Caveat Emptor: U.K. tabloids write about Craig’s future

SPECTRE poster

Daniel Craig in a SPECTRE poster

Two U.K. tabloids have come out with stories saying that Daniel Craig is quitting the role of James Bond. But the content in both is lacking.

The catalyst was the news REPORTED BY VARIETY that Craig is to star in a limited, made-for-cable-television series based on the Jonathan Franzen novel Purity. The story focused on negotiations with various U.S. cable television networks.

Enter THE SUN which said, “DANIEL Craig is quitting as James Bond after signing up for a US TV series. He will star in Purity, which is set to run for several series of 20 episodes each.”

The problem: The Sun doesn’t say how it learned this news. There’s no attribution (such as “people familiar with the actor’s decision” or similar phrasing). The Sun simply asserts it.

The Sun adds the tidbit that Craig will play “charismatic German Andreas Wolf, who offers to help US woman Purity find her father.” Again, no attribution.

Next up: THE DAILY MAIL’S WEBSITE, which says Craig “reportedly” has stepped down. That’s because the Mail’s story doesn’t have its own reporting, but cites The Sun.

In the past, the Mail has had scoops (mostly reported by entertainment scribe Baz Bamigboye) about Bond movies that turned out to be true. Bamigboye, though, has been off the 007 beat for some time. And this time out, the Mail is only summarizing The Sun’s story.

As a result, the Caveat Emptor label applies until something more definitive emerges.

UPDATE (11:20 a.m. NY time): A story in DIGITAL SPY says Craig’s “representatives have denied the story….his rep has said that no decision has been made,.” The name(s) of the representative(s) aren’t disclosed nor is the method (e-mail? telephone interview? personal interview?) of how the denial was made.

UPDATE II (11:40 a.m. NY time): Meanwhile THE INDEPENDENT is running a story with a headline that says Craig “reportedly” is quitting Bond but adds this: “UPDATE: The Independent has learnt that a decision on whether Craig will return as Bond has not been reached, but if he does appear in Purity it does not necessarily mean he will not be back to play Bond.”

UPDATE III (11:50 a.m. NY time): The BBC is now into the act. (CLICK HERE and scroll down to 07:25. Here’s the main text:

“Daniel Craig’s representative has told the BBC that there is no truth to news reports claiming he has decided to leave the James Bond series.

“According to The Sun and other newspapers, the 47-year-old is quitting the franchise after signing up for a US TV series.

“According to his rep, though, no decision has been made on whether he’ll stay or go.”

Still no details on how the message was communicated.