Long before Daniel Craig‘s final James Bond film, No Time To Die, hit cinemas in 2021, the movie’s song had already become an award-winning sensation in the charts. The song was written and performed by Billie Eilish – but was not the first pick for the film’s title track, however. At first, it was Ed Sheeran who was going to lead the movie’s soundtrack. Unfortunately, he lost out just three months into the project.
Sheeran revealed on That Peter Crouch Podcast that he had already begun writing the song when the plug was pulled on his deal.
“I was within a f***ing gnat’s pube of doing one,” he said, before adding that he had “done all the meetings” and “had started writing” the song.
Ultimately, he placed the blame on the exit of Danny Boyle from the movie. He said: “They changed directors, and when they just changed scripts, that was it.”
British director Boyle is best known for helming such incredible movies as Trainspotting, 127 hours, Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later to name just a few.
Boyle was first brought on as the director of No Time To Die in May 2018 – but things quickly went wrong for him.
Just three months later, in August 2018, Boyle reportedly left the project. Later, he and his co-writer, John Hodge, cited creative differences between them and the series owners.
He called his exit a “great shame”, before adding: “What John [Hodge] and I were doing, I thought, was really good… It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good.”
Four-time Grammy Award winner Sheeran added that he was “hurt” to be passed over as the movie’s songwriter, but he has not given up hope just yet.
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Eilish won a Golden Globe and a Grammy Award for her Bond song, No Time To Die, as well as an Oscar for Best Original Song.
This marked the first time any song had won an Academy Award before the film in question had hit cinemas.
Speaking about writing the epic ballad, Eilish told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe: “It was more collaborative than you’d think, actually, which I was surprised by. Because I thought it would just be like, ‘Here’s the song,’ and they take it and then I would have no say. But they actually were completely – they really wanted to know what I think.”
Finneas also spoke candidly about penning the track. He revealed it didn’t take the sibling duo very long to complete the song at all.
He said: “From the start of like, the first thing that actually ended up making it on the song, it took about three days. We wrote and recorded the Bond song on a tour bus in Texas… In your career, there are few things that are as desirable as doing a Bond song, and we did not take the opportunity lightly. And we really just tried to work as hard as we could to prove ourselves worthy of that.”
Composer Hans Zimmer, who scored the movie, was a major proponent in signing the young stars up for the monumental Bond movie. He later said: “Let me be candid. I think everybody discussed what to use, I just kept saying, ‘Nah. Billie and Finneas. We’re done!’ I’d never met them, but I felt [that] there’s Shirley Bassey, there’s Adele – everybody who’s ever worked on [Bond] has come at it with a strong style of their own, with conviction and a great commitment. And this song had it. It maintained an intimacy, which I thought was beautiful.”
James Bond No Time To Die is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.