Daniel Craig wanted to kill James Bond since Casino royale came out, producers say. Craig’s memorable run as 007 ended explosively at last year’s climax No time to die. Now the venerable Secret Agent film series sits without a protagonist and looks to a new beginning in the post-Craig era.
But new beginnings, of course, are nothing new for the Bond series, a franchise that has gone through multiple protagonists over the course of 60 years. Craig’s arrival in Casino royale was indeed one of the biggest transitions in Bond’s history as the series began to deliberately evolve from certain elements of its own formula that had become obsolete by 2006. Craig’s portrayal of Bond was, of course, a big part of that evolution, as he tried to take the character in new, more gritty and realistic directions than before.
Critics and audiences alike embraced Craig’s more brutal and less debonair view of Bond in… Casino royale, ushering in a new era for the series that was most intriguing in many ways. But despite the success of that series-changing Bond film, one person involved in the production was not happy and did indeed announce that he wanted out. Speak with The Empire Movie Podcasttold Bond series producer Broccoli about Craig’s early doubts, saying the actor wanted to kill Bond from the first film:
Well, Fleming had flirted with killing Bond a few times. So it’s always been there a bit. But I remember we had a premiere in Berlin after Casino Royale, and after all the uproar about Daniel Craig’s casting, when we opened the movie and he was just an extraordinary success, it was a huge relief as we traveled around the world . And we’d had this premiere in Berlin and I remember sitting in the back of the limousine, we were all very happy. And Daniel said, “How many of these movies do I have to do?” And I was like, “Oh my God.” I wish I had said ten. But I told him the truth. And he said, “What were you thinking of getting rid of me?” I said, ‘Daniel, we’ve only just done the first. Don’t start talking about suicide.”
What Bond’s Death Means For 007’s Future
Switching James Bond actors has, of course, been routine since Sean Connery left the series in 1969 to be replaced by George Lazenby (before Connery famously returned, only to be replaced again by Roger Moore). But what’s not routine is killing Bond like the producers did at the end of this year No time to die. This shocking decision certainly delivered a tense and emotional climax to the latest Bond film, but fans were left wondering what’s next for the long-running franchise.
But if the Bond series chooses to approach the death of Craig’s Bond in the same way it has always dealt with the attrition of protagonists, then the series will continue with no explanation as to why Bond looks and sounds like a completely different person. Simply ignoring canon was basically standard procedure for the Bond franchise until recent years, when the series started to play with recurring characters alongside Bond, and storylines that lasted several films. So history says that the next Bond movie probably won’t reference the events of Craig’s Bond movies at all, allowing the next Bond actor to start over with a clean slate.
Indeed, it would be a real change for the Bond franchise to even acknowledge the events of previous films when the new one comes out. So the truth is Bond’s dead is inside… No time to die probably won’t affect the series at all. The next Bond actor will most likely start from scratch like Craig did in Casino royale. But hopefully they won’t be as miserable as Craig seemed to be.
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Source: The Empire Movie Podcast