.James Bond continuation author Anthony Horowitz says 007 should never have been killed in Daniel Craig's final film No Time to Die.
Having been licensed to write new stories about Ian Fleming's fictional spy by the late writer's estate, the novelist weighed in on the decision for Craig's version of the character to die, and admitted he almost considered it for new book With a Mind to Kill.
"I didn't do it because, first of all, I think it would be impertinent of me to kill a character that I hadn't created, and secondly Bond shouldn't die, Bond is for ever," the 67-year-old told The Times newspaper.
Horowitz explained how he debated asking "the estate for permission to kill Bond," but decided against it, and insisted producers shouldn't have made that call either. He said, "I was sad they did. But it was their decision. I wouldn't have done it. But that's only because... I just think that Bond belongs to everybody."
When it comes to crossovers between his Bond books and the big screen blockbusters, the writer chooses to keep his work entirely separate. He added, "I never refer to the films. I don't include information or even lines from the films."
Horowitz pointed to the uncertain future for the franchise, after Amazon bought MGM Holdings, the studio behind the Bond films, in March for almost $9 billion, while the Fleming estate only controls the book rights.
Asked who should follow Craig in the role, Horowitz pondered, "I don't know how they will have a new Bond since they killed him... And the ownership has changed. Will they go back to the beginning and start remaking 'From Russia with Love', 'Goldfinger', 'Dr No', as a television series?"
With a Mind To Kill is out now