No Time To Die brings Daniel Craig’s James Bond era to a close, but there are plenty of Easter eggs, references and nods to other 007s along the way.
Caution: spoilers ahead for No Time To Die
No Time To Die sees Daniel Craig bid farewell to James Bond in a hail of bullets, bloodshed, and Bond Easter eggs – here are the ones we found. Following a lengthy delay, No Time To Die finally premiered in Fall 2021 as one last revolutionary gambit of the modern era. Beginning with Casino Royale in 2006, Daniel Craig has helped remold a Bond formula that was looking decidedly tired in the wake of Pierce Brosnan’s departure, turning the storied James Bond movie franchise into a sleeker, harder-hitting beast that feels historic, rather than prehistoric.
No Time To Die continues that crusade of change, making several bold creative calls never seen previously on the big screen. Despite No Time To Die’s ongoing drive to shove James Bond into the future, however, Cary Fukunaga (director/writer), Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (writers) make plenty of time to honor 007’s past.
Throughout Daniel Craig’s final chapter, there are numerous references to the current Bond’s prior entries, as well as homages reaching further back. From iconic songs getting a reprisal and déjà vu dialogue to wayward desk ornaments and familiar vehicles, No Time To Die’s Easter egg hunt extends across the entire James Bond spectrum.
No Time To Die’s Gun Barrel Sequence Has No Blood
In true James Bond tradition, No Time To Die begins with the classic gun barrel sequence… almost. Daniel Craig’s Bond turns and shoots toward the audience as usual, but where a trickle of blood should roll down the screen, that familiar trail of red is conspicuous by its absence. In place since 1962’s Dr. No, the lack of blood is strange indeed, especially in the violent modern era, but the meaning becomes clear some 2-and-a-half hours later when James Bond realizes he does have time to die after all. No Time To Die’s blood-free opening is an early sign that 007 doesn’t win this fight.
Mr. White’s SPECTRE Ring In No Time To Die
No Time To Die’s introductory flashback finds a young Madeline Swann running from the vengeful Safin, come to slaughter her SPECTRE agent father, Mr. White. As Madeleine tries hiding in White’s safe room, the camera glides over a SPECTRE ring atop a stack of (presumably forged) passports. The octopus-branded piece is worn by all Blofeld employees, both in the classic and modern James Bond movies.
Daniel Craig’s Bond Honors Sean Connery In Dr. No
In one of Dr. No’s most iconic scenes, Ursula Andress’ Honey Ryder emerges from the ocean to greet Sean Connery’s 007 on a beach. It’s no coincidence that No Time To Die’s first glimpse of Daniel Craig’s Bond and Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann is something of a less gratuitous reenactment, with the woman surfacing from the water and Bond arriving on land to meet her.
James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 Returns In No Time To Die
Back on dry land, Bond and Swann cruise through the mountainous beauty of Matera, Italy in a silver Aston Martin DB5. The iconic vehicle debuted in 1964’s Goldfinger, and has made cameos throughout the series. Daniel Craig’s incarnation of 007 won himself a DB5 in Casino Royale (without the classic license plate), before finally getting the proper Connery version in Skyfall.
Daniel Craig’s “All The Time In The World” Line Honors George Lazenby
Madeleine implores Bond to put the Aston Martin DB5’s engine to good use by flooring the gas and going faster, but Bond hazily replies, “We have all the time in the world.” Here, No Time To Die references a famous moment from George Lazenby’s sole 007 performance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, where Bond cradles his deceased wife’s body. Again, the Easter egg acts as a prelude to the tragedy to come, and the line is repeated in No Time To Die’s final sequence, as a soon-to-perish James Bond bids Madeleine farewell over radio.
James Bond Is Still Haunted By Vesper Lynd
No Time To Die’s Matera sequence is dominated by the specter of Eva Green’s Casino Royale character, Vesper Lynd. Bond fell in love with Lynd during Daniel Craig’s cinematic debut, before discovering she’d betrayed him and then watching her die in a dramatic finale. Over subsequent films, Bond has valiantly tried to prove Vesper’s innocence and confirm their love was real, and despite finding new romance in No Time To Die, the ex-007’s reason for visiting Italy is to pay his respects at Vesper’s grave.
James Bond At Vesper Lynd’s Grave Mirrors Roger Moore
Shortly before SPECTRE arrives to spoil No Time To Die’s tranquil introduction, Daniel Craig’s James Bond stands solemnly over the grave of Vesper Lynd. Though the locale is more exotic, this image creates a close echo of Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only, who paid a rare visit to the grave of Tracy Bond. Also following the For Your Eyes Only formula, Bond falls victim to a graveside ambush, never permitted a moment’s peace.
No Time To Die Uses Vesper Lynd’s Casino Royale Theme
Another Vesper Lynd Easter egg during No Time To Die’s graveyard scene is the music, which reuses “Vesper’s Theme” from Casino Royale, composed by David Arnold. Hans Zimmer later weaves elements of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service into his own score, hammering home the Lazenby influence.
No Time To Die’s Title Sequence Easter Eggs – Dr. No, OHMSS & Thunderball
No Time To Die’s title sequence is comprised of the typical sensual imagery and 1960s pomp, but also bears a striking resemblance to the corresponding intro of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The 1969 opening featured Union Jack flags, hourglasses, clock faces, and a statue grasping a trident. All of those elements accompany the sound of Billie Eilish in No Time To Die too, reinforcing Cary Fukunaga’s biggest James Bond influence. The new titles include colored dots in tribute to Dr. No, and a diver very reminiscent of Thunderball’s opening.
No Time To Die’s Hazmat Suits Look Like Dr. No’s
MI6’s secret bioweapon scientists are clad in white hazmat suits when arming the Heracles virus for Safin’s henchmen. The gear is almost identical to the protective clothing worn by Dr. No’s scientist henchmen in 1962. The red suits inside Safin’s base, meanwhile, also take inspiration from Dr. No’s followers.
Felix’s Delectado Cigar Is A Pierce Brosnan Die Another Day Reference
Five years later, a lonely James Bond is Jamaica’s most miserable fisherman, but a mysterious cigar stub left on his doorstep brings the former 007 back into espionage. There are several Easter eggs wrapped within this single cigar butt. Firstly, the cigar is dated 1952, which is the year Ian Fleming put pen to paper for Casino Royale. More interestingly, the brand “Delectado” is a nod to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, who used Delectado as a code (at a Cuban cigar factory, no less) in Die Another Day.
James Bond’s Draw Contains Dr. No & Spectre Easter Eggs
Opening a barely-hidden secret draw, Bond has kept a few choice mementos during retirement. There are newspaper clippings reporting the arrest of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, calling back to when Daniel Craig clashed against Christoph Waltz in 2015’s Spectre. Also inside is a shell, which serves as a brilliant Dr. No Easter egg. During Sean Connery’s own time in Jamaica, he met Honey Ryder while she was diving for shells on the beach and, continuing the gag, Nomi introduces herself as a “diver” in a later scene.
Daniel Craig Is Commander Bond In No Time To Die
During James Bond’s first meeting with Nomi in No Time To Die, the new 007 is asked to refer to her predecessor as “Commander Bond.” Bond’s pre-MI6 military rank has always been part of his character, but the title remained understated while he worked as a double-0 agent. Now in retirement, “Commander Bond” becomes more prominent – at least until the final act.
Paloma’s No Time To Die Code Fail Happened In Goldeneye
Meeting Paloma in Cuba, Bond approaches with a password (something about a hat in Paris, apparently), but the CIA agent brushes off his security protocol. This copies another CIA character’s lax approach – Jack Wade in Goldeneye. When Wade met Pierce Brosnan’s 007 in 1995, he dismissed Bond’s codes as the hallmarks of a “stiff-assed Brit.”
No Time To Die Is Shaken, Not Stirred
Daniel Craig’s James Bond hasn’t always been as fussy about his drink order as other incarnations (see Casino Royale). During No Time To Die’s Cuba sequence, however, the retired agent orders his martini in the traditional Bond way.
Spectre’s Dr. Vogel Returns In No Time To Die
Brigitte Millar featured in 2015’s Spectre as Dr. Vogel, one of Blofeld’s most trusted allies and a figure at his villainous table. Millar (very) briefly reprises her role in No Time To Die, spotted during the Cuban SPECTRE party. Among the guests is also long-serving James Bond producer Michael G. Wilson making a cameo.
Paloma’s 1957 Chevrolet Is From Dr. No
Proving herself every bit as reckless as Bond, Ana de Armas’ Paloma crashes a car into Cuban scaffolding, foiling Nomi’s attempt to seize Valdo Obruchev. The vehicle in question is a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, and no stranger to the James Bond franchise, previously appearing in Dr. No with SPECTRE assassin Mr. Jones at the wheel.
James Bond & Felix Recreate The Spy Who Loved Me
Shortly prior to Felix Leiter’s watery demise, James begins to utter, “We’ve really got to stop meeting like this.” Roger Moore’s Bond used the same line on Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me, and though their relationship was a little different, the circumstances of being in peril were similar.
No Time To Die’s Life Raft Echoes You Only Live Twice
After watching Felix’s uncanny impression of Jack from Titanic, James Bond locates an inflatable yellow life raft. The rescue boat is extremely akin to You Only Live Twice, in which Sean Connery’s Bond and Kissy Suzuki end the film making love on their own yellow blow-up raft. No such luck for Daniel Craig, who’s mourning Felix’s death by himself.
Timothy Dalton’s Aston Martin V8
Needing some fresh wheels after the Aston Martin DB5 took an Italian battering, Daniel Craig’s James Bond dusts off an old Aston Martin V8, which has been waiting patiently in a garage since 1987. Timothy Dalton drove this car in The Living Daylights, and though the model is slightly different, the matching license plates confirm these cars are the same as far as James Bond’s ever-loosening canon is concerned.
Judi Dench’s M Bulldog From Skyfall
Also gathering dust in James Bond’s garage is a small British bulldog statue – the very same one seen on M’s desk in Skyfall. The intentionally tacky ornament passed to 007 following the death of Judi Dench’s character, and has apparently sat guarding the V8 ever since. Toward the front of the garage behind Bond, there’s a set of skis too – no doubt from 007’s snow-related shenanigans in past movies.
No Time To Die’s “Bond, James Bond” Moment
Whereas the “shaken, not stirred” scene plays out with a straight face in No Time To Die, the script does something more innovative with “Bond, James Bond.” As seen in trailer footage, Bond returns to MI6 as a retired civilian. Upon stating his surname at the front desk, he’s forced to give his full “James Bond” moniker to the bemused officer, unintentionally dropping the franchise’s most famous quote. The line is repeated later in No Time To Die by Madeleine, who promises to tell Mathilde of her late father’s antics. The censored version, probably.
Shooting Bond – Moneypenny’s Skyfall Callback
Before they start getting along, Nomi quips to Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny, “I get why you shot him” in reference to her aging predecessor. The line calls back to 2012’s Skyfall when Moneypenny (still a field agent at that point) was ordered to shoot a villain despite 007 standing in the firing line.
Bond Throws His ID Badge Into Moneypenny’s Garbage
It’s a recurring trope of the James Bond franchise to have 007 throwing things around Moneypenny’s office. In No Time To Die, it’s his discarded ID badge getting tossed into a nearby garbage can, but previous items include cigar cases and hats.
Q’s Cats Pay Off A Spectre Line
One of No Time To Die’s standout scenes is James Bond visiting Q’s home, giving a brief glimpse into the quarters of Ben Whishaw’s quartermaster. We meet his pet (hairless) cat, and this beautifully pays off a gag from 2015’s Spectre, where a suspended Bond requests Q’s help, only for his friend to refuse, imploring, “I’ve got a mortgage and 2 cats to feed.”
Q’s “Don’t Touch That” In No Time To Die
From Desmond Llewelyn to Ben Whishaw, all versions of Q display an aversion to 007 fiddling with their lab equipment. In a fun joke, No Time To Die shows Whishaw’s Q doing exactly the same in his apartment. Moneypenny moves to touch something, only for her host to give a firm “hands off” warning.
Safin References Daniel Craig’s Bond Backstory
During his unconventional therapy session with Madeleine Swann, Safin speaks about the “profound” effect death can have upon a child. Though Rami Malek’s villain is drawing a parallel between himself and Swann here, his words equally apply to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, who was immediately established as an orphan in Casino Royale, losing both real parents and foster father, Hannes Oberhauser.
Nomi Criticizes James Bond’s Effect On Women
After Madeleine Swann refuses a handshake from her ex (because of the nanobots, but Bond isn’t to know that), Nomi asks Tanner whether 007 always has such a repellent effect on women. As one of cinema’s most infamous Casanovas, Nomi’s assessment of Bond’s romantic skill is rather ironic, making the line a subtle dig toward the philandering of previous James Bond movies.
Bond’s Blofeld Threat Comes From You Only Live Twice
Enraged upon learning Blofeld orchestrated Madeleine’s “betrayal,” Bond launches for the kill, whispering “Die, Blofeld, Die!” through gritted teeth. The line seems a little too direct for Daniel Craig’s James Bond style, but is actually ripped straight from Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice novel, which also saw the protagonist strangle his nemesis.
Blofeld’s Final Words In No Time To Die
As eccentric as Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld may be, even he probably wouldn’t want “cuckoo!” as a final word, but that’s the line Evil Ernst goes out on in No Time To Die. The motif hails from Spectre, in which Blofeld repeatedly refers to a 007 as a cuckoo in his nest – a foster brother who came along as an outsider and destroyed his family, similar to how Cuckoo birds lay eggs in other nests.
M’s Bulldog Clip Connects Ralph Fiennes To Judi Dench
As Ralph Fiennes’ M waits patiently for news on the Heracles investigation, he fiddles with a clip nervously. Amusingly, this is a bulldog clip, and the name provides a link between the current MI6 chief and Judi Dench’s M with her bulldog statue.
Robert Brown & Judi Dench’s M Portraits
In the same scene, No Time To Die reveals portraits of M’s predecessors. Firstly, there’s Dench sitting proudly over the hallway. To Fiennes’ left is Robert Brown, who played the role from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) to License to Kill (1989).
Bond References Mr. White’s Many Secret Rooms
Inside Madeleine’s childhood home, Bond is shown to a hidden door where he quips, “what is it with your father and secret rooms?” The line nods to Spectre, in which White had a hidden stash at L’Américain hotel in Tangier, as well as a secret basement behind a mirror in the hut where he died.
Safin’s Poison Gardens Are An Ian Fleming Creation
Madeleine Swann reveals how the Safin family owned a facility of poison gardens that contained all manner of nasty plants and wicked weeds. In Ian Fleming’s original You Only Live Twice novel, Dr. Shatterhand dwelt in a “Garden of Death” which, despite the change of name, was also a forest of fatal fauna broadly located near Japan. It’s clear the Garden of Death served as inspiration for Safin’s evil lair in No Time To Die.
Safin’s Backstory Nods To Christopher Walken’s James Bond Villain
In A View To A Kill, Christopher Walken starred as the dastardly Max Zorin, and though the villain seemingly has little to do with No Time To Die, a translation of Safin’s backstory proves otherwise. In the newspaper article (transcribed by Reddit user antovolk), a “Doctor Zorin from the Kiln Institute” is mentioned. It’s a subtle James Bond Easter egg that rewards viewers with an affinity for languages.
Logan Ash’s Death Copies For Your Eyes Only
The CIA’s “Book of Mormon” gets his comeuppance for killing Felix Leiter when Bond kicks a precariously balanced car onto the villain’s prone body. The scene calls back to one of Roger Moore’s darker moments in For Your Eyes Only, where 007 murdered assassin Emile Locque by kicking his dangling car from a cliff edge. Granted, Locque was inside the vehicle when Bond gave it a boot, but the similarities between deaths are impossible to ignore.
Q’s Smart Blood Hails From Spectre
Before No Time To Die’s final attack on Safin’s lair, Q injects the freshly reinstated 007 with “smart blood,” which tracks the agent’s vitals and location for the purposes of exposition. This nifty trick was introduced in 2015’s Spectre, but has been notably streamlined in No Time To Die, with the original bulky apparatus replaced by a simple hypo needle.
Q’s Stealthy Bird Is A Double Roger Moore Homage
Q introduces MI6’s “Stealthy Bird” – a folding plane that Daniel Craig’s Bond and Lashana Lynch’s Nomi use to breach Safin’s defenses. The plane also takes a dive through the Roger Moore era, dropping a double helping of James Bond Easter eggs. Firstly, the Stealthy Bird is effectively a modern variation on the Acrostar from Octopussy, albeit with a more sophisticated design (the Acrostar’s wings just fold up) and a less comedic paint job. The Stealthy Bird also tips the hat to The Spy Who Loved Me, in which Bond and Amasova enter the main villain’s lair via a vehicle that shouldn’t go underwater but does.
No Time To Die’s Second Gun Barrel Sequence
For his last stand, Daniel Craig’s 007 rampages through Safin’s lair alone, enduring hit after hit in order to foil the villain’s world-ending plan. As he passes through the empty corridors, Bond turns sharply down a cylindrical tunnel, creating an in-movie gun barrel sequence and harking back to No Time To Die’s bloodless opening.
M’s James Bond Eulogy Comes From You Only Live Twice
For James Bond’s eulogy, M reads an excerpt from Jack London. When 007 was wrongly presumed dead in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, the very same passage was printed in his newspaper eulogy.
No Time To Die’s “All The Time In The World” Ending
From the opening sequence to the matching dialogue, No Time To Die owes a considerable debt to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and that connection is cemented by the end credits song – Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All The Time In The World.” This was the main theme of George Lazenby’s 1969 adventure, and by revisiting Bond’s musical back catalog, No Time To Die evokes the same emotions from Tracy’s death, this time for 007 himself.
James Bond Will Return…
No Time To Die’s end credits include the iconic line “James Bond will return…” The closing statement hasn’t always been present (especially in years Eon didn’t know whether Bond would return), and it’s not yet known when Bond 26 will be happening, or who will be playing the character. Nevertheless, Bond will, as ever, be back.
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