Daniel Craig Turns Down £68 Million Deal To Continue As James Bond

Daniel Craig will not return as James Bond in the franchise’s next two films. According to the Evening Standard, Daniel Craig, who has starred in four Bond films, has turned down a £68 million deal to continue as the franchise’s main protagonist. Ever since the release of the most recent addition to the series, Spectre, Daniel Craig has been skeptical about appearing in future films. That said, he was still offered a contract to appear in the next two films, a deal that Craig has reportedly turned down.

The confirmation that Daniel Craig has stepped down from his position as James Bond didn’t come from Craig himself. Instead, a source told the Daily Mail that “Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted.” Following that, the same source spoke about how Craig treated Spectre as his final Bond outing, but that didn’t stop production bosses making a bid to retain him.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

The news that Daniel Craig is planning to make his exit from the James Bond franchise is little surprise, however. In the past, he’s been heard saying that he’d rather “slash his wrists” than do another Bond film. At the same time, since the release of Spectre, the most recent film in the series, Craig has been signed to a number of other productions, including a new 20 episode television adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel Purity. Despite the best efforts of James Bond’s producers, it appears that Daniel Craig’s mind regarding the next Bond film is well and truly made up, opting to bow out of the series after starring in four films as James Bond.

Whilst Bond producers were undeniably keen to see Daniel Craig star in another film, they’d be wise not to force the actor into the role. After all, if an actor isn’t enthusiastic about a role that he’s playing, then the quality of the film and the franchise as a whole is going to be compromised.

In fact, all the speculation is now around exactly who Daniel Craig’s successor will be. The internet is currently strife with rumours that Tom Hiddleston is penned as the next James Bond following his recent appearance in the hugely popular Night Manager miniseries. Over the weekend, British bookmakers suspended betting on the next Bond star after considerable amounts of money were placed on Tom Hiddleston to assume the role. Hiddleston has remained tight-lipped over the Bond position, neither confirming or denying that he’s been approached, simply saying that many have made the link between his character in the Night Manager and James Bond.

With four James Bond films under his belt, Daniel Craig has comfortably matched his predecessor, Piers Brosnan. However, Roger Moore and Sean Connery still lead the way having starred in seven Bond films each. That being said, Daniel Craig’s appearances have brought about a good deal of success for the franchise. His earlier appearances in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were both successful in their own rights. However, it was Skyfall that saw a huge resurgence for the series, whilst booting Craig’s fame.

Daniel Craig’s salary has expectedly increased significantly with each Bond film he’s starred in. Whilst his first two films saw him take away $3.4 million and $8.9 million respectively, that was a figure that rose drastically to $17 million with Skyfall and $39 million with Spectre. If recent reports are to be believed and Daniel Craig had stuck around for the next two films in the series, he would have picked up a salary of £68 million, however, it’s now looking increasingly likely that Daniel Craig has made his departure from Bond.

[Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images]