Even before the mixed reviews of Spectre came out, Daniel Craig had expressed a disinterest in wanting to return to the role of James Bond in any future movies, at one point joking that he’d rather “slash his wrists” than ever play the character onscreen again. His reasoning was sound, saying that he thinks he’s done everything with the character that he could or wanted to, and now it was time for him to move on.
The actor was said to have already turned down almost a $100 million dollar offer from Sony to return to the franchise again, with several names for possible replacements beginning to circle the web like Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, and more. However, it looks like the studio may not be as quick to move on as the internet rumor mill is.
Radar is reporting that Sony has apparently offered Craig $150 million to do two more Bond films, though make sure to treat all of this as just a rumor for the time being and take it with a very large grain of salt. However, with the studio also rumored to be planning on shooting the next two Bond films back-to-back, it would make sense that they’d be more interested in bringing Craig back in the role right now than replacing him.
According to the report though, Craig has apparently “played a genius hand,” by expressing his distaste in returning to the franchise:
“Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned.”
Now, Craig did always say he was willing to change his mind, and it seems very possible that an offer of that size could very well do it, though it begs the question if Craig is really worth that much to the studio right now. Admittedly, his portrayal of Bond is one of the best ever and right now, the franchise is in a very fragile place that could make the studio wonder if it could withstand a lead actor change.
At the same time, the James Bond franchise has always been about the evolution of actors playing the lead role, ever since Sean Connery was first replaced. With the kind of high-calibre names that have been rumored for the role over the past few months as well, a breath of fresh air might be what the Bond franchise actually needs right now.
Following the disappointing Spectre though, it seems only logical that the studio would be increasingly more focused on the next two installments in the franchise, and their desire to keep Craig in the role for the foreseeable future seems like a legitimate possibility, even if they may be putting too much stock into keeping him onboard right now.
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