Dressing Like a Daddy in 'No Time to Die,' 007 Revises His Wardrobe

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday October 8, 2021
Originally published on October 1, 2021

Daniel Craig has jumped back into the James Bond franchise for one last gig, but the character has evolved over the last 15 years — and so has his wardrobe.

Esquire notes that Craig's 007 has changed up his sartorial style in ways that make sense for "a man north of fifty," eschewing body-hugging ensembles for "soft, earthy textures" that give off "dad dressing" and "history teacher" vibes.

"Craig's Bond has long favored too-tight business tailoring — we know you're muscly, Daniel! - so it's a relief," the article says, to see him take to clothes that are "cut to be at once roomy and flattering," especially when some of the clothes he's rocking in the new flick are by designer Massimo Alba.

At one point, as "Bond pilots a launch into harbor," he's looking "very varsity; very JFK," Esquire adds. "A younger, sillier Bond might have opted for neoprene, or something garish and many-pocketed, but Ol' Papa Craigo kept it Hamptons, as any aged sailor with style should do."

Craig's graceful aging has influenced the new film in other ways, including the script; as the EDGE review for "No Time to Die" notes, the actor "insisted on bringing in Phoebe Waller-Bridge as co-writer to add humor and sensitivity — as well as a stronger voice for strong women."

But Craig also has aged out of the role, which has been notoriously demanding in terms of stunt work and physical conditioning. Craig was ready to hang up his Walther PPK six years ago, after the rigors of 2015's "Spectre"; this time around, Craig is definitely turning in his license to kill.

Speculation has been rampant about who his successor will be, with bookmakers calling the odds on a range of other potential actors months before the new film opened. Could a Black Bond be next? (Idris Elba was an early favorite for those promoting this idea.) Or a Jane, rather than James Bond? ("The X Files" star Gillian Anderson may have quit the FBI, but she has been seen as a potential recruit for the MI6 of the Bond films.)

The character could be ready for an even more thoroughgoing makeover; Ben Whishaw — the out actor who has portrayed MI6 quartermaster Q in the last few films — addressed the notion of an LGBTQ+ 007 in a recent interview. "I think that would be real progress," Whishaw told British publication Attitude.

Whishaw even had a couple of actors in mind, including openly gay "The Hobbit" co-star Luke Evans.

The bookmakers were well ahead of Whishaw on this score, with Evans already being among the top contenders. As EDGE noted in a recent article, Evans "fits into the former category of cis, white actors, except that he is the highest profiled openly gay actor working in Hollywood today.

"In May, Evans expressed his interest in playing the role," the earlier article added. "Whether or not that is a factor, he has jumped to the top of those with the best odds of getting cast as Bond on the leading betting sites."

Before dismissing the idea of an LGBTQ+ 007, consider the thrilling moment in "Skyfall" when Craig's Bond is tied to a chair and caressed by the film's gay villain, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). "You're trying to remember your training now," Silva whispers seductively, his hand straying to Bond's thigh and chest. "What's the regulation to cover this? Well, first time for everything I guess."

Craig's immortal comeback: "What makes you think this is my first time?"

That moment was nearly cut from the film, but it was producer Barbara Broccoli who insisted it be kept intact. In doing so, Broccoli proved she knows the character and knows the audience far better than the naysayers. At the world premiere of "Skyfall" in London, the crowd went wild for Craig's juicy rejoinder.

"I remember looking at the studio executive, going, 'See, told you,' " Broccoli recalls in an Apple TV+ documentary about Craig's Bond years.

An LGBTQ+ Bond is not only not out of the question for the future; bisexuality, at least, is a strongly hinted facet of the character that's now been established in cinematic lore. Here's hoping the next James Bond will, like Craig, be slipping into something more comfortable.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.