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No Time to Die, the 25th film in the James Bond franchise and the final one to star Daniel Craig as Agent 007, was originally set to hit theaters next month, giving it prime placement as one of the lead-off films of blockbuster season. Then came the spread of the coronavirus around the world, and MGM, Universal, and the film's producers decided it was best to move the much-anticipated film's release to November instead. That didn't stop Craig from having a little James Bond fun on Saturday Night Live this weekend in the form of a "sneak peek" of the film.
Craig was already set to perform on SNL on March 7 as part of the promotional push for No Time to Die when the news of the release date change came down, but the star didn't back out on his second time hosting the show. Instead, Craig used his opening monologue to poke a little bit of fun at both himself and his James Bond curtain call.
After introducing himself to the SNL audience, Craig noted that Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has stepped in to work on the No Time to Die script, then offered a hint of what Waller-Bridge's additions to the story might look like.
"It's not gonna be that different," Craig said, "but every so often I will turn to the camera and I will say 'The name's Bond. James Bond. Is it bad that I fancy the Pope?'"
Then came the real meat of Craig's Bond material for the evening. After mentioning the film's delay for "public health" reasons, Craig said the producers of No Time to Die had allowed him to show "[his] favorite" scene from the film to the audience. In the video below, you can see what happens as Bond infiltrates a casino to meet a mysterious woman (SNL's Chloe Fineman) who might have some information for him, only to then discover that he actually finds playing craps quite thrilling.
OK, so that scene won't actually be in the finished film, but could director Cary Joji Fukunaga at least make time for Kenan Thompson to join No Time to Die as the excited guy from Paul's Bachelor Weekend?
Elsewhere in the episode, Craig also took some time to poke fun at the accent he put on while playing Southern private detective Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson's whodunit Knives Out. In a sketch later in the evening, Craig played himself as he met with Johnson (Mikey Day) to discuss Blanc's voice with a little help from an eccentric acting coach (Beck Bennett). Hilarity, and awful Southern accents, ensued.
Perhaps the best thing about this sketch, though, was not Craig's amazing commitment to throwing out silly voices and shouting things like "hot butt" over and over, but Johnson's reaction when he found out he'd been immortalized by an SNL impression.
"Holy sh*t," the director tweeted, along with a photo of himself next to his onscreen counterpart.
No Time to Die is now set to hit theaters November 25 in the United States. Saturday Night Live returns for new episodes on March 28 with host John Krasinski and musical guest Dua Lipa.