Bond writer Robert Wade reveals 007 could return after Daniel Craig’s departure via cloning. No Time To Die wasted the perfect setup for his idea.

Cloning could bring James Bond back after his death in No Time To Die, but Daniel Craig’s final movie missed a golden opportunity to set up 007’s clone. It’s no secret that James Bond canon isn’t supposed to make sense. In some respects, the entire 25-film franchise is one long narrative, with common threads running through each incarnation of Ian Fleming’s spy. On the other hand, Daniel Craig’s movies are presented almost in isolation, charting his early years as 007 and following the character right up until his death – a stunningly bold move for a James Bond adventure.

Thanks to No Time To Die’s shock ending, James Bond’s long-serving producers face an unfamiliar conundrum – “James Bond will return… somehow.” Barbara Broccoli has confirmed Eon is busy ironing out the details of 007’s comeback and, clearly, their easiest option would be rebooting. New timeline, new Bond, new continuity. However, that would break the sensation of each Bond era bleeding seamlessly into the next, and Robert Wade (James Bond writer since 1999) has a cunning solution that provides the best of both worlds – cloning. According to the No Time To Die scribe, Casino Royale hinted toward Daniel Craig’s 007 being biologically cloned, and that explanation could be deployed in future for the character’s miraculous resurrection in Bond 26.

No Time To Die actually teeters perilously close to setting up Robert Wade’s wacky 007 clone concept, but stops short of pulling the trigger. Rami Malek plays No Time To Die’s main antagonist, Lyutsifer Safin, whose whole shtick is scientific engineering. His family created a poison garden full of nasty plants, and Safin’s No Time To Die masterplan is harnessing a nanobot weapon capable of targeting specific strands of DNA. By introducing a science-minded megalomaniac who isolates Bond’s genetic marker, No Time To Die finds itself already halfway toward making a clone of Daniel Craig. The exposition and groundwork is there, just waiting for the payoff.

No Time To Die Missed The Perfect Chance To Clone 007
No Time To Die Missed The Perfect Chance To Clone 007

No Time To Die drops other nods toward Safin’s cloning experiments too, such as his relative lack of aging compared to Madeleine Swann. Rami Malek appears more or less the same age as Léa Seydoux’s Swann in No Time To Die’s present day timeline, but looked considerably older during the opening flashback sequence. And when Bond and Nomi raid Safin’s laboratory during No Time To Die’s final act, mysterious fluid-filled tanks containing human-esque shapes loiter in the background. Safin feels like he’s already “playing god” with human biology, but No Time To Die fails to follow those threads to their logical clone-y conclusion.

Cloning would also fix a confounding No Time To Die plot hole. Safin’s revenge mission against Blofeld and his minions is entirely understandable, since it was SPECTRE who slaughtered Lyutsifer’s family. Less clear is why Malek’s character plans to use Project Heracles for global genocide. Simply to make the world a “little tidier” doesn’t exactly carry the necessary weight. If Safin was also involved in cloning, he might’ve intended Heracles as a “step 1” before crafting a superior genetic master race in his own image. Though hardly watertight, cloning as Safin’s “step 2” would better explain his murderous motivations.

Ultimately, of course, there’s no mention of cloning whatsoever in No Time To Die, and absolutely no suggestion James Bond’s little finger has been preserved so that the movie franchise can continue with his carbon copy in the starring role. Robert Wade’s idea might explain why No Time To Die creeps so close toward a clone-themed storyline, and maybe Eon got last minute cold feet, accounting for the gaping hole in Safin’s evil plot. Whether or not No Time To Die did once toy with the idea of cloning 007, passing up the film’s crystal-clear setup means Eon must find another solution to James Bond’s eventual return.