This weekend the internet was aflutter with news that Daniel Craig would be returning for a fifth outing as 007 in Bond 25.
The story, initially reported by the Mirror, suggested Daniel Craig had been “secured” for ‘Bond 25’, and that Adele was being sought to sing the theme song. The quotes, attributed to an inside source, spread like wildfire online with many outlets (including us, mea culpa) reporting the news.
It’s not surprising the “news” travelled far and wide. There’s a huge amount of goodwill for Daniel Craig as Bond, and there has been ever since his superlative debut in the franchise’s 2006 “reboot” ‘Casino Royale’.
Everyone wants him to return including – we suspect – Eon Productions, the family-run film company responsible for every official James Bond movie since Ian Fleming’s spy made his big screen debut in 1962’s ‘Dr No’. His third film ‘Skyfall’ was the first 007 film to earn over $1bn at the global box office, and he became the first Bond actor to earn a co-producer credits on its 2015 follow up ‘Spectre’.
However, Daniel Craig “signing up” for a fifth 007 film isn’t a simple black and white story.
Veteran Bond-watcher Ajay Chowdhury Esq. of the James Bond International Fan Club, says Craig is likely to return, but there are many moving pieces that need to fall into place for that to happen.
“At this stage, experienced Bond watchers would sigh and take the story with a pinch of salt,” Chowdhury told Yahoo Movies.
“Whilst informed speculation is that Daniel Craig will probably return as Ian Fleming’s 007, as a credited co-producer on the films now, it is likely that Craig will wait to make a decision until there is a finished, fully developed screenplay, and a director attached.”
Why it’s not so simple
The future of the series currently hangs in the balance as Eon seek to find a new home for the hugely successful 55-year-old film franchise.
The series, produced by Eon with MGM, has been distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment since ‘Casino Royale’. That four-film deal which grossed over $3.5bn ended with ‘Spectre’, and now the rights to distribute the next film – the currently untitled ‘Bond 25’ – are up for grabs.
A recent New York Times report suggested five studios were in the mix to market and distribute the film – Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna – with Disney and Paramount both ruled out of the running
Annapurna, a new American distributor who produced ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Foxcatcher’, and ‘American Hustle’ recently signed a multi-year distribution deal with MGM, but it’s unclear exactly how (or if) 007 fits into that picture. Annapurna currently doesn’t currently have plans to distribute in the UK, with Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’ – Annapurna’s first major US release – will be distributed here by eOne.
When will we know who is 007 in ‘Bond 25’?
Whatever is happening behind closed doors in Hollywood, rest assured that someone, somewhere is currently writing a script or treatment for the 25th James Bond film, with pre-production in full swing.
“Currently, Daniel Craig is the Bond of record,” adds Chowdhury, “and it is possible that he is involved in any development taking place on ‘Bond 25’ either here in the UK or in the US.”
Whoever makes the deal with Eon to distribute the next 007 adventure will want the complete package – story, script, actor, director, budget – before they commit, and as star and co-producer Daniel Craig holds all the cards. Should he baulk at any of the details of the proposed deal, the whole thing could fall apart at the eleventh hour, and no actor is bigger than the role as George Lazenby famously found out.
Recent Bond films have traditionally been released in November, so if the rumoured 2018 release date is to be believed, we must expect official announcements to start coming out soon with a big press conference before the end of the year.
Whether it’s Daniel Craig that’ll be Bond on that day, or whether Adele will return to sing the theme song, remains conjecture for now. As does who will direct; despite Chris Nolan’s recent “discussions” with Eon the ‘Dunkirk’ director remains a huge long shot.
“Speculation is high as to what, where, when and who is involved in Bond 25,” Chowdhury concludes.
“It’s good to know that the Rolls-Royce of film franchises still attracts major attention and it is probable that some announcements will be made soon. James Bond WILL return.”