Daniel Craig: The Long Goodbye Part Infinity

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace

At this rate, Daniel Craig’s goodbye from the role of James Bond will be as long as the running time of the five movies (which included the three longest Bond films) where he played 007.

Variety this week came out with yet another story where the 54-year-old actor says he wanted to stop playing James Bond.

Daniel Craig says he has no regrets about leaving James Bond behind and has revealed that he discussed killing the character with franchise producer Barbara Broccoli.

“No, none at all,” Craig said when asked by Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s “Best of Today” podcast. “I had an incredibly fortunate 17 years of my life making this. I literally want to spend the next 20 years of my life trying to unhook it all and try and put it into a place because it was incredible. I left it where I wanted it to be. And that I was given the chance to do that with the last movie.”

Which is a variation of comments Craig has said in multiple interviews since the long-delayed No Time to Die finally came out in the fall of 2021.

We get it. According to Craig, he wanted to kill off his version of Bond very early into his tenure. Fine. If true, he got his way.

Why is this still a thing?

Partially, it’s because there isn’t much real Bond film news. So, naturally, entertainment reporters keep picking over the scabs of the recent past.

Eon Productions has been doing a victory lap since No Time to Die came out.

Victory lap? More like a victory marathon. But you get the idea.

When last we heard from Eon boss Barbara Broccoli, the production company was still figuring out where to go next. Whatever.

Craig, after cashing in hefty paychecks for Bond, is cashing in even more hefty paychecks from Netflix for playing his Knives Out character. Good for you, Daniel. Being an actor can be a hard way to make a living. At this stage, Craig has made enough money for multiple generations of his family.

In American football, players who score a touchdown spike the ball in the end zone. Figuratively, Craig and Barbara Broccoli are running from end zone to end zone to spike the ball.

It would be nice if Variety, or other major entertainment news outlets, could let us know about the future of Bond films. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Daniel Craig benefits from tech company valuations

Daniel Craig is the original Knives Out

Daniel Craig is about to get a huge post-Bond payday, in part because “tech companies” play by different rules than other businesses.

It has been reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Netflix will pay almost $470 million for two sequels to the film Knives Out. Now, Netflix resembles a studio (it makes original movies and TV shows). But it’s classified as a tech company because its productions primarily are shown on streaming, though its movies sometimes get theatrical releases.

If you’re a tech company, investors treat you differently. Your stock price often goes crazy and investors will throw money at you.

Netflix isn’t alone. Amazon is essentially a retailer but because it’s viewed as a tech company, it’s much more valuable. Ditto for Tesla, which makes electric vehicles but enjoys the tech company label, much to the consternation of established automakers.

Enter Daniel Craig, the five-time film James Bond. He starred in the original Knives Out, a 2019 mystery, as a project he squeezed in amid No Time to Die delays. Reportedly, he and Knives Out writer-director Rian Johnson may pocket $100 million each as part of the new Netflix deal.

Craig made plenty of money playing James Bond. His No Time to Die payday was a reported $25 million.

But that was under the old rules — release a movie to theaters, charge admission, then shift to home video and on-demand TV.

Netflix plays under new rules, which emphasize streaming. Others, including Walt Disney Co. and AT&T (owner of Warner Bros.) want in on that action.

The original Knives Out had a global box office of $311.4 million on a budget of $45 million. That’s nice but hardly the billion-dollar-plus blockbuster in theatrical release, which had been the industry standard. However, the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the traditional movie theater business.

Variety, in a follow-up story, described how things are changing:

Then again, the world of entertainment has changed so significantly, and the measure of success for streamers is not dependent on box office dollars but on signing up new subscribers.

“It’s a whole new equation,” as one of my sources put it.

No doubt it’s an equation to Craig’s liking.

The Daniel Craig publicity circuit

Daniel Craig in Skyfall (2012)

Daniel Craig is trying to promote his newest movie, Knives Out. But the question whether he had a future as James Bond beyond No Time to Die keeps coming up.

Earlier this month, Craig was interviewed by two European outlets, Express and HLN.

In each, according to English translations of the originals, Craig says No Time to Die will be his final James Bond film.

Then, on the Nov. 22 edition of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Craig made an appearance to promote Knives out. The first of two segments of the late night show was Bond heavy. This was the same show that Craig used in 2017 to announce he would do one more Bond film.

COLBERT: Are you done with Bond?

CRAIG: Yes.

COLBERT: You’re done with Bond?

CRAIG: It’s done.

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a Bond actor said something like that only to change his mind. After all, the 1983 non-Eon Bond film Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery was titled that for a reason.

Still, Craig has been consistent — at least so far. So maybe he means it. As usual, we’ll see.

Here’s the Bond-heavy segment from The Late Show:

Bond 25 director will juggle another project

Cary Fukunaga, director for Bond 25

Cary Fukunaga, Bond 25’s director, will also be juggling another project, Deadline: Hollywood reported.

Fukunaga and David Lowery will write a pilot script for the Paramount Channel cable outlet based on the 1985 Joe Dante-directed film Explorers, the entertainment news website said.

Either will “direct the pilot should it get to that,” according to Deadline.

Deadline referenced how Fukunaga is directing Bond 25, but didn’t specify when the new scripting effort would occur. Bond 25 is scheduled to begin production on March 4 for a February 2020 release.

Daniel Craig, scheduled to return to play 007 in Bond 25, is in a new mystery movie Knives out, directed by Rian Johnson. That will film before Bond 25 starts production. (According to IMDB.COM, filming is underway.)

Eon Productions, meanwhile, has a non-007 spy movie, The Rhythm Section that’s due for a February 2019 release by Paramount.

Variety lists 3 contenders to direct Bond 25

Variety, in a story about the search for a Bond 25 director, lists three contenders.

The entertainment news outlet says that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions ” are showing interest” in Bart Layton, director of American Animals, and S.J. Clarkson, ” who was recently tapped to direct the next ‘Star Trek’ installment.”

Also back in contention is Yann Demange, director of White Boy Rick. Demange last year was reported last year to be a contender for Bond 25. But MGM and Eon got interested in Danny Boyle, who got the job.

“Sit-down meetings are still being worked out for Layton and Clarkson, and the timetable for the meetings is currently unclear,” wrote Variety’s Justin Kroll.

“The producers’ first meeting with Demange went well enough to land him high on the list of contenders, but at the time,” according to Kroll. “‘White Boy Rick’ was unfinished and they were unable to see the movie. A screening will now be set for MGM and Eon officials to see Demange’s final product.”

Variety said Eon wants to keep the currently announced fall 2019 release date for Bond 25. At the same time, the entertainment news outlet said meetings with other directors could still be set up.

Daniel Craig, the 007 film star, is scheduled to begin filming a mystery movie, Knives Out, in November. Bond 25 had been set to begin filming Dec. 3.

(UPDATE, 8:20 p.m. New York Time): Variety’s Kroll put out a tweet saying “there is still a chance Eon and MGM take a Hail Mary shot for a big name like Edgar Wright or (Christoper) McQuarrie.”

 

Bond 25 questions: Craig’s new movie edition

Time to hit the panic button yet?

So Daniel Craig has a new movie before Bond 25. A movie that will be filming the month before Bond 25’s scheduled start of production.

You know the drill. The blog, as usual, has some questions.

What are the chances of a delay in starting Bond 25 production? Given your leading man is starring in a mystery movie titled Knives Out, probably 90 percent or better.

If Knives Out were a TV movie, Craig could probably squeeze it in before Bond 25’s scheduled start date of Dec. 3. But, by all accounts, it’s a theatrical film. It may be a modest production, but it doesn’t seem likely Craig could complete Knives Out before Dec. 3.

What are the chances this pushes back Bond 25’s fall 2019 release date? That’s an entirely different question, at least for now.

Mission: Impossible-Fallout still met its July release date despite star Tom Cruise breaking an ankle. The production schedule was changed and the crew was kept on the payroll (so they wouldn’t take other jobs while Cruise recovered). The Christopher McQuarrie-directed movie was still doing work until virtually the last minute. But it still met the release date. That’s a lot of off-screen drama.

However, Bond 25 doesn’t have a director at the moment, much less a McQuarrie. Until it acquires one (after Danny Boyle resigned from the project last month), it’s difficult to say what will happen with the release date. It’s a Mr. Obvious observation, but until you have a director, you don’t have a movie.

So what is Daniel Craig thinking? The fact he accepted another movie suggests there’s no way he thinks Bond 25 will be ready to go by Dec. 3. But the blog doesn’t have a mind reading machine. Also, there’s no telling what the state of Bond 25’s script is after scribe John Hodge followed Boyle out the door.

What’s your verdict? No sense hitting the panic button yet. At the same time, if you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, you should take them off.

New Craig film suggests possible Bond 25 delay

Eon co-boss Barbara Broccoli and 007 star Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig is set to star in a movie that begins filming in November, Deadline: Hollywood reported. That raises the possibility of at least some delay for Bond 25, which had been scheduled to start filming on Dec. 3.

Craig is to star in Knives Out, a murder mystery, according to the entertainment news website. The director will be Rian Johnson, who helmed Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.

The Deadline: Hollywood story doesn’t specifically say Bond 25 will be pushed back. But unless Knives Out can complete filming in less than a month, it would suggest Craig would be unavailable for the announced Dec. 3 date for start of Bond 25 principal photography.

A couple of caveats: Sean Connery was busy when Goldfinger began production in 1964. Mission: Impossible-Fallout still made its July release date despite a delay of months after Tom Cruise broke his ankle. So even if Knives Out keeps Craig tied up it doesn’t necessarily mean — at least not yet — that Bond 25 can’t meet its announced fall 2019 release date.

However, Bond 25 doesn’t have a director after Danny Boyle’s departure last month. And the condition of the script/scripts is/are unknown with scribe John Hodge following Boyle out the Bond door.