Daniel Craig Has Decided Whether He’ll Ever Play James Bond Again

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Daniel Craig says he is completely done playing James Bond and the ending of No Time to Die was perfect for it.

By Mark McKee
| Published

James Bond is one of the most popular and influential characters in all of books and movies, and out of the six actors to play the super spy, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is perhaps the most popular and influential of the iterations over the past six decades. But while the role changed Craig’s life, the actor tells LA Times that he is finished with the character and his ending was the perfect way for him to say goodbye. 

Of course, there is a fair amount of recency bias in that as many of us grew up with Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig, but the latter reinvented the character with a more brooding and grounded version of the character, losing the cheesiness that has been present since the very beginning and replacing it with a darker and more psychologically intense version.

In the interview, Daniel Craig points out that this new version of his career isn’t post-James Bond, that he has no plan as to what he is or wants to do, but is merely just going by the gut. While he has moved on to play a new southern detective, Benoit Blanc, and has been part of a brilliant and viral Belvedere Vodka ad directed by Taika Waititi, he says he is not intentionally trying to break out of his James Bond persona.

Having said that, the statement with the most finality came when asked if he would ever return; the British actor confessed that while he would feel honored to be asked, he doesn’t want to go back. 

When Daniel Craig took on the role of James Bond in 2005, he was left with a Cold-War era character that felt old and tired; as great as Pierce Brosnan was in the part, the tropes that made the MI6 agent so famous were no longer the fresh and exciting things fans go in for. What Craig did was break the character down to the core and present a complicated man with a reckless nature and a chip on his shoulder for authority.

While most any supervisor would despise his methods, Judi Dench’s M saw his stellar instincts and devotion as a tool to be directed, and he developed into the Bond we knew over time. His origins explored gave the character depth and vulnerability that previous versions rarely showed and gave his solitude and womanizing behavior a reason, almost a purpose. 

Daniel Craig appeared in five films as James Bond, starting with the 2006 film Casino Royale, which saw the origins of his promotion to 007, a more physical version of the character and the loss of a woman that stripped the man of any heart he had left. He followed that up with the worst-received movie in his tenure, the somewhat disconnected Quantum of Solace, followed by the most well-received of his films, Skyfall. His third film saw the first time they killed off M, with the death of Judi Dench’s character, and introduced the more traditional characters with Ralph Fiennes‘ M, Naomi Harris’ Moneypenny, and Ben Winshaw’s Q. 

Many moments in Daniel Craig’s tenure make him the most memorable of the James Bonds, like his showdown with Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld in Spectre and the revelation that he has a kid in No Time to Die. The end of his run with him making the ultimate sacrifice is the moment that sets him apart from the rest; he was the only one to get a natural end to his storyline, and that is all Craig needs to know that there is nothing left for him to do as the spy.