Steven Spielberg Wasn’t Allowed to Direct James Bond for 1 Tradition That Was Broken by Daniel Craig’s No Time to Die

Steven Spielberg would have done an awesome job with the James Bond franchise had one rule not kept him from doing so.

Steven Spielberg Wasn’t Allowed to Direct James Bond for 1 Tradition That Was Broken by Daniel Craig’s No Time to Die


  • Steven Spielberg desperately wanted to direct at least one movie from the James Bond franchise, and even called up producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli twice for the same.
  • However, he was turned down both the times because he wasn't British, and for one to direct the notorious womanizer's adventures, they had to be British.
  • This tradition was inevitably broken in the later years through Daniel Craig's last Bond movie, 'No Time to Die', which was directed by American filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga.
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Steven Spielberg has helmed a lot of big screen masterpieces and gave birth to a legacy that probably no one can uphold after him. Yet, out of all the super-popular fan-favorite franchises he has worked with and given birth to, the James Bond franchise was never included. However, it wasn’t like he didn’t direct a Bond film by choice, but rather, because he wasn’t allowed to.

Steven Spielberg at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International (via Gage Skidmore | Flickr)
Steven Spielberg at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International (via Gage Skidmore | Flickr)

As surprising as it may seem to many, Spielberg was denied the honor of helming at least one film from the Bond franchise, as opposed to the filmmaker’s heartiest wishes, all because of one tradition followed by the franchise: that only a British director could helm the adventures of the notorious womanizer, and no one else.

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The Real Reason Steven Spielberg Never Helmed A James Bond Film

James Bond
The James Bond franchise

Also Read: Before Maestro, The Last Movie Steven Spielberg Produced 17 Years Ago Won an Oscar: Will History Repeat Itself?

Considering the perfect action-adventure genre that the James Bond films trekked on in the 1970s era, it was the most accurate franchise for Steven Spielberg to helm. And the filmmaker wanted to go for it as well!

As he shared on The Michael Ball Show on BBC Radio 2, the director tried to desperately become a part of the franchise by offering the late Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli his services–not only once, but twice!


The first time was following the massive success of Jaws and he was finally being given “the final cut”. The second time was when the Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out, which was, yet another big hit.

However, both times he was turned down by Cubby Broccoli: the first time, he was told that the producer didn’t think [he] was right for the part,” and the second time, they told him that they simply couldn’t “afford” him.

By saying Spielberg was not “right for the part”, what Broccoli actually meant was that he wasn’t a British director, and in order to helm the adventures of the British spy, a British director was one requirement that they just couldn’t afford to mess with.


Thus, Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by a producer who himself was American just because the filmmaker wasn’t British. And the filmmaker, too, has let it go, as he mentioned in the interview: So Barbara, forget it.”

Also Read: “No movie is worth dying for”: Steven Spielberg’s Greatest Regret is a Movie That Killed 3 Actors Including Two Children Who Were Hired Illegally

Daniel Craig’s No Time to Die Broke This Bond Franchise Tradition

Daniel Craig left the franchise after starring as James Bond in No Time To Die (2021).
Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (2021)

While Steven Spielberg was denied the honor and privilege of directing even one movie from the James Bond franchise back in the 1970s just because he wasn’t British, the later years that followed saw this tradition inevitably getting broken.


This was done through none other than the last movie from Daniel Craig‘s Bond film series, No Time to Die. The superhit movie, which dropped in the theatres in 2021, saw the American filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga in the director’s chair.

What’s more, is that he was brought on board by none other than the very daughter of the late Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and British-American producer, Barbara Broccoli, who praised Fukunaga for his “versatility and innovation”, as reported on X by the official James Bond handle.

Nonetheless, Steven Spielberg still had the last laugh as not only did his rejection from the Bond franchise lead him to develop the blockbuster Indiana Jones franchise, but he even had the Bond portrayer Sean Connery on board his own franchise as Henry Jones, Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Well played, Spielberg!


Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1318

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With more than a year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has 1,000+ articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.