Months of speculation on who would be the next James Bond have now come full circle back to current 007 spy Daniel Craig. According to one new report, Sony has made an offer of $150 million to the actor to return not once, but twice as the titular character.
Radar Online had the story. This isn’t the first time Craig has been offered a substantial amount of money for two films, as we reported back in May, that he was offered £68 million (or just shy of $100 million USD) to reprise the role. With the weakened British pound, they’ve nearly offered him double what they originally did when the currency is converted. Here’s what their source said about the offer:
“The studio is desperate to secure the actor’s services, while they phase in a younger long-term successor.”
What’s really interesting here is that, should the rumor be true, the studio is trying to play the long game with the series for the first time I can think of. I’m not sure how they would “phase in” a younger actor into the lead role, since with every recasting, they just bring in a new face and direction to the series.
One of the issues with this rumor is that Sony doesn’t own the rights to the character anymore, as the franchise went on the auction block after SPECTRE came out. Apparently the source indicates that Sony has scooped up the rights, but wants to make the official announcement with Craig on board, and the actor knows that. The source seems to think that the actoris using that as leverage:
“[Craig] has played a genius hand. Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned.
“Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen.”
It’s hard to figure out the veracity of this rumor because there’s too many questions that need answering. Sony only made 20% of the profits ,but incurred 50% of the cost of making and 100% of promoting SPECTRE, so unless they’ve altered the deal massively, why would they want to do so again? Another question is whether Craig has changed his mind about shooting two films back-to-back, which he outright refused to do in the past, but is a key to the current plan:
“Then they will shoot two more films, which will be made virtually back-to-back, preferably featuring Daniel as 007 before he passes the figurative baton to someone else for a third movie that will mark the start of the new era.”
Personally, I would love for this to be the case as SPECTRE was a weak entry, but finally introduced the organization with Christoph Waltz as their leader Ernesto Blofeld. For the first time, they have a chance of telling a complete series of films as one cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end, and I would love to see how that would work. Of course, instead of a series of Craig-led Bond adventures, all four of his films work together. This could be the start of an even bigger James Bond Cinematic Universe.