Daniel Craig wanted to kill James Bond ever since Casino Royale came out, producers say. Craig’s memorable run as 007 ended explosively in last year’s climax no time to die. Now, the venerable secret agent movie series finds itself without a lead actor and looking to a fresh start in the post-Craig era.
But new beginnings are of course nothing new for the Bond series, a franchise that has gone through several major players over the past 60 years. Craig’s arrival at Casino Royale indeed marked one of the biggest transitions in Bond history, as the series began to deliberately move away from certain elements of its own formula that had become obsolete by 2006. Craig’s portrayal of Bond was well sure a big part of that evolution, as it took the character in new, more down-to-earth and realistic directions than had been attempted before.
Critics and audiences have come to embrace Craig’s more brutal and less debonair take on Bond in Casino Royale, kicking off a new era for the series that, in many ways, has been the most intriguing. But despite the success of this series-changing Bond film, one person involved in the production was not happy and indeed made it known that he wanted out. Talk to The Empire Movie PodcastBond series producer Broccoli spoke about Craig’s early apprehensions, saying the actor wanted to kill off Bond from the very first film:
Well, Fleming had flirted several times with the idea of killing Bond. So it’s always been there. But I remember after Casino Royale, we had a premiere in Berlin, and after all the furor about the casting of Daniel Craig, when we opened the movie and it was a tremendous success, it was a huge relief when we were traveling the world. And we had this premiere in Berlin and I remember we got in the back of the limo, we were all very happy. And Daniel said, “How many of these movies am I supposed to do?” And I was like “Oh my God.” I wish I had said ten. But I told him the truth. And he said, “What if you kill me?” I said “Daniel, we just did the first one. Don’t start talking about killing yourself.
What Bond’s Death Means For 007’s Future
Rotating James Bond actors has of course been a common activity since Sean Connery left the show in 1969 to be replaced by George Lazenby (before Connery famously returned, to be replaced again by Roger Moore). But what isn’t routine is killing off Bond like the producers did at the end of no time to die. This shocking decision certainly created an exciting and emotional climax for the latest Bond movie, but it left fans wondering what’s next for the long-running franchise.
But if the Bond series chooses to approach Craig’s Bond death the same way it has always approached main cast turnover, then the show will continue to branch out without explaining why Bond looks and sounds like a completely different person. Simply ignoring canon was actually standard operating procedure for the Bond franchise until recent years, when the show started toying with recurring characters in addition to Bond and story arcs that spanned several movies. So the story goes that the next Bond movie is unlikely to make any reference to the events of Craig’s Bond films, allowing the next Bond actor to start over with a clean slate.
It would indeed be a real game-changer for the Bond franchise to even recognize events from past films when the new one arrives. So the truth is that Bond’s death in no time to die will probably have no ramifications in the series. The next Bond actor will most likely be able to start from scratch like Craig did in Casino Royale. But I hope they won’t be as miserable as Craig seemed.
Next: Requirements For James Bond’s Next Cast Block Multiple 007 Fancasts
Source: The Empire Film Podcast