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Daniel Craig is reportedly set to become the longest-running actor to play James Bond following The People’s report that the producers have offered him “a multi-million pound deal” to carry on with the series for five more films.
The deal in question would cement Craig’s status as the 007 icon for a further five appearances following the completion of this summer’s “Skyfall,” – Craig’s third in the series – bringing his tally to a total of eight films since his debut in 2006’s “Casino Royale”.
News of this potential deal was first indicated by producer Michael G. Wilson, who was quoted by The People as saying:
“Daniel’s been a terrific Bond, a superb actor and a terrific man. The fans love him and I don’t think there’s a better actor to play the part. It’s certainly something we’ll be discussing with him once we finish shooting Skyfall.
Filming has gone very well so far and I’d love Daniel to surpass Roger’s record and do eight pictures. Daniel’s been an absolute pleasure to be around because he takes the role so seriously.
There’s really no one more passionate about making these films work than him – he’s a film maker’s dream.”
While there is certainly nothing official in these words or anything to indicate Craig’s own personal feelings about continuing on with the spy series, it is important to consider the series’ recent box office performance as well as Craig’s attempts to craft a successful film career away from the franchise.
First appearing in 2006’s “Casino Royale”, the film, which saw Craig take over the role from four-time portrayer Pierce Brosnan, opened to critical acclaim and more than tripled its budget at the worldwide box office, bringing in a final gross of over $594 million by the end of its theatrical run in March 2007. Comparatively, this improved upon the gross of Brosnan’s final appearance in 2002’s “Die Another Day” by more than $160 million and placed “Casino Royale” as the number one grossing film (unadjusted for inflation) in the entire series.
The 2008 follow-up, “Quantum of Solace”, brought in a similar final worldwide haul of over $586 million; however, its critical reception was not quite as positive. Still, the commercial success of the film cemented Craig’s status as James Bond; a status which he has yet to successfully broaden into other cinematic offerings. With producers such as Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, 2010’s “Cowboys & Aliens” was tipped by some to be one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, however it returned a lackluster $174 million on a budget of $163 million. Similarly, his recent starring turn in David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has gotten off to a slow start at the box office, with its worldwide gross still lagging behind its production budget in its third week of release.
Taking all of this into account, it seems unlikely that Craig is in any hurry to step away from the role and the franchise that helped turned him into a global household name. Whether or not he does indeed star in 8 Bond films is questionable, especially given the delay in the production of this year’s “Skyfall.” Also worth taking into consideration is Craig’s age. He is set to turn 44 next month, rumours surrounding Brosnan’s future status as the star of the series began to circulate before he reached 50.
So if Wilson and company would indeed like to see Craig break Roger Moore’s record of seven appearances, they had best put 007 back on duty as soon as possible.