Daniel Craig, the steely-eyed actor of four previous James Bond movies, is primed to star once again in the iconic spy series. The forty-eight-year-old previously told Time Out that he would rather “slit his wrists” than play the role a fifth time. Fortunately, he was acting out at the time, having just wrapped Spectre, and was feeling puckish.
Perhaps the eight-month long globetrotting film schedule wore Craig to a frazzle – the jet lag alone would reduce a mere mortal to the fetal position in a dark closet—that prompted the actor to declare a moratorium on the character. Or perhaps just the realization that creating another Bond film in the shade of Skyfall’s massive worldwide success was a tad daunting. Exiting on a high note as such would terrify the next actor tapped to wear the slick suits and combat unimaginable evil to save mankind time and again.
But as we have learned over the fifty-four-year franchise, Never Say Never Again. Craig inked a lucrative deal (exact figures have not been publicized) to be Ian Fleming’s spy once more.
Whatever could have induced Mr. Craig to reconsider his dramatic declaration of a fait accompli and sign on for another grueling and jet-setting film timetable? Some have speculated it is simply about the money, and Craig himself did intimate that he could be seduced by large enough numbers transferred to his already bulging net worth. He is the highest paid actor to play the title character, and his earnings for Spectre alone were staggering. The Daily Mirror reports that a source close to MGM said: “Daniel’s deal means he’ll bank $24 million (£15.66m) for acting, around $6 million (£3.82m) for endorsements and $30 million (£19.58m) if the financial projections are on course.”
I would understand if Craig simply reenlisted in Her Majesty’s Secret Service for the money. However, I believe he returned for reasons of an egotistical nature. You see, after consuming four double espressos, albeit tempered with honey, Craig gave a blustery interview, displaying nonchalance about his potential Bond successors, and using quite a few colorful curse words in challenging their ability to live up to his performances. (If you would like to read that interview, click here, and prepare yourself to see the underside of the usually debonair Daniel Craig.) The producer, Barbara Broccoli, has been courting four hunky British contenders — Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, James Norton and Aidan Turner. When Craig heard the news, he abruptly made a U-turn and quickly secured his place in the next film. Well played, Broccoli, well played.
Fans of the character can breathe easy, as the dust has settled and the next installment, Bond25, will commence filming early next year. Broccoli has even persuaded pop star Adele to cut the title song, showing fans that she is still pushing the limits in keeping her Bond, James Bond, at the top of the blockbuster list. As for our Daniel Craig, the man who almost amputated his Goldfinger will continue to thrill fans worldwide and rake in millions. Slit his wrists? Nah, he will Die Another Day.