But what is next for James Bond? It’s worth noting that Lashana Lynch’s Nomi creates just as strong of an impression as de Armas, with much more substantial screen time. Captivating and capable, Lynch could headline a 007 movie of her own, though No Time To Die makes it clear she is definitely not “James Bond,” so one wonders what the long-term plans are for her when that end card swears “James Bond will return.” Regardless, the last few Daniel Craig films have done exceptional legwork in building out a cohesive world around Bond, investing us in his colleagues at MI6 and beyond. So whoever assumes the mantle next will have quite the support net.


Which brings us back to Paloma. We may have had to say a teary-eyed farewell to Felix Leiter, but the future James Bond has an exciting new ally in the CIA upstart, and she could easily pop in to be the best part of 007 movies for years to come. Ana de Armas plays her with just the right amount of mystery, and it’d be a blast to watch her fill in the blanks as she becomes a more confident agent, film after film. One could even argue the character deserves a spin-off movie of her own, but it’s probably best not to encourage Eon Productions to pursue the Marvel method with a whole slew of interconnected characters and films. Maybe leave the rest of Bond’s multiverse unexplored.

As for de Armas, No Time To Die pays off the promise of Knives Out: that this is a serious movie star in the making. Like many of her upcoming projects (Deep Water opposite former beau Ben Affleck, starry spy flick The Gray Man, and Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde), Die hit some pandemic-related delays. But that hasn’t derailed what’s about to be a big year for the actor. Let’s just hope she leaves some room in her schedule for more James Bond. Whether Lynch reassumes the 007 title, or the series passes the buck to another fresh face, the future 007 would be lucky to have a talented scene-stealer like Ana de Armas at their side.