring from active service and heading to Jamaica, Bond receives a letter from an old friend at the CIA requesting his help finding a missing person. A simple search turns into the most dangerous mission the superspy has faced, with a mysterious new villain in Lyutsifer Safin (Malek). The cast also includes Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Winshaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Billy Magnussen and Christoph Waltz.
Joji Fukunaga also poured more fuel on the fire for those calling for a Lashana Lynch-led spinoff. Lynch plays Nomi, who becomes the new 007 agent alongside Daniel Craig’s retired 007. “You could do a spinoff with her,” he said. “If there’s any pride in it, the collaborative effort, creating something that has more than one facet.”
He admitted that concluding Craig’s tenure was a challenge. “Endings are harder than beginnings,” he added. “Hopefully we did something special here.”
He said that he wanted to “ratchet up” the vulnerability of Craig’s Bond for his final turn. “It’s been 15 years since Casino Royale. At a certain point, we had to tone down the amount of old man jokes. He was keen to take jabs.”
Check out the panel video above.
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