So is Daniel Craig back as James Bond?

"Quantum of Solace" Japanese Theatrical Poster

“Quantum of Solace” Japanese Theatrical Poster

The state of the James Bond franchise is currently in limbo (seems to happen constantly with the series every few years or so… helps to get rid of the bad blood), but this hasn’t stopped a number of filmmakers from expressing interest in taking a stab at the next 007 adventure.

Everyone from Drive’s Nicolas Winding Refn (who is currently working on Avenging Silence, his own take of a spy flick after turning down Spectre) to Guy Ritchie (who penned last year’s similarly themed The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) have been attracted to the idea; but now, a new name is willing to give the super spy a shot: Chad Stahelski (John Wick: Chapter 2).

In an interview with MW, here’s what Stahelski had to say when asked about doing a Bond film: “I’m interested in projects where you can world create. To jump back into somebody else’s world where it’s already been around for so long would be scary. But if there was one property, that wouldn’t be a bad one to try and invest yourself. Especially because of the ebb and flow of the Bond universe right now, I think the timing is good for a slight reinvention with a different perspective shift. Bond has gone from completely serious to totally cheeky to really fun again, to emotional, to serious, to internal, to external. I would love to give the pitch and if they got my wacky version of it, and it fit, yeah. That’s almost a dream too big.”

Of course, this is all just loose talk for now, but that doesn’t mean producers aren’t listening. There seems to be more important issues with the franchise, like: Is Daniel Craig returning or not?

Back in May of 2016, sources told Daily Mail: ‘Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted,’ said the source. Another source told the Mail that ‘executives had finally agreed to let the actor go after growing tired of his criticism of the franchise.’

Subsequently, there was that ridiculous rumor going around that Sony was offering Craig $150 million to reprise his role as 007 for two more films. “Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen,” a source told Radar.

And let’s not forget that Craig stated that he’d rather ‘slash his wrists’ than play Bond for a fifth time (he said this shortly after the release of Spectre).

Then, just this last October, Craig apparently had a change of heart since his wrist comment. During a recent appearance at The New Yorker Fest in Manhattan Birth.Movies.Death. reporter Phil Nobile Jr. (via Collider) shot video of Craig saying the following:

When you’re asked 20 feet from the end of a marathon whether you’d do another marathon, the answer is simple. It’s like, “No, I won’t.” But the things I get to do on a Bond movie and what the type of work it is, there is no other job like it, there is no other job like, and if I were to stop doing it, just say, I would miss it terribly because you are working with — I maybe disparagingly said the movie industry’s getting a little bit of, you know, of the focus group thing and the whole thing. A Bond movie doesn’t work like that, it’s literally from the skin of your teeth you get it out and then it’s released less than six months later after you finish it. There’s no time for focus groups. There’s no time for that. You make the movie, it gets out. It’s one of the most thrilling things as an actor you can do.

From both a critical and financial point of view, whether or not Craig leaves the franchise, it’ll be on high note: 2012’s Skyfall has gone on to become the most successful James Bond film of all time, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Last year’s Spectre, which drew in a lesser audience, plus mixed reviews, took in $879.2 million worldwide. Even though Spectre wasn’t a massive success, it was still a success.

If Craig is indeed done, the big question is: Who’ll be playing Bond? Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Fassbender (Jobs), Damian Lewis (Homeland), James Norton (War and Peace) and Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) remain firm favorites. Also, Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) is supposedly talking with producers.

For now, Craig is wrapping up a 20-part TV series called Purity. (Mirror reported that MGM was even willing to push Bond 25 back, which would allow Craig to complete the series). Craig can be seen next in Steven Soderbergh’s Lucky Logan, a heist film, which releases in August.

Updates: According to PS, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has all but persuaded Daniel Craig to play 007 for the historic 25th movie in the series. Daniel’s talks with Barbara are going in the right direction. They have a script — screenwriting duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade [who’ve penned several Bond movies] are writing and they’ll go into production as soon as Daniel is ready to commit.” The source added, “Plus, Barbara Broccoli doesn’t like Tom Hiddleston, he’s a bit too smug and not tough enough to play James Bond.”

We’ll keep you updated on anything Bond-related as we hear more. Until then, here’s the Trailer for one of our favorites, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as recently reviewed by our own British spy who is currently on a mission in Manila.

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14 Responses to So is Daniel Craig back as James Bond?

  1. Robert says:

    Nolan directing Tom Hardy as Bond. Make it happen.

    • Hardy, yes. Nolan, no… maybe… depends. The dude knows his craft and he makes slick looking films, but his style is way too gimmicky for me. I’d like to see Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) do a Bond flick. Perfect pacing. Clever. Snappy. No mind-numbing theories. Pure entertainment. Judging from the first Kingsman, he’s already proved that he can capture the essence of a classic spy film; Kingman was essentially a borderline spoof/dedication to Bond to begin with, so he can get the job done with very little effort. Wouldn’t mind seeing Craig return one more time.

    • DougWonnacott says:

      No. And No.

  2. DougWonnacott says:

    ok. No to Tom Hardy. Even though I really liked Mad Max: Fury Road, it was more in spite of Tom Hardy instead of because of him. I find him one of the least convincing tough guys around today. I just don’t get why he keeps getting cast in action roles. He is smug enough to play Bond though.

    No to Christopher Nolan. The Following was interesting. Memento was excellent. The Prestige was good (except for the big twist was far too easy to spot). Insomnia was effective, but not different enough to the original one.

    Batman Begins was decent, but the villains were underdeveloped and Christian Bale did that stupid voice for Batman.

    The Dark Knight was overblown and overrated. It also had about 45 minutes that could have (and should have) been cut. Did we really need the The Joker to set up three separate dilemmas for Batman to deal with? One was enough to get the point across. They create Two Face, then kill him off 20 minutes later without anyone seeming to care.

    The Dark Knight Rises was equally too long and should have cut a big chunk out. Bane was taller than Batman at the beginning and shorter than Batman at the end. He was also far too camp and seemed to speak in the voice of Kenneth Williams from the Carry On films. Batman was stuck down a big hole but managed to recover from a broken back, climb out and get back to Gotham with no transport or money within about 10 minutes. Catwoman was there but I don’t know why (she didn’t seem to affect any part of the plot). For no reason whatsoever the cop was Robin at the end (what was the point?). Plus several over major and minor plotholes.

    Inception was about an hour too long. It set up it’s own logic for the ‘dream within a dream’ plot then betrayed it’s own logic multiple times throughout it’s long drawn out boring running time. People seem to think that if they didn’t understand part of it it’s because the film was so clever they couldn’t follow it. The reason some people couldn’t follow it was because it was full of holes in logic (actual logic and it’s own internal logic) and holes in the plot. I can’t remember a single character name or trait and didn’t even vaguely care what happened to anyone in the film. Was DiCaprio in it? I can barely remember. Too long.

    I haven’t seen (and have no desire to see) Intersteller.

  3. DougWonnacott says:

    My picks for the next James Bond, Kathryn Bigelow directing. Maybe Michael Fassbender. Not sure. Love to see Scott Adkins as a villain.

  4. ColinJ says:

    Craig has complained that he gets hurt each time he does one. And they are gruelling six-month shoots, especially when you’re practically in every scene.

    Still, for $100 million I could ignore a few aches and pains.

  5. Marijan says:

    i wish Gary Daniels to be the next bond it’s a little old but it would be great bond

  6. Andrew Hernandez says:

    I’d love for Christopher Nolan to direc the next Bond since the previous films were a big influence for him.

    I’d want a younger actor to play Bond so that he can last longer in the role. Maybe David Oyelowo or since he’s proven he can play anybody, Chadwick Boseman.

    I think Tom Hardy could be great too.

  7. Paul Bramhall says:

    Great trailer, I wish COF would post a review of this one.

  8. Mike Leeder says:

    the thing is they took a quote from Craig out of context at the end of a very lengthy and troubled shoot, at the very end of a press tour…. where i think we all know it was more of a i dont want to do another James Bond movie right this moment comment

    I can see Craig coming back for one more adventure, i think he is also aware of the physicality of the character and he knows his age limitations for the role too…. but i do love the anonymous source ‘Plus, Barbara Broccoli doesn’t like Tom Hiddleston, he’s a bit too smug and not tough enough to play James Bond’ does sound bit like a lets add a snide aside to the piece

    Ref somebodys comments on Gary Daniels as Bond, he did develop a character in the early/mid 90’s Union Jack that was very James Bond inspired that Overseas Film Group was going to do with him but that never happened… the concept behind the QUEENS MESSENGER movies he did could have been Bond’ish if handled better

    A Chad Stehelski take on Bond could be interesting, maybe Chad can slip an ex-Bond or too into roles in John Wick 3, imagine Keanau seeking refuge with a former acquaintance played by Lazenby or Dalton?

    As for my thoughts on who could play Bond, it would be great to see Scott Adkins get a chance to step up and play, he’s got the look, the physicality and the charm as well as the acting chops if given the opportunity….always thought Vincent Zhao (Zhao Wen-zhao/Chiu Man-cheuk) could have been a Chinese James Bond….
    I could see Fassbender taking it, Damian Lewis i think not and at 46 might be too old,
    James Norton i havent seen enough of his work, Jamie Bell if they wanted to really go for a reboot of young James Bond on his early missions could work….

    • Christopher Dean says:

      Or Brosnan, hell imagine if the next era was a reinvention of Brosnan where he plays an older Bond

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