Review by C.J. Bunce
Oddly enough, no single James Bond movie has yet been given its own contemporaneous behind the scenes book that is worthy of the franchise. That is, until now. Mark Salisbury′s No Time to Die: The Making of the Film is one of those deluxe, full-color, high quality, coffee table-style books like we’ve seen several times at borg. The difference is this one provides a look into the longest running continuous movie franchise. Full of images of the production in action, it also features interviews with the key cast and crew on Daniel Craig’s final turn as James Bond in the franchise’s 25th official production.
As with the delayed movie itself, the book–initially expected to be released more than a year ago–recounts events that transpired way back in 2019. Whatever you thought of this finale-themed film, you’ll learn the details behind the director of the film, Cary Joji Fukunaga–the first Bond American director (excepting the one-off Never Say Never Again’s Irvin Kershner), and what went into his vision for the movie after taking the reins from the first director tapped for the film, Danny Boyle.
With a younger crew, Craig appears to be the old pro on the set of the film, as seen in hundreds of photographs documenting each key scene and set location. Salisbury includes Fukunaga’s unique style of storyboarding, explains filming the young Madeleine under real ice, detailing the bridge action sequence, but the best find in the book is the car. That’s the original vintage Bond 1964 Aston Martin DB5, the car Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger, returning for No Time to Die, and its stunt car counterparts. This is a good look at filming chase sequences, including images of the “driving pod” used atop the cars during production.
Other features include the return to writer Ian Fleming’s real-life home of Goldeneye in Jamaica for filming the Jamaica scenes. Salisbury includes much more views of camera equipment, behind the scenes crew and the like, than you’d normally find in a “making of” book. The Cuba set in particular featured some interesting, highly coordinated set-ups and camera rigs.
Ample room is given to discussions and interviews with Ana de Armas’s new “Bond girl,” Lashana Lynch’s new 007, Rami Malek’s villain, and returning cast members: Ralph Fiennes’ M, Naomie Harris’s Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw’s Q, along with the set decorator, costume designer, cinematography, stunt crew, visual effects department, and special effects department.