Cary Fukunaga’s Original Bond Idea Sounds Like a Radical Mix of 007 and ‘Maniac’

Cary Fukunaga will be making his Hollywood tentpole debut later this year with “No Time to Die,” which notably brings to an end Daniel Craig’s five-film run playing James Bond. In a new discussion with Miranda July published by Interview magazine, Fukunaga reveals an original idea for his Bond movie that sounds like what a 007 film might be if it fused with Fukunaga’s mind-bending Netflix limited series “Maniac.” The 2018 streaming series starred Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as pharmaceutical trial patients who enter elaborate realities inside of their heads.

“Miranda, I swear to god, I had an idea that this movie could all be taking place inside the villain’s lair from the last film,” Fukunaga said. “There’s this scene where a needle goes into James Bond’s head, which is supposed to make him forget everything, and then he miraculously escapes by a watch bomb. And then he and Léa blow up the place, and go on to save the day. I was like, ‘What if everything up until the end of act two is all inside his head?’”

What a jaw-dropping twist it would’ve been for the third act of what is now “No Time to Die” to reveal Bond hadn’t left the climax of “Spectre.” Fukunaga showed off an impressive skill for world-building during “Maniac,” so it’s enticing to think about what he might dream up for action sequences set inside Bond’s mind where reality and gravity could be altered at will. Think “Bond” meets “The Matrix.” A Bond film set inside the character’s mind would’ve been one bold way to send off Daniel Craig, although the 007 franchise has never seen anything quite that radical before so it’s understandable why that idea never materialized on the page.

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Fukunaga shares a screenwriting credit on “No Time to Die” with “Contagion” writer Scott Z. Burns and “Fleabag” creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The story finds James Bond being pulled out of retirement to save a missing scientist. Craig stars opposite Ana de Armas, Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Lashana Lynch, and Rami Malek. The film is opening in North America on November 25 after being bumped from its original April release date. Read Fukunaga and July’s full discussion over on Interview magazine.

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