Why is No Time to Die so damn long? Rami Malek has answers

Daniel Craig in No Time to Die
(Image credit: MGM Studios)

After spending nearly two years in pandemic-induced dormancy, No Time to Die is making up for lost time with a near-three-hour runtime – and star Rami Malek has detailed why.

In a recent interview with Digital Spy, the actor, who plays new (or old?) villain Safin, justified the movie’s 163-minute length by describing it as “a gut punch every second."

"I think when you get out of that theater,” Malek added, “you will be moved, you will be entertained, you'll get everything you want from a Bond film, essentially. Daniel's just done a marvellous job, [it's] a great send-off for him." 

Admittedly, 163 minutes is a lot of time to die. It’s also a figure that will see No Time to Die dethrone Spectre – which clocked in at 148 minutes long – as the lengthiest Bond movie of all time. 

Thankfully, though, audiences can expect a lot of bang for their buck, if Malek’s comments, combined with footage we’ve seen from the movie’s various trailers, are anything to go by. 

No Time to Die has been confirmed as Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond, and will follow the British super spy’s mission to foil the plans of a mysterious villain (Malek’s Safin) armed with a new technology. Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright and Ralph Fiennes are all set to reprise their roles in the iconic franchise, while Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas join the cast as newcomers.

The film was initially scheduled to release in November 2019, before the departure of original director Danny Boyle postponed that date until April 2020. Then, of course, the global pandemic derailed the production and release of pretty much every entertainment project in development at the time, leaving No Time to Die adrift until, eventually, a September 28 global premiere was confirmed.

Analysis: The future of the franchise 

The question of Bond’s future has been a hot topic of debate for many reasons.

Most obvious is the customary hysteria that ensues when it’s time to appoint a successor for the character. We recently picked out 10 stars who could replace Craig in the role, including Tom Hardy, Regé-Jean Page and James Norton, but there’s enough viable candidates to ensure that this particular carousel will keep spinning until Bond’s custodians make a decision on the matter – which isn’t likely to come until No Time to Die has been given its day in the sun.

What’s more, Bond’s identity as a character has proven the topic of heated discussion in recent years, too. Craig himself has thoughts on the possibility of a woman playing Bond, for instance, while many fans have called for an actor switch-up that at least better reflects the diverse state of Britain today.

Perhaps the most pressing issue facing the franchise, though, is the impact Amazon’s acquisition of studio MGM will have on its future. Might we see a selection of Bond TV shows hit Prime Video in the years to come? Recent comments made by long-time franchise producer Barbara Broccoli suggest not, but we'll at least likely see the older movies become available to watch on the streamer.

In the meantime, let’s just enjoy the long overdue arrival of No Time to Die, shall we? All 163 minutes of it.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.