Danny Boyle's Scrapped Version Of 'No Time To Die' Was Set In Russia

Daniel Craig‘s era of James Bond is over and while “No Time To Die” certainly entertained folks, there are still questions about what director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting“) would have done with the final outing. Boyle was originally hired to direct and developed the script with screenwriter John Hodge, however, the two eventually left the Bond pic over “creative differences” with franchise producers and Boyle ended up making “Yesterday” instead.

Boyle recently spoke with Esquire UK, to promote his upcoming Sex Pistols series “Pistol,” and talked about his scrapped version of the spy movie. The entry would have taken cues from the classic Cold War setting of the original films by having 007 in Russia and honoring the character’s origins. This is the first concrete detail shared about the alternate version of Boyle’s incarnation.

“I remember thinking, ‘Should I really get involved in franchises?’ Because they don’t really want something different,” Boyle told Esquire UK in a new interview. “They want you to freshen it up a bit, but not really challenge it, and we wanted to do something different with it. Weirdly — it would have been very topical now — it was all set in Russia, which is of course where Bond came from, out of the Cold War. It was set in present-day Russia and went back to his origins, and they just lost, what’s the word…they just lost confidence in it. It was a shame really.”

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This sentiment isn’t that bizarre since Sam Mendes‘ “Spectre” took some elements directly from Sean Connery‘s “From Russia With Love” which is arguably one of the best installments of the franchise. However, given Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and the eventual full-scale war, it may be for the best that the film avoided the perception of belittling the conflict for entertainment purposes.

While there had been rumored drama between Boyle and producers over the idea of killing off Bond, it still made it into the final version of the film. Boyle praised another element Hodge originally developed that appeared in the finished product, saying, “The idea that they used in a different way was the one of [James Bond’s] child, which [Hodge] introduced [and which] was wonderful.”

The director isn’t keen on taking a second crack at the franchise but offers up two potential contenders for the recasting of the iconic action role. Those are “The Batman” star Robert Pattinson or “I May Destroy You” breakout Paapa Essiedu, which are certainly interesting picks.

Previous reports have indicated that Bond 26” is already in the early development stage with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“No Time To Die”) potentially being courted to help write it. Meanwhile, on the casting front, producers still haven’t officially started their extensive audition process to find a new actor, let alone selected someone. At this point, the casting net is wide open and likely means any male actor between 25-45 years old, preferably not American, could end up in the mix to play the new James Bond.