There are several iconic parts to the James Bond formula that help keep it the longest running franchise in movie history. One key element is the ore-title sequence that introduces the movie with a bang.
First introduced in the second movie in the series, From Russia With Love, these mini-sequences are an event in themselves. From Bond destroying a heroin lab in Goldfinger, skiing off a mountain in The Spy Who Loved Me, bungee jumping off a dam in GoldenEye to fighting inside and outside a looping helicopter in Spectre, they are always eagerly awaited.
The longest to date was The World Is Not Enough, a double part sequence that shows Brosnan’s version of the character outwitting a Swiss banker in Bilbao followed by a jet-boat chase down the Thames in London.
This was 14 minutes long.
Now we hear that Not Time To Die, the 25th movie in the series and Daniel Craig’s last outing in the role, has for that beat at 20 minutes.
A Norwegian fan site has picked up comments for Producer Michael G. Wilson confirming this rumour. This would seem to support the speculation that the opening sequence will be the part of the movie in Matera, Italy and will feature Bond and Madeline Swann together. Bond’s decision to retire with her quickly shown to be naive as her betrayal is made clear leading to the chase, the bridge swing, the motorcycle stunt and the Aston Martin minigun headlights. All of this can be seen in the trailers.
20 minutes would traditionally be 1/5 or 1/6 of a standard movie. However other rumours are coming in that Cary Fukunaga’s Bond movie is a bit of an epic, providing a layer of detail, an expansive plot and a very definite conclusion to Craig’s story 007 story that began in 2006 with Casino Royale and has eschewed the standard Bond approach of totally separate adventures for a connected arc.
To this end it is apparently 3 hours long in its completed form. This is longer than the previous champions Casino Royale, which clocked in at 2 hours 25 minutes long (1 minute longer than Skyfall) then Spectre at 2 hours 40 minutes.
Better leave that super-sized bucket of Coke well alone this time around. Or strategically plan toilet breaks.
Long range tracking estimates and buzz were pointing to a strong showing for this entry but they will develop more as the release approaches. The Billie Eilish title song that had a mixed reception among fans hit number one in the UK charts on Friday and topped the streaming charts worldwide.
The film opens April 2nd in the UK and April 10th in the United States.