It took some journalistic might and anonymous sources just to get a straight answer about Craig’s Bond future.
Based on the events of the last 24-hours, one might confuse the situation around the 25th James Bond movie with some kind of national security investigation. Who knows, they may both ultimately involve Russia before it’s all said and done. It’s an odd place to be for a film production, the subject of anonymous sources in The New York Times, but this is Bond, after all.
Let’s set the stage. Yesterday, Eon Productions announced a release date for Bond 25 — November 8, 2019. Absent from the release was any other relevant details, including cast or director. Which sent the film blogosphere into a tailspin over whether or not Daniel Craig would return. The assumption, following interviews in the wake of Spectre in which Craig said he’d sooner “slash [his] wrists” then return to another Bond shoot, was that he’d be moving on. The 2019 release date seemed to suggest that perhaps Eon was looking to put distance between 2015’s Spectre and a new era.
Later in the evening, The New York Times entered the fray with this report: “The companies said in a statement that details about a distribution partner, international release dates and the film’s cast and director would be announced “at a later date.” But Mr. Craig’s return is a done deal, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid conflicts with Eon and MGM.”
So Craig will return for the next Bond movie, despite openly saying that he was ready to move on. With no director attached, the production is still very much in the early stages. According to the Eon release, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (the team behind the last 6 Bond films) are already at work on a script.
It’s a situation worth watching, as things could evolve over time. Especially if we consider this note from Birth.Movies.Death writer Phil Noble Jr.:
“On the less official front, I have read thoughts from someone I believe to be close [to] the production that the Broccolis are looking to do one more Bond then sell the franchise off, a la George Lucas/Star Wars/Disney. If that comes to pass, it will be interesting times indeed for Ian Fleming’s gentleman spy.”
That’s an interesting wrench in this entire machine, the notion that the Broccoli family may cash out after the 25th film. At that point, any potential buyer would be free to remake the franchise however it sees fit. Perhaps a fresh start wouldn’t be a bad idea. Christopher Nolan, long said to be interested in making a Bond film, said in a recent Playboy interview that he’d only want to do it if it were a reinvention of the character. Reinvention time appears to be approaching, but it’ll have to wait until at least 2020.