After months of speculating who would take over the role of James Bond, a name was finally confirmed this past week. It turns out that the only actor capable of replacing Daniel Craig is… Daniel Craig.
After lengthy salary negotiations, Craig is now confirmed to return as 007 in the twenty-fifth Bond movie scheduled for 2019. On the one hand, this should come as good news for fans. Daniel Craig is widely considered as the best Bond since Sean Connery, giving the character an unheard of humanity in movies that revitalized the franchise, as seen with Casino Royale and Skyfall.
On the other hand, news about Craig’s return can be seen as a red flag. Though the actor was able to successfully keep the franchise afloat, his legacy as one of the best Bonds could be put at risk for the sake of continuing massive box office success.
Craig has been quite vocal regarding his distaste for his James Bond role, so much so that he even said in one interview that he would rather slash his wrists than return to Her Majesty’s secret service.
With so many cons, and so little pros, it might be a better idea for Daniel Craig to hang up the tux for good now and retire while he still has the chance.
Here are the 15 Reasons Why Daniel Craig Should Retire As James Bond.
15. The Bond Franchise Thrives on Reinvention
The Bond franchise knows that, in order to survive, you have to be willing to adapt. The ability to keep things fresh has saved Bond from becoming outdated, despite a legacy spanning 24 films. When one era of 007 has overstayed its welcome, it’s back to the drawing board to reinvent a formula that has been proven to work time and again.
It’s no secret that Craig’s era has certainly been profitable; Skyfall was the biggest earner of the franchise, crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide. However, constantly relying on Craig could act as a pitfall rather than protection. As we’ve seen time again, Bond’s survival is dependent on adaptation, and how can the series do that when it’s so defiant about moving on?
14. Daniel Craig Would Rather Slash His Wrists
While James Bond might seem like the dream gig to any actor, the life as MI6’s top agent isn’t as glamorous as it might seem. During an interview with Time Out magazine before the release of Spectre, Craig had some less than enthusiastic words about returning as 007.
When asked if he’d reprise the role in a future sequel, Craig responded with, “I’d rather slash my wrists,” going on to say, “I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
Craig’s public distaste to return as Bond made moviegoers take a step back. Though the interview was conducted some time ago, and Craig’s feelings might have changed, it seems as though the role has certainly taken its toll on the actor.
It’s surprising that, after being so vocal about his aversion to returning, Craig would sign on to do one last Bond movie. His feelings may have changed since that infamous interview, but we find it hard to believe that the actor is completely gung-ho about a role he had so much disgust for.
13. The Bond Franchise Needs New Blood
As we’ve previously mentioned, the Bond franchise thrives on reinvention, and there’s no better way to switch things up than casting some new blood in the role of 007. Ever since Craig’s public statements about retiring, rumors have rapidly circulated about who would step into the tuxedo of James Bond next, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t enticed by some of the possible candidates.
One of the names that frequently came up in discussion was Idris Elba, with so much support that even he has stated that he’s the most famous James Bond actor who has yet to play James Bond. With a stable of action films under his belt, Elba has proven that he certainly has the chops to play the secret agent, not to mention he would usher in a new era to be the first Bond of color.
Along with Elba, other names that were frequently mentioned in conversation were Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hardy, and Henry Cavill. With so many enticing casting possibilities, it’s almost a downer that it will be Craig coming back for his fifth Bond outing.
12. Bond is a Reflection of his Era
Like his many villains, James Bond tends to reflect the era in which he occupies. Connery was 007 during the sexual revolution of the ’60s, Roger Moore appeared during the decadent disco-era decade, and Pierce Brosnan took over the Clinton-era of the 1990s. Their movies encapsulate what was going on in that time period, and no one is more representative of the post-9/11 world than Daniel Craig’s Bond.
The James Bond of today’s day and age more closely resembles that of Jack Bauer on 24 than Sean Connery in Goldfinger. Like Jason Bourne, Craig’s take on the character is a stoic, man-eating super assassin who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.
However, the era we live in now is a different world than the one in which Craig first started, and it’s time for a new Bond to reflect that. Each 007 eventually needs to pass the torch to a successor of the next generation, and Craig’s time should be now.
11. It’s Time to Bring Bond Back to Basics
While Craig’s four films have ramped up their sense of scale, realism, and stark depiction of violence, they’ve also been accused of phasing out some of the crucial elements that make up a Bond movie. There’s been a serious lack of submarine cars, explosive pens, and laser watches in recent outings.
Fans of the earlier versions of 007 have come to expect the wacky gadgets, expensive cars, sexual innuendos, and one-off adventures involving a crazy villain in an eyepatch. Obviously, having a Bond that flies off with a jet pack would look silly in this day and age, but there are still ways to incorporate some of these goofier elements gracefully with a nice wink to the audience.
10. We Need a More Suave Bond
If every version of Bond entered into a battle royale, we’d definitely put our money on Daniel Craig to come out on top. Out of all the Bonds, Craig’s is easily the most deadly, but there’s a lot more that goes into James Bond than being able to take out a room full of baddies at break-neck speed.
To be honest, Craig was never the smoothest Bond around. Yes, there were moments in all four of his movies where he puts on the tuxedo and plays the debonair agent, but those moments often came off as mere afterthoughts compared to the action sequences.
Connery is often cited as the actor who best meshed the suave nuance with a deadly demeanor. Say what you will about Pierce Brosnan’s crop of movies, but no one ever accuses his Bond of not being smooth. While audiences loved a cold, calculated 007, perhaps it is time to get an actor who isn’t afraid to be a little more charming and a little less lethal.
9. Franchises Suffer When Their Stars Don’t Want to Be There
Even though he’s returning for Bond 25, it’s clear that Daniel Craig isn’t even Daniel Craig’s first choice to come back. Additionally, as we’ve seen from other franchises that feature marquee stars that would rather be anywhere else, it never turns out good.
Franchises that plod along using the same money-making actor as their lightning rod at the box office tend to get very stale very quickly. Watching a performer just go through the motions is never fun, especially when you’ve paid good money to watch it them in the theater.
It’s not exactly a blast to see Johnny Depp shuffling along in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean romps, and Bruce Willis looks like he hasn’t been passionate about a Die Hard movies since the 1990s.
8. Craig is No Longer Passionate About Bond
If you want to make a good movie, passion definitely has to be part of the process. This goes for everyone involved, from the director right down to the music composer. If you’re just going through the motions on a project, it will most certainly come across on screen, and Daniel Craig has long since checked out of caring about 007.
During his now infamous interview with Time Out magazine, Craig mentioned that, if he did come back to the role, it would only be “for the money.” Does that really sound like an actor who should be playing 007 in the next Bond film?
We’ve already gone over the list of actors who would most likely jump at the chance at playing cinema’s most famous spy, so why keep a guy around that looks like he’d rather be doing almost anything else? Craig’s comments sound just like Connery’s before he came back for Diamonds are Forever, and we all know how that movie turned out.
7. The Narrative Has Run Its Course
Before Craig’s era of movies made their mark on the franchise, the James Bond series was mostly comprised of one-off adventures. While there was the occasional film that relied on past continuity, it wasn’t until the recent batch of films that there was a through-line that ran through each particular story.
While it’s been fun to connect the dots and actually see James Bond grow and change during his tenure at MI6, Craig’s narrative has pretty much hit a dead end. 007 has loved and lost, grown older, fought his arch nemesis, learned a little something about life, and came out on top. It’s nice to build up a sense of continuity, but there’s no longer anywhere left to take the story without it feeling completely forced.
At this point, every film with Craig just seems to set up characters and elements for future adventures, when all audiences want is to watch one of these adventures without story beats from previous films getting in the way.
6. Craig Can Do Other Stuff Besides 007
Though most would recognize him as the face of James Bond, Daniel Craig isn’t just a one-trick pony. The British actor has already proven that he has the range and acting chops to do just about anything, and not just be pigeonholed as Britain’s famous spy.
Beyond Bond, the actor has taken a wide range of projects, from everything like historical dramas like Defiance to sci-fi blockbusters like Cowboys and Aliens. Among his number of diverse roles is a seedy drug dealer in Layer Cake, a villainous coward in Road to Perdition, a conflicted assassin in Munich, and a Southern criminal in the recent Logan Lucky.
5. James Bond is More Popular Than Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is certainly good in the role of James Bond. In fact, we could even say he’s great. However, the appeal of Bond flicks isn’t just in the name of the actor portraying him; it’s in the very title of 007.
The Bond franchise has been chugging along since the release of Dr. No in 1962, and that was long before anyone had ever heard of Daniel Craig. Over the years, the role of 007 has been replaced five times, yet the character is now just as popular as ever.
It’s not the actor’s name that draws people into the seat, but the character himself. When you walk into a James Bond film, you know what you’re going to get: slick action, awesome one-liners, beautiful women, and your martinis shaken, not stirred.
4. Craig is Too Expensive
It’s no secret that Hollywood is lined with a list of overpaid actors. Names like Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence are just a few who frequently continue to pop up. Now that he’s just signed a much anticipated deal to return in Bond 25, Daniel Craig’s name can be added to that list.
While the rumor that Craig was offered $150 million to come back as Bond as since been debunked, the offer that he did settle on can’t be too far off from that number. The studios are so preoccupied by having Craig return that they would do anything to ensure that happen, including offering him a ridiculous amount of money to do so.
We get that it’s Craig’s face that the studio is after, but a good chunk of his payday would probably be better used elsewhere. After the disappointment that was Spectre, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few extra dollars on some decent screenwriters.
3. The 12 Year Rule
When Craig was cast in Casino Royale, he was one of the youngest actors to portray the character next to George Lazenby. However, it’s now four movies and eleven years later, and Daniel Craig isn’t getting any younger.
Most Bond actors have called it quits around the 12-year mark, the one exception being Connery’s return for the unofficial Never Say Never Again in 1983. This year marks Craig’s 11th year as the famous British spy, and while he would still retire fairly young at 49 (Roger Moore was 58 when he announced his retirement), the actor isn’t in the same condition he used to be.
We’re not saying that Daniel Craig can’t still kick some butt as an older Bond. There are plenty of older action stars, like Liam Neeson, who still know how to rock it. That being said, it would be nice for Craig to go out while he can. It would just be sad to see James Bond chase after the bad guys with a rocket-propelled walker.
2. The Name’s Bond… Jane Bond
With each passing year, casual audiences are starting to realize that the women in action movies can kick just as much butt as their male counterparts. Just this past year, films like Atomic Blonde and Wonder Woman are making Hollywood reassess certain casting choices.
With the recent news of Jodie Wittaker’s casting as the next Doctor in Doctor Who, it’s not totally beyond the realm of possibility that we might soon see a Jane Bond with her own license to kill.
The likes of a lady Bond would certainly provide an unconventional casting choice, peaking an audience’s curiosity while providing a new take on a decades-old character. The franchise has already phased out much of the sexism of its early years, so the possibility of a Jane Bond is now realer than ever.
1. There Have Been Better Bonds
Like most fans, we could sing praises of Daniel Craig as James Bond all day. He’s the best thing a modern 007 fanatic could have hoped for– convincing, imposing, sophisticated, and able to give Bond a touch of humanity that others were incapable of providing.
But the best Bond ever? Well, that’s debatable. The truth is, you could make a case for almost any actor that’s had the role over the last 55 years, even for George Lazenby, who only had one film to leave his mark.
Sean Connery is still largely considered the greatest for his rugged machoism, Pierce Brosnan gets points for his natural charisma, and Timothy Dalton is often the unsung hero for being the first brooding Bond.
Our point? Craig might be good, but there have been plenty of great James Bonds before him, and there will most likely be some great James Bonds after him. It’s time to stop delaying the inevitable and try and find the next potential 007 in the making. Like Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan, Craig will certain have a lasting legacy, and in the end, that’s the best thing you can hope for.
What do you think? Is it time for Daniel Craig to hang up his towel as James Bond? Who would you like to see replace him? Let us know in the comments!
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