Originally intended to debut in April 2020, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond has been long awaited, with “No Time To Die” slated for release in October 2021 after being delayed due to the pandemic.

As Craig has said on numerous occasions, this will mark his final turn as 007. However, as he revealed in a new interview with Total Film, he had previously made up his mind that “Spectre” was to be his final Bond film.

“I thought I probably was physically not capable of doing another,” said Craig, who suffered a nasty knee injury during filming of the 24th Bond flick. “For me, it was very cut and dried that I wasn’t coming back.”

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With Bond in the rearview mirror, Craig instead stretched into some other roles, including showing off his comedic chops (and one of filmdom’s most over-the-top Southern accents) in “Knives Out”.

“I went and did other things,” he said. “I got some separation. My family forgave me for being away from home for that length of time.”

With no intention of returning to the role, Craig said that it was a dangling plot thread from his first Bond film, “Casino Royale”, that ultimately enticed him to return one final time.

“We started talking about it and I went, ‘There might be a story we need to finish here — something we started in “Casino [Royale]'” Something to do with Vesper [Eva Green’s character], and “Spectre”, and something that was connected, in a way.’ It started to formulate,” said Craig. “And I thought, ‘Here we go.’”

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According to Craig, “No Time To Die” has a sense of “finality to it” that will definitively shut the door on his era of Bond.

“In terms of closing the story, the circle is complete now. It feels emotionally satisfying,” he said.

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