Daniel Craig retired from his role as James Bond after starring in five films over the course of 15 years. However, it may surprise fans to learn that the James Bond franchise was not the Lara Croft actor’s biggest payday. Craig made more money from a $100 million deal with Netflix for the Knives Out sequel movies. The deal also reportedly made him the highest-paid actor of 2021.
Interestingly, Netflix signed a record deal of $469 for the Knives Out sequels with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, with the only condition being Daniel Craig’s return as Benoit Blanc. Johnson, Bergman, and Craig reportedly took home $100 million each from the deal.
Daniel Craig Made More Money From Knives Out Than James Bond
Knives Out became a sensation upon its release, reviving the audience’s interest in the whodunnit genre. The film grossed $311.9 million at the box office, prompting Lionsgate to consider a sequel. However, director Rian Johnson opted for a more lucrative deal with Netflix. The streaming giant’s only condition was to bring back Daniel Craig, and consequently, they paid him $50 million each for two Knives Out sequel movies. (via The Hollywood Reporter).
While the exact salary Craig received for the first Knives Out movie remains undisclosed, the Netflix deal alone made the franchise his highest-paying gig. Despite being widely recognized for his role as James Bond, the Logan Lucky actor earned only $82.4 million from five films in the Bond franchise. While James Bond is not his highest-paid role, Daniel Craig is the highest-paid James Bond actor, according to the Guinness World Records.
Interestingly, Knives Out also surpassed James Bond in terms of critical acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes. Knives Out 2019 has a 97% Fresh rating while the first Bond film, Casino Royale has a 94% rating. As speculation swirls about the next actor to assume the Bond role, it remains to be seen whether they can secure a more lucrative deal for the franchise than the Fateless actor.
Daniel Craig’s Net Worth — How Much Did He Get Paid For The James Bond Films?
Celebrity Net Worth reports Daniel Craig’s net worth as $160 million, although it’s important to note that the Netflix deal’s value likely wasn’t factored into this figure. Before Knives Out, the Layer Cake actor accumulated most of his wealth from his involvement in the James Bond movies. His base salary for these movies went from a modest $3.2 million to a substantial $25 million.
For his debut Bond film Casino Royale, Craig received a $3.2 million salary. The movie went on to amass $616.5 million at the box office. This also raised his salary for the second movie, Quantum of Solace, which paid him $7.2 million. However, the second movie fell short of the box office performance of the first, grossing only $589.6 million.
Skyfall, the highest-grossing film in the James Bond franchise, collected $1.1 billion at the global box office. For this film, Craig’s base salary was $17 million, and he also earned an additional $3 million in bonuses, bringing his total earnings to $20 million. Craig’s base salary for both Spectre and No Time to Die remained at $25 million, but he also garnered bonuses in the range of $2 million for Spectre’s box office gross of $880 million.
Daniel Craig’s Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, made its debut on Netflix in 2022. All his James Bond films are now available for streaming on MGM+.