As iconic as his Aston Martin, his taste for dry martinis, and his penchant for short-lived sexual relationships is James Bond’s proclivity to surround himself with some pretty memorable music. Originally composed by Monty Norman for the franchise’s first installment Dr. No, the James Bond theme ranks among the most iconic melodies in cinema history. Since then, pop and rock stars from Shirley Bassey to Madonna to Louis Armstrong to Adele have performed similarly enduring themes for films like Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Die Another Day and Skyfall. And the latest musical great to join their ranks is Billie Eilish.
On Tuesday, longtime Bond production studio Eon announced that the mega-popular 18-year-old singer and songwriter will perform the title track for the latest Bond venture, No Time to Die. As she has done with a number of her hits to date, Eilish wrote the number with her older brother, songwriter and producer Finneas. She joins the Bond canon as the youngest artist to contribute a song in its 57-year history.
In a press release, Eilish remarked on the enormity of the honor to join the ranks of the musicians who’ve sung the ballads of Bond over the past 50 years:
“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock”. FINNEAS adds, “Writing the theme song for a Bond film is something we’ve been dreaming about doing our entire lives. There is no more iconic pairing of music and cinema than the likes of Goldfinger and Live And Let Die. We feel so so lucky to play a small role in such a legendary franchise, long live 007.”
As if that weren’t pleasant enough news for those who fall squarely in the cross section between Bond fanatics and musicphiles, Eon also recently announced that another musical great will accompany her for Agent 007’s latest outing: Hans Zimmer.
The decorated composer—whose storied career includes Christopher Nolan’s spy-tinged Inception but no proper Bond films—inherits scoring duties from Dan Romer, who was originally hired by director Cary Fukunaga for No Time to Die. The news was first revealed on Monday evening by way of a pair of tweets from the official James Bond account and from Zimmer’s own personal account.
CONFIRMED: @HansZimmer will compose the score for #NoTimeToDie. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga said: “I’m beyond excited that Hans is scoring #NoTimeToDie. The music of Bond has always been iconic and I’ve already witnessed Hans adding his touch of genius to the Bond legacy.” pic.twitter.com/L3q06ymLyH
— James Bond (@007) January 13, 2020
— Hans Zimmer (@HansZimmer) January 14, 2020
The decision to swap Romer out for Zimmer comes fairly late in the game, as production on No Time to Die has been well underway since late 2018, and Romer was brought on in July of ’19. Nevertheless, news of Zimmer’s employ inspires a groundswell of confidence, as one of the most prolific, skilled and identifiable composers of the last three decades.
Eilish and Zimmer’s additions to No Time to Die make the film an even more exciting prospect than before as it advances towards its April 10, 2020 release date. Fukunaga directs the film from a script co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and previous Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, with a cast including returning players Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright and Christoph Waltz opposite series newcomers Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody).
Featured Image: Billie Eilish