Daniel Craig Still First Choice For Next 007 Movie, Despite Saying He Has Quit

Producers of the popular James Bond movies, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli say Daniel Craig still remains their first choice for the next 007 movie, even though the actor said that he was tired of the franchise that has brought him fame and fortune, Variety is reporting.

Callum McDoughall, executive producer of the last four Bond films which have starred Daniel Craig and who has been part of the last nine Bond movies, also confirmed this Friday. He said if the British actor was willing to come back to reprise another 007 role, it would definitely be his own.

“We love Daniel. We would love Daniel to return as Bond. Without any question he is absolutely Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s first choice. I know they’re hoping for him to come back.”

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Speculation over who would replace the 48-year-old actor hit new heights when he refused to commit to another Bond installment after Sam Mendes, who produced Skyfall and Spectre, left the movie franchise. Daniel Craig had infamously said he would prefer to slash his wrists rather than make another 007 movie.

“I’d rather slash my wrists…I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”

Actors like Idris Elba, Tom Hughes, Tom Hardy, Jamie Bell, and Taylor Swift’s former flame Tom Hiddleston have been linked to the iconic role. Daniel Craig was not an initial favorite when he was confirmed as the next super spy after Pierce Brosnan in 2005. Brosnan had priced himself out of the role by demanding a hefty pay rise of $40 million and a share of box-office revenue.

Many 007 fans were outraged by the decision to go with Craig. He was too blond and had a pale face and fleshy ears. Critics said Daniel Craig did not have “the classic matinee idol look.” There was even an unofficial site called danielcraigisnotbond.com launched by fans to boycott the upcoming movie, Casino Royale.

Casino Royale made $599 million at the box office. Skyfall, Craig’s third portrayal as the flawed and brutal MI6 agent, is the highest-grossing Bond movie of all time, making over $1.2 billion.

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Daniel Craig was not a Hollywood choice, but he was picked ahead of popular actors like Collin Farell, Clive Owen, Henry Cavill, Orlando Bloom and Sam Worthington because he had a kind of “intensity, sexuality and roguishness.”

If Daniel chooses not to return to doing Bond movies, he would be one of the youngest actors ever to do so. Sean Connery acted in Never Say Never Again at age 58, Roger Moore played his last 007 role in A View to a Kill when he was 58, and Pierce Brosnan was 49 when he did Die Another Day.

Many Bond actors have seen their profiles plummet after leaving the MI6 role. Timothy Dalton’s most popular role for a while was voicing a hedgehog in Toy Story 3 before bagging a main character role in supernatural TV series, Penny Dreadful.

Some Bonds have seen their profile dip after the role. Dalton, for example, admittedly more of a stage actor, is possibly best known since for voicing a thespian toy hedgehog in Toy Story 3.

Craig has said he is not bothered about being limited by Bond as an actor, adding that the role had changed his life in an unbelievable way, but that it was simply too time consuming for him.

Some reports say Craig stepped down from the Bond role because he is set to star in a U.S. TV series and because there were difficulties with the last movie, Spectre. A source said Daniel was injured on set and needed knee-surgery.

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However, many have been unimpressed with his attitude, calling for him to keep quiet and stop disrespecting the franchise. Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo said Craig “needed a reality check.”

A Hollywood insider said, Craig thought too much of himself as an actor.

“Craig is pretentious and thinks he’s better than Bond, that it doesn’t give him the creative range he needs. He hasn’t had a big movie outside the franchise, and he blames that on Bond.”

[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/AP Images]