Daniel Craig, the sixth man to play James Bond on the silver screen, is set to return for the franchise’s 25th feature. The follow-up to Spectre is slated for a Fall 2019 release. Despite earlier reports of hesitation, Craig will reprise his role as the tuxedo-clad secret agent with a license to kill and a weakness for beautiful women.
Following the grueling production schedule of 2015’s Spectre, Craig expressed disdain at the thought of reprising his role. “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,” he told a British magazine. But now, the New York Times reports Craig’s return for Bond 25 is a “done deal.”
Eon Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced Monday (Jul. 24) that the film will see a North American release on November 8th, 2019. Eon’s Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will produce, with longtime writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade also set for a return.
Craig took over the ailing franchise in 2006 with the gritty Casino Royale reboot. His bruising, rough, brash James Bond in Casino marked a dramatic shift from Pierce Brosnan’s ultra-suave 90s portrayal. Over the course of Craig’s four films, the modernized franchise fell into old habits – much to the delight of longtime fans – Skyfall and Spectre saw the return of intricate gadgets, zingy one-liners, and other-worldly stunts, as well as some quintessential characters like Q and M.
The yet-to-be-named Bond 25 will rank Craig behind only Sir. Roger Moore (7) and the original, Sean Connery (6), for total-number-of-films. At 13 years since his first release, Craig will officially become the longest tenured James Bond (Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery’s forgettable 1983 one-off, doesn’t count).
Spectre saw EON retroactively build a story-arc loosely connecting Craig’s earlier films through Christoph Waltz’ reinvention of the classic-era baddie Blofeld. In addition to Blofeld, Spectre established a long-term love interest for Craig’s Bond in Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. The film closes with Bond handing in his Walther and retreating into retirement with Swann – which means that any film starring Craig will have to dedicate the first act to bringing the run-down secret agent back into the fold, a trope that has seemingly been done four times in the Craig-era alone.
One alternative? A reboot of George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which sees Blofeld murder bond’s wife Tracy at the end of the film. Such a script would give Craig’s aging Bond the motivation needed to come back once more and defeat Blofeld for good, ending his tenure with a tidy bookend and leaving the doors wide open for a fresh face and director to pull Bonds 26-30 into the next decade.
There’s no way of knowing what direction EON will go in until more of the cast is revealed in coming months, but it’s still fun to speculate! Let us know what adventure you would like to see Bond take on in comments.