With Daniel Craig set to return for what will almost certainly be his final movie in the James Bond franchise, we're taking a look back at what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for his first James Bond movie: Casino Royale. Directed by Martin Campbell and released in 2006, Casino Royale was based on the very first novel written by Bond author Ian Fleming, and effectively rebooted the franchise (which had gotten somewhat silly) with a new, grittier feel.
Of course, even a gritty and serious reboot of the James Bond franchise still involves a parkour chase across a construction site and a villain who weeps blood.
Related: The Dark Knight Rises Pitch Meeting
Until replacing Pierce Brosnan as the new James Bond, Craig was best known for roles in more serious dramas and thrillers like Road to Perdition, Munich, and... Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. OK, perhaps they weren't all serious roles. When the casting was announced there was an immediate backlash to the news that a blond actor had been cast as the traditionally dark-haired super-spy, and that - even more scandalously - we would not be dying his hair for the role. However, Craig quickly won fans over once the movie was released and everyone got to see him coming out of the ocean in that tiny blue swimsuit. Let's take a look back at how Craig and his new take on Bond were originally pitched.
The change of actor, tone, and hair color proved to be a success, as Casino Royale achieved the highest gross of any James Bond movie so far - an achievement that was soon topped by the 2012 sequel Skyfall. Cary Fukunaga, who directed the critically-acclaimed first season of True Detective, is taking over directing duties for Bond 25, which will begin filming soon under the working title Shatterhand and is set for release in April 2020.
Now that the hair color barrier has been crossed and Craig is on his way out of the franchise, talk has turned to the possibility of the next James Bond marking an even more radical change, like making the character a woman or casting a non-white actor (specifically, Idris Elba). However, by the time of Bond 25's release five years will have passed since Spectre arrived in theaters, so it's probably a bit too soon to expect any casting news for Bond 26. After all, Blond Bond's journey isn't over just yet.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020