NTTD title song took a year to sell, co-writer says

Finneas O’Connell, older brother and writing collaborator of Billie Eilish

It took about a year to sell Eon Productions on the idea of a James Bond title song performed by Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, who co-wrote the No Time to Die song with his sister, said in an interview with Billboard.

“We fought it out for a year,” O’Connell said in the interview. “We’ve always wanted to write a James Bond theme song. And you know, it’s a legendary franchise, so we had to convince a lot of people that we were the right choice.”

The interview was about O’Connell’s career with in general. But there were details about No Time to Die. O’Connor described the selection process.

“And then we had to write a song that everybody liked,” he said. “So it was a hard-won process. But everybody that we worked with on it, Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the Bond franchise (alongside Michael G. Wilson), we got to work with Hans Zimmer… it was a real joy.”

O’Connell reflected on the publicity about last week’s announcement concerning the No Time to Die title song.

“But uh, yeah, it’s so funny, ’cause some of the headlines have been like, ‘Billie Eilish and Finneas are writing the James Bond theme.’ And I’m so glad we’re no longer writing it — I’m so glad we wrote it a couple months ago, because, oh my god, if it was like, announced that we were doing it and we still had to write it, I would have such writer’s anxiety, you know?”

O’Connell described the ups and downs involved.

“It’s, in my experience, in my limited experience, as a songwriter and producer, it’s the hardest playing field I’ve never been on. … There were so many points where I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe we don’t have this!’ (Laughs.) Like, it’s just like such a big deal. And you know … the whole pairing is very authentic to my and Billie’s relationship with those movies.”

Our guide to incorrect stories about SPECTRE’s title song

New SPECTRE poster

New SPECTRE poster

So, according to THE BBC, Sam Smith recorded his title song to SPECTRE back in January.

With that in mind, here’s a number of stories the past few months that were totally incorrect but caught the attention of James Bond fans anyway.

BILLBOARD, JULY 30:

British band Radiohead has emerged as a sudden favorite among U.K. bookmakers to be named the performers of the theme for Spectre, the latest James Bond.

One bookie revealed that it had suspended betting after an anonymous customer asked to put a £15,000 ($23,000) wager on the band.

Why British bookies supposedly had inside information was never made clear. Still, bookies adjusting odds generates stories about James Bond films in general.

Sam Smith interviews: THE TELEGRAPH compiled a number of times Smith himself denied he was performing the 007 film title song, another reminder that people deny things they know to be true.

Here’s an excerpt with some samples:

Just last week, he told BBC Radio 2’s Jo Wiley: “That’s not me. That’s definitely not me.”

Back in July, Smith batted the rumours back again on Absolute Radio. He said: “I’ve got to tell you it’s the funniest thing just to sit back and watch everyone confirming something I know nothing about.

“Sia would be sick but she’s not British. I think you’ve got to have someone who is British. Saying that, I loved the Jack White and Alisha Keys one.”

And on Capital FM last year, the singer said: “People seem to think I’m doing it but I have no idea what’s going on.

“I’m being deadly serious. I think I would know by now… I heard Ellie Goulding was going to do it.”

Ellie Goulding as supposed frontrunner: There were stories at CAPITAL FM on July 29, IGN.COM on July 28 and THE INDEPENDENT also on July 28 that the singer was going to perform the SPECTRE title song.

Obviously, all were wrong. The DIGITAL SPY WEBSITE ran a story there may have been a deliberate misinformation campaign to fool everyone.

If that’s case, however, perhaps instead of trying to fool people about the title song performer, more attention should have been paid to the SPECTRE scripting process and avoided wasting time on questionable ideas that became public because of the Sony hacking.