Despite No Time to Die seemingly being caught in a perpetual pattern of new release dates and delays (some are wondering whether the movie even really exists at this point), star Ralph Fiennes cannot help but look beyond this latest adventure. With No Time to Die set to feature Daniel Craig's final outing as 007, it remains unknown what the studio with do with the franchise once the actor walks away, with Fiennes hopeful that he will be asked to stay on as M.

"If anyone from Eon Films is listening, I'm very keen to continue training the new Bond. I love playing M, and I love being part of that franchise. But who knows? Things have to change. But I love working with Daniel. He's a terrific Bond. I will treasure that experience."
RELATED: Billie Eilish's No Time to Die Theme Song Is Hiding a Clever Callback to Past Bond Movies

First introduced in 2012's Skyfall, Fiennes' chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament and a former SAS Lieutenant Colonel, Gareth Mallory, takes over as M following the tragic demise of Judi Dench's character. Since then, Fiennes has relished the opportunity to be Bond's superior, and would like very much to continue being part of the franchise even after Craig's departure.

Keeping Ralph Fiennes on board despite a change of Bond would not be without precedent, with Judi Dench having remained in the role following the change over from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig. Hell, actor Desmond Llewelyn played Q between 1963 and 1999, never questioning why Bond changed his physical appearance so regularly, so keeping Fiennes as M is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.

As for Daniel Craig's replacement, the usual names are constantly being thrown into the ring, with the likes of Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, and recently Cillian Murphy all reportedly in the running. Producer Barbara Broccoli though is adamant that no one has yet been cast. "I always say: you can only be in love with one person at a time," Broccoli said when asked about recasting Bond last year. "Once the film's come out, then some time will pass, and then we'll have to get on to the business of the future. But for now, we just cannot think about anything beyond Daniel." Daniel Craig meanwhile has offered some very simple, no-nonsense advice to his successor; "Don't f--k it up."

No Time to Die picks up five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with James Bond having now left active service. He is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend, and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev was abducted, Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before.

The movie is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, and Rami Malek joining the main cast.

No Time to Die was originally scheduled for release on 8 November 2019 but has since been delayed several times due to both backstage woes and the ongoing global situation. The movie is now scheduled to hit theaters on 8 October 2021. This comes to us courtesy of Games Radar.