It was a busy week for Bond talk: Daniel Craig told Esquire that he might not return, yet he’s just been named co-producer of SPECTRE (a first for a Bond actor) with the arrival of the new poster; author Anthony Horowitz called Idris Elba “too street” to play Bond and then apologized; and a UK bookie is placing his bet on Tom Hardy as the next 007.
Not surprisingly, Craig said he’s burned out on Bond after his fourth outing and was in no mood to confirm his return: “At the moment I can’t even conceive it…I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.”
Indeed, now that Craig’s a co-producer — an acknowledgment that he has more creative power than any of his predecessors — why would he step down when he can dictate his own terms? Maybe he just needs a break before trying to lure back Sam Mendes or going after another prestigious director of his liking to continue the first-ever character arc for the franchise.
This is vital because Craig is determined to keep it personal: “However big and grand it is, however boisterous the script is, you look for the truth in it, and you stick to that, and then you can mess around with it. And if you have that and you have the car chases and the explosions as well, then you’re quids in. But there have to be consequences. He has to be affected by what happens to him. It’s not just that he has to kill the bad guy, there has to be a reason for it.”
Crucially, though, Craig added that there’s a sense of melancholy to his Bond: “He’s very fucking lonely. There’s a great sadness. He’s fucking these beautiful women but then they leave and it’s… sad. And as a man gets older it’s not a good look. It might be a nice fantasy — that’s debatable — but the reality, after a couple of months…”
But Craig also hinted at some sort of closure to Casino Royale while at the same time returning to the classic Bond: “I think we can safely say we’ve squared all those circles.”
Still, Craig said of SPECTRE: “It’s Skyfall times 10… a celebration of all that’s Bond.”
Meanwhile, speculation persists in who will succeed Craig (who is reportedly signed for one more mission). I was interviewed by NPR correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates this week about Elba. Race aside, I think he has the grit and charisma to pull off Bond; however, he’s 42 and therefore his age becomes an issue.
As for Hardy, 37, he’s certainly tough enough but is he sufficiently dapper? Also, he’s 5′ 9,” which would make him the shortest Bond ever. Aside from Craig (who’s 5′ 10″), all the others have been taller than 6′.