Daniel Craig has reportedly reached a deal to star in Bond 25. It's been almost two years since the last James Bond film, Spectre, and that time has been dominated by speculation of whether Craig, who has played 007 in four films (and countless adverts) since 2006, will return.
The film itself definitely left the door open for more adventures, but repeated comments made by the star suggested he was completely done with the role, leading to the question of if he'd be back and, if not, who'd replace him. Many names were raised, from long-standing favorites Idris Elba and Damian Lewis to new frontrunners Aiden Turner and James Norton. However, it now looks like any actors vying to be the seventh official Bond may have to wait a bit longer.
According to The Mirror, Craig has agreed with producer Barbara Broccoli to start in Bond 25 and the current plan is to film the movie next year, likely putting it for a 2019 release. Their report also suggests that the producers are incredibly keen to get Adele, who won an Oscar for Skyfall, back to sing the theme. The publication's source for this information appears to be an anonymous professional close to the project, who was quoted saying the following:
"Craig and Adele together are the winning team, the ultimate choice, the money spinners. It’s taken time but Daniel has come round and the strong con–sensus [sic] in the Bond offices is that Mr Craig is 007 again. As for Adele, she’s more of an unknown quantity but loved being part of Bond, so the signs are positive."
It's worth pointing out that this is far from official and comes from an anonymous source, although the traditional British press does have form with Bond news and all of this is rather believable. Indeed, while Craig's debate with playing the character has been a hot topic, he has stated he would come back for the money and it was presumed he was actually contracted for the film, making this a more complicated and personal discussion that standard movie deals. This does mean a further return for Bond 26 is unlikely though.
It makes sense for Craig to come back. He's a true icon in the role and a major draw for the series, and on a narrative point Spectre left his James Bond hanging. We last saw him driving off into the murky London sunset with Madeline Swann in his trusty Aston Martin DB5, which is certainly a happy ending but not what we conventionally expect of Bond; this scenario sets up the deadly Tracy Bond situation previously alluded to with Vesper and against the backdrop of Craig's tortured tenure can really just a stopgap to 007's tragic life.
There is still a question within this of studio involvement. The distribution rights for the series are currently in flux after a four-movie deal with Sony and the latest word suggested as many as five other studios were vying to take them up (the latest reports suggested Warner Bros., with Christopher Nolan's Syncopy involved). So while Craig's on board with Eon and MGM, who own the series, it's still pending getting that financial backing.
Still, with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade back on writing duties, this development will finally allow Bond 25 to begin moving forward. At the current rate, the film will arrive in 2019 at the earliest, a four-year gap between entries. While that's on the longer side, there's worth in spending time getting Bond right. Indeed, it also seems they're trying to recapture the billion-dollar brilliance of Skyfall, the highest-grossing and one of the best-reviewed films of the entire series, a smart move after the divisive reaction to Spectre's confused attempts to create a cohesive timeline.
There's no mention in the report of the recent rumors that the Broccolis are wanting to craft a 007 shared universe, which would indicate the current focus is getting Bond 25 off the ground, although who knows what future that landmark entry could be seeding.
Source: The Mirror