Anticipation for the next James Bond film, Spectre, is very high and for good reason. The last time we saw Daniel Craig as the iconic spy, it was in 2012's Skyfall, which earned some of the best reviews in the franchise and managed to cross the $1 billion plateau (despite not being in 3D). And with Skyfall director Sam Mendes returning to call the shots on Spectre, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful this can be another great outing for the series.
But Spectre is also entering theaters at a time where the future of Bond on film is unclear. There has been much discussion recently about whether or not the film will be the last time we see Craig as 007, and although he is reportedly under contract for one more film following Spectre, it's not a given at this juncture he will be back for Bond 25. And if his recent comments on the matter are any indication, another go-around with MI6 is the last thing on the actor's mind.
In a candid interview with Time Out, Craig addressed the possibility of him returning for a fifth Bond film in the near future:
"I haven’t given it any thought. For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the f*** 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."
This is pretty blunt honesty from Craig, but it's understandable from a certain point of view. Working on any kind of tentpole feature is a tremendous undertaking for an actor (especially a physical role like James Bond), and he's probably looking forward to getting some time off before thinking about doing another one. It's worth pointing out that he doesn't outright dismiss the idea of returning, and who knows where his mind will be at after a year or two of not contemplating Bond. Once he gets a break and separates himself from the franchise for a while, he could be game to fulfill the end of his deal.
One major factor in determining whether or not Craig can come back is the James Bond distribution rights. The current contract with Sony is set to expire after the release of Spectre, meaning it will be open market on the franchise. Obviously, something as big as Bond shouldn't have any issues finding a new home, but there's no telling how long the process will take. If nothing comes into fruition quickly, it could extend the period between Spectre and the next installment, thus impacting the potential for Craig to don the tux again. It's true that there are many action stars still kicking into their 50s (Craig is 47), but it's hard to envision the actor following those footsteps.
Regardless, one has to wonder if it would make narrative sense for Craig to move on after Spectre. The trailers for the film have seemingly built up the movie's events as a sort of end game, with Bond coming face to face with "the author of all his pain," Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser. The villain is certainly being painted as a "big bad" type and not just a regular evildoer. If that's how Spectre plays out, there may be nowhere else for this iteration of Bond to go without feeling anticlimactic. Time will tell, but it's something serious to consider.
Spectre will hit U.S. theaters November 6, 2015.
Source: Time Out