“Die can wait”: how Billie Eilish wrote the farewell credits for Daniel Craig

It took 18 long months to hear “No Time To Die” in a movie theater. Unveiled in February 2020, the song composed by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas for To die can wait finally resonates on the big screen this Wednesday, October 6 with the long-awaited release of the new adventures of James Bond.

Repelled several times by the pandemic, the 25th film of the saga is also the 5th and last of Daniel Craig in the costume of Agent 007. And offers itself for the occasion a credits full of meaning.

For four minutes, Billie Eilish takes the classic codes of the soundtracks of previous James Bond, to which is added the well-identified style of the rising pop star. And immerses himself as never in the psyche of the spy, against a background of betrayal which seems to concern his companion Madeleine Swan (Léa Seydoux) to believe the clip. “Was I stupid to love you? Was I reckless to help you? Was it obvious to everyone?”, asks the singer in particular. A piece that has been validated by Daniel Craig himself. “If he doesn’t like it, you don’t have the job”, explains to BBC Breakfast Finneas O’Connell début 2020.

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She sent us the script of everything that happens before the credits roll. We got what the audience will see before they hear the song– Billie Eilish on producer Barbara Broccoli

The brother and sister, who have been collaborating successfully since 2015, have dreamed for years of signing the official song of a James Bond. The duo have directly been knocking on the door of Barbara Broccoli, historic producer of the franchise. The meeting takes place in early September 2019 in Ireland. “She gave us some initial details on the opening sequence and then she sent us the script of everything that happens before the credits. We got what the audience will see before hearing the song,” says Billie Eilish.

Except that at the time of writing, the duo is blocking. “We had the blank page syndrome as soon as we were chosen”, continues Billie Eilish. The track “No Time To Die”, from the original title of the film, was born in three days on the roads of Texas while on tour. The final version is recorded in London, under the watchful eye of composer Hans Zimmer and music producer Stephen Lipson, according to whom Daniel Craig was not immediately convinced. “He wasn’t sure the song delivered the emotional climax for his last outing as James Bond, so it was essential that he was satisfied.”, he confesses to Music Week.

It was only after a second listening in a real studio that the British actor greeted the song. “He looked at me and said something like ‘Damn, this is amazing’, he adds. First performed live at the 2020 Brit Awards, “No Time To Die” received the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media over a year before the film’s release. A first step before winning the Oscar, in the footsteps of Adele and Sam Smith?

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