Ever since Casino Royale, the James Bond franchise has been on a roll. Daniel Craig became the world's greatest spy in 2006, and since then the series has become its suave, action-packed self again after the critically panned Die Another Day. Craig's filmography as the iconic character has earned the franchise 2 Oscars and 5 nominations, providing the series with a darker, more realistic environment. Needless to say, Craig's demeanor has been a big part of reviving 007, so fans will be delighted to hear that he looks set to return for the next installment.
When Spectre was released in 2015, Craig was fervently denying any future reprisals. In fact, the actor seemed firmly opposed to the idea.
"I'd rather slash my wrists than play James Bond again"
And yet, the latest report from The Mirror suggests that Craig will reprise his role as the legendary British spy. According to the report, producer Barbara Broccoli is said to have "secured Craig" for the upcoming feature. Broccoli is also adamant that Adele will return, after winning an Oscar for her hugely successful song, 'Skyfall'.
A source for The Mirror went on to discuss the likelihood of Craig and Adele returning, given that the pair are a winning formula for the Bond franchise.
“Craig and Adele together are the winning team, the ultimate choice, the money spinners. It’s taken time but Daniel has come round and the strong con–sensus [sic] in the Bond offices is that Mr Craig is 007 again. As for Adele, she’s more of an unknown quantity but loved being part of Bond, so the signs are positive.”
If the report turns out to be true, it will put an end to the speculation surrounding who could be the next actor to become Bond (for the time being, at least). The two frontrunners seemed to be Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston, two lauded actors who seemingly fit the bill. However, Craig is still the face of Bond, and has delivered a brilliant performance so far. So, the initial issue seemed to be that Craig had other ideas for his career. In fact, an interview with TimeOut, just before the release of Spectre, suggested that Craig was determined to leave the franchise:
"All I want to do is move on"
However, if these reports are to be believed, then something has obviously changed his mind. It was previously reported that the celebrated actor was offered a massive $150 million paycheck to return, but Craig has since gone on record to say that if he were to return as Bond, it wouldn't be for the money. Similarly, the actor doesn't want to play the role just to have the public swooning over him.
"God, hubris is a terrible thing in this business"
So, it seems that if Broccoli has managed to persuade Craig to put the tuxedo on once again, it's likely that the studio has some exciting stories to tell.
Can The Franchise Continue To Thrive With Craig?
While Daniel Craig gave brilliant performances in films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Layer Cake and Road to Perdition, his career has been defined by his remarkable interpretation of Bond. When he finally moves on, he's an actor that is more than likely to be rewarded by the Academy for future roles. However, Skyfall won four Academy Award nominations, so who's to say that Daniel Craig can't earn himself a prestigious Oscar by playing 007?
If Craig and Adele are both on-board for the latest James Bond title, fans have a reason to be hugely optimistic about the series as a whole. In fact, there's no reason why the team can't replicate the success they previously had with Skyfall. Craig is by no means the first actor to step away from a major franchise, only to surprise fans by reprising their role. For example, Keira Knightley said that she was finished with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise back in 2014.
"I loved it, it was an amazing experience but I won't be going back"
However, she returned in this year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, albeit with a significantly smaller role. Another famous example is Peter Sellers, who had a turbulent relationship with the Pink Panther franchise. He famously had quarrels with director Blake Edwards, but returned to the franchise when Alan Arkin stepped in for Inspector Clouseau.
In fact, this has even happened before within the Bond franchise. Sean Connery once returned to the franchise at the prospect of a huge paycheck, despite 'retiring' after You Only Live Twice. When offered $1.25 million for the the role, Connery suited up for Diamonds Are Forever.
So, Craig could very well be Bond again, and a potential collaboration with Adele could give us another fantastic addition to the franchise. It may be sad news for those who wanted to see Idris Elba or Tom Hiddleston's take on the character, but it's safe to say that Daniel Craig is likely to deliver another stand-out performance.
Who do you think should be the next James Bond? Let us know in the comments!