The rumors have circulated over the last day or so that Daniel Craig has donned his last tux as James Bond. The 48 year old reportedly turned down over $100 million to return as 007.
And really, if the rumor is true, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if you paid attention to any of his interviews promoting his last outing as Bond, SPECTRE. The actor infamously quipped he’d rather “slash his wrists” than to do another one. Sony also had words with him for his harsh words on the character and felt he was being too negative about Bond. So is Craig done? Maybe. And if he is I say fine by me.
Don’t get me wrong I actually quite like Craig as an actor and as soon as I saw ‘Layer Cake’ back in 2004 I immediately thought he’d make a great Bond. Two years later he validated that thought with Casino Royale. Casino Royale rocketed to the top of my “Best Bond List” neck and neck with From Russia With Love. And c’mon Craig was fantastic in the role. He simply WAS Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Which is a big deal for a Bond fan such as myself. While the Roger Moore era was my entry point to Bond, Moonraker was my first Bond movie and I was 10, once I discovered the Fleming novels in high school I quickly realized that Moore was not the Bond of the books. I’m a somewhat of a purist when it comes to 007 but still can appreciate the different takes on the character but love it when both actor and the film are more serious and closer in tone to the source material.
So Casino Royale was a breath of fresh air for me. It was so good! Alas it seemed short lived somehow. I don’t think it was Craig necessarily as much as some really poor writing but it seemed with each passing film his was a Bond of diminishing returns. Not unlike the Brosnan era really. Brosnan really deserved better. And so does Craig for that matter. Maybe it’s because Casino Royale set the bar so high, I don’t know. But as we made our way through Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall and SPECTRE each film became a bigger disappointment rife with problems. And, let’s be honest, Craig increasingly seemed to be less interested with each film. And I’m more than happy to debate all of that. I don’t care how much bank Skyfall did it was an average at best Bond film and the less said about SPECTRE the better.
So if the rumor turns out to be true I’ll say thanks for your service and Casino Royale and happily bid Mr. Craig bon voyage and welcome in a fresh face again. Perhaps once again some life and a fresh take on the iconic role will once again ignite my imagination and love for the character. It’s a great character and a wonderful film franchise, there’s a reason its been around over 50 years! And if you’ve never read the books I urge you to do so and begin your speculation on who will be the next James Bond. There’s a list of names being thrown around as real possibilities already with Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy topping most of those lists.
If the rumor does turn out to be false and Craig is back I’ll be back again too. I just hope it’s closer to Casino Royale rather than SPECTRE.