Call it the curse of OHMSS (Spoiler SPECTRE is essentially a remake of OHMSS). Lazenby walked away from the role before the movie could be released cementing his time as bond before it really began. Craig has made noises that Spectre is his last. He has made similar disgruntled noises in the past after each film, however this is a lot more direct.
For the new film, Spectre, Craig told Esquire magazine that he would instead bring “weight and meaning” to the role. Craig, who has disclosed Spectre is likely to be his final appearance as Bond, said the new film would consciously make its parts for women as empowering as possible, to counteract Bond’s own behaviour.
Craig suggested this may be his last appearance in the role, paving the way for heightened speculations over who will fill his shoes. When asked if he would continue in the franchise, he said: “At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.”
“You know, it sounds awful but I’ve been left a wealthy man by doing this. I can afford to live very comfortably… I’m incredibly fortunate.
“But the day I can walk into a pub and someone goes, ‘Oh, there’s Daniel Craig’ and then just leaves me alone, that’ll be great.”
Barbara Broccoli squeals like giddy school girl whenever Craig is mentioned, talks of being a bride on a honeymoon*, she even gave him a co-producer credit, so presumably his job is safe with her in charge. The studio was happy enough to extend his contract in 2012 with a fat pay raise.
The one who is not happy is Craig, he doesn’t really like Bond or making the movies. He has one more film in his contract, but he has been at it for 10 years at this juncture. He seems to be saying he is ready to get this life back, ready to move on.
Of course he has one more payday coming if he wants to take it. Who knows how the movie will play out, financially and critically. A future offer may be too good to walk away from.
My problem is not so much Craig himself, personally I don’t think he looks or acts the part. Plenty enough don’t seem to mind, so he’s earned his pay checks in my book. What concerns me even if Craig decides to leave is he is only a symptom of the problems at EON. Seemingly as soon as Barbara Broccoli had control over the franchise after her mother died she was quick to jettison the legacy embracing the popular storey telling memes of the day. Turning Bond from sophisticated spy into a dysfunctional psychopath with mommy issues. Making these supposedly back to Fleming movies about a character (with a history) Fleming never penned.
When talking about problems at EON I should also mention the ballooning production cost, $350 million (maybe more some cars were nicked and had to be replaced ), then P&A in the neighbourhood of $250 million at a minimum. Making it very hard to break even unless they make Jurassic Wold kind of money. Who knows maybe they will and all this is bluster over nothing. But that misses the main problem which is why does a Bond movie cost north of Avengers extravaganza and 3D heavy Avatar?
EON has acted like they’ve learned their lessons before, the reboot featuring Craig was supposedly because Brosnan was too expensive and his movies cost too much to make. Craig was supposed to be a dawn of a new era of smart film making on a smart budget. Except it wasn’t. CR’s real budget was not far off from DAD, it actually cost more the DAD to produce. Cost have only gone upwards since. Running into trouble when QOS under preformed and lucking out with Skyfall surpassing all expectations.
Obviously it is not any one actor or director making these cost spiral out of control it has to be something more fundamental with the production company.
I’m cautiously optimistic this will be Craig’s last outing, based solely on his tone found so far in one interview, if it is I’ll be the first to wish him well and buy a ticket for his next project. But even if he happily moves on the problems may still exist at EON. Barbara Broccoli could very well cast someone worse than Craig and make the stories even more soap operaish.
* she said the same thing about Brosnan 2002-2003