Daniel Craig will officially return to play James Bond in the franchise’s 25th installment, The Guardian is reporting. Danny Boyle will direct the next feature in the decades-old series.
It’s been three years since the latest James Bond installment – 2015’s Spectre – and for a while, it looked like the franchise would have to continue with a new leading man. That’s because at that time, Craig expressed, rather colorfully, that he would like to put double-o-seven behind him.
“I’d rather … slash my wrists. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
As The Guardian reported at the time, it would take a stupendous amount of money to lure him back.
“If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
For a while, it looked like the Bond series would have to continue with another man – or even a woman – in the lead role. Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, and Aidan Turner all heard their names being mentioned in the conversation.
Now it seems, however, that a stupendous amount of money has been placed on the table, and Craig couldn’t resist: he’ll be paid a reported $150 million for two more Bond films.
In a statement from EON Productions, the production company said that it was glad to have Craig back in the lead role.
“We are delighted to announce that the exceptionally talented Danny Boyle will be directing Daniel Craig in his fifth outing as James Bond in the 25th installment of the franchise.”
In addition to bringing back Craig, other familiar faces are rumored to be returning. Those include Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny) and Rory Kinnear (Tanner) – although as of this writing, they have not officially signed contracts.
The studio made some other announcements about Bond 25. For starters, Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) will direct. There will also be some changes at the studio level: in the U.K., Universal will take over the role of distributor from Sony, while in the U.S., MGM will continue to handle distribution, in partnership with Annapurna Pictures.
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the custodians of the Bond movies, announced that production will begin this year.
“We will begin shooting Bond 25 at Pinewood Studios in December with our partners at MGM and are thrilled that Universal will be our international distributor.”‘
The as-yet-untitled 25th James Bond film will premiere in the U.K. on October 25, 2019, and will open in the U.S. two weeks later, on November 8, 2019.