Film

How would a five-year-old change James Bond’s life?

According to a new report, No Time to Die sees Daniel Craig’s spy discovering he has a young child. Are CBeebies and car chases ever really compatible?

Daniel Craig has taken us to some brave new places during his time as James Bond. We’ve seen him destroy his ancestral home. We’ve watched the death of one of his quasi-parental figures. We’ve seen him get his knackers smashed up with some rope. However, if reports are to be believed, then No Time to Die is going to push 007 into his most terrifying predicament yet: parenthood. 

Thanks to some call sheets that have inexplicably been put up for sale on eBay, we know that one scene shot in Italy last year features a five-year-old girl named Mathilde. The film is set five years after Spectre, and opens with Bond in retirement with Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. Put that all together and the facts become plain – James Bond will have a five-year-old daughter in No Time to Die.

And now suddenly everything makes sense. Of course, James Bond doesn’t have any time to die. He has a five-year-old. He hasn’t got time for anything any more. I am also the father of a five-year-old, so I can confidently state that the film could have just as easily been called No Time to Sleep or No Time to Shower or No Time to Eat Breakfast Sitting Down or No Time to Watch Anything Good on TV Because Every Waking Moment is Now Soundtracked by Godawful Fan-Made Sonic the Hedgehog Videos on YouTube.

 It’s your turn to watch Mister Maker … Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux in No Time to Die. Photograph: Nicole Dove/Danjaq/PA

Everything is so clear now. Of course, James Bond wears a sweater on the poster. He’s not going to risk wearing a nice suit any more, not now he knows that it’ll end up covered in little tiny Nutella handprints the instant he puts it on. Seriously, it’s a wonder that he even found the time to coordinate his jumper so nicely. I guarantee that somewhere there is a poster draft where 007 stands around barefoot in some baggy dungarees, offset with an old band T-shirt he bought at a concert back when concerts were a fun thing he could attend and not a nightmarish palaver of screamingly expensive logistics that have to be arranged a full month in advance.

So far, in the entire history of 007, we have only ever seen a very small number of scenes set in his home. In Spectre we saw a bare apartment, with piles of books and pictures yet to be hung. At the time it looked like the glum abode of a man whose entire identity was wrapped up in his work. Now, though, it looks like an absolute wonderland. Because now the floor is bound to be scattered with stray Lego bricks, and toys that were picked up for a millisecond and then discarded, and juice stains, and Nutella smears, and cups of tea that were made in the insane hope that they might actually be drunk before they go cold, and half-finished drawings of Sonic the Hedgehog.

And, perhaps most importantly, it goes without saying that James Bond is a crap spy now. He was never particularly good, given his alcoholism and capacity for sexual violence, but now he’s awful. He can’t drive any tricked-out cars any more, because every button he presses just somehow makes the Twirlywoos theme tune blare out of his speakers at full volume. He can’t travel to far-flung destinations any more, because Madeleine Swann also has a job and sometimes it’s just impossible to line up their schedules. He can’t womanise, because all his deepest fantasies now involve him checking into a hotel and immediately enjoying a full night of unbroken sleep. He doesn’t drink any more, because he knows that his daughter will wake him up at 5.30 regardless of the state of his hangover. And he can’t put himself in any sort of physical jeopardy, because he keeps imagining all the horrible ways that his premature death will affect the future of his child. 

What I’m saying is this – No Time to Die is going to be a film about a very tired man filling in paperwork and then rushing back for bedtime. It’s going to be brilliant. Unrelated: I really can’t wait until the schools open again.

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