When an actor like Daniel Craig says he has had enough of something, it usually means comfortably retiring for the foreseeable future with hardly any qualms about paying the bills or rent. But often, it is the drudgery of fame and publicity that pushes an actor to take such a drastic step back from their art form and livelihood. For Craig, however, it was his most famous, wildly beloved, and universally acclaimed role as the iconic British spy, James Bond, that pushed him over the edge.
Daniel Craig Foretold the End of His James Bond Era
When SPECTRE came out in 2015, Daniel Craig had already been playing the coveted role of the infamous spy for a decade now. As James Bond, it was the actor’s 4th time stepping into the shoes of the globe-trotting superhero with a death wish. Facing off his biggest and most dangerous contender to date: the organization that would go on to become his infamous archenemy, Craig’s 007 doesn’t pull his punches. Instead, he pulls out all the stops to deliver one of the grandest visions a Bond film had seen in a long time.
Soon after the phenomenon, the actor claimed, “I will keep playing Bond as long as I’m physically able.” But that ingrained optimism surrounding 007 and his overtly characteristic loyalty to the role suffered a significant blow when he shifted his stance merely a month later. When he was asked about the possibility of reprising his character for a fifth film, Craig claimed:
“Now? I’d rather… slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on… for at least a year or two. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the f–k knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
The vehement and repeated refusal was a first on the actor’s part. However, the sudden one-eighty of Craig’s opinion on his character was not entirely beyond understanding. The mental and physical toll that embodying James Bond took on him over the years contributed immensely to that decision. Craig did return for one final Bond film 6 years later. He was 53 when No Time to Die premiered.
Daniel Craig on Leaving 007 and Choosing a Successor
The socio-cultural impact that the 21st-century remake of James Bond has had in the history of the literary superspy is undefined by the limitations of vocabulary. Daniel Craig’s 007 threads through an expansive range of human emotions to bring together a character that is more human than mechanical, unlike his predecessors, and one who knows how to use his vulnerabilities to his advantage instead of appearing as though he has none at all.
Craig, who was endlessly criticized and mocked as James Blond during his casting because of his signature blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, defied the physical traits of the age-old 007. When Casino Royale crashed into the theatres in 2006, that smug criticism was wiped out from the surface of the planet and replaced with a mixture of awe and fascination. In the aftermath of the outpouring of love, the burden of carrying that role for 15 years and not being able to take on other projects as he willed started building into resentment.
As for a successor, Craig has no particular opinion on who takes over the reins of 007 for Bond 26. The actor has branched out into more comedic roles in films like Knives Out and Glass Onion. A Knives Out 3 and an untitled sequel to the Adventures of Tintin animated film are also in the works. The latter will be adapted from the Prisoners of the Sun graphic novel with Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy) attached to the project as its director. Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis will reprise their roles as Tintin and Captain Haddock respectively and the film is slated for a 2027 release.
Source: Time Out