No Time to Die director discusses choosing Billie Eilish for the theme song

(Image credit: Darkroom/Interscope Records)

If you reacted to the news that singer/ songwriter Billie Eilish would be performing No Time To Die’s title track with “Billie who?” first: you’re missing out on some great music, and second: you’re not the only one. 

“What I was mostly involved with was trying to get [Billie] in front of Barbara and Daniel, who were less aware of Billie’s growing popularity,” No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga tells Total Film in the new issue. “I was really vying for them as a choice that wouldn’t be so predictable.”

An unpredictable choice Eilish certainly proved. The singer may have only been five years old at the start of Craig’s tenure (oh God, we’re old), but Eilish’s brother and co-writer Finneas O’Connell is a lifelong Bond fan and is “very well versed in the John Barry of it all”. Neither Fukunaga nor composer Hans Zimmer had any significant influence on Eilish’s moody melody, or the basic structure of the song. Only an idea of the film’s themes were provided.

“I thought it was chilling when I first heard it,” recalls Fukunaga. “After that, it was really just trying to shape it to have the bigger scale of a Bond song. But really, all the bones were already there. Hans himself said, ‘I don’t have to do a whole lot, this song is fantastic.’”

Inside the new issue of Total Film, you’ll find everything you need to know about No Time to Die from director Cary Joji Fukunaga and the key production talent who make the stunts, suits, song, vehicles, and more come to life.

But it’s not all about No Time to Die. The new issue also features an in-depth look at the Eon archives, to delve into the secrets of all of the previous Bonds. Plus, Total Film goes in-depth for the 25th anniversary of GoldenEye, the film that took a leap of faith and launched Pierce Brosnan’s tenure in the role.

For much more on James Bond, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves real and digital this Friday, October 16. No Time to Die is currently scheduled to open in cinemas on April 2, 2021.

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(Image credit: Total Film)

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Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.