Come October 26, James Bond hits the silver screen for the 23rd (official) time in Skyfall. Daniel Craig, who has been portraying the character since 2006, has proven a very competent James Bond, and many fans rank him just below Sean Connery as the best Bond of all time. Hopefully that contingent of Craig fans includes you, otherwise today’s news that Craig has signed on to star in the 24th and 25th James Bond films will probably not come as a positive.
Though Bond fansite MI6 offers no substantial information on the next two Bond movies, it does assure us that Craig has made some sort of official agreement with EON Productions to reprise his role two more times. Additionally, the MI6 piece claims that EON, Sony and MGM (who currently have a very circuitous agreement over the distribution and promotion of the James Bond films) have been hinting at a return to the days when new James Bond movies would enter production on a tight schedule and appear in theaters every two years or so. There’s no official confirmation that the studios will go in this route, but if true that would mean that Daniel Craig is our James Bond until at least 2016.
That said, MI6 also worries that this rapid production schedule might infringe on EON’s ability to create genuinely good Bond films. Skyfall, for instance, is reportedly excellent due specifically to the extended break the production company was given between this film and its last Bond flick. Likewise, Daniel Craig has made public his desire to take a bit of a break from the Bond character following the debut of Skyfall. Not a huge break, mind you — Craig’s stated many, many times that he absolutely loves the James Bond mythos and will play the lead role until EON opts to replace him — but enough to recharge himself mentally in preparation for whatever James Bond 24 might require of him as an actor.
Given Craig’s success with the character we fully support both his new agreement to continue working with EON and his desire to take some time off. Anyone who has seen any of Craig’s Bond films will recognize how physically and mentally demanding the role must be, and yet we don’t want to see Craig abandon his iteration of the super spy. Though we all had doubts as to how he’d turn out prior to his work in 2006′s Casino Royale, Craig has done an admirable job of silencing detractors. He’s not the suave, ladykilling, international man of mystery that Sean Connery portrayed, nor the bizarrely silly spy of the Roger Moore era; instead, Craig depicts a brutish, conflicted version of James Bond that is simultaneously more “realistic” and offers a more visceral, thrilling viewing experience. If it were up to us Craig would be James Bond until he’s physically incapable of lifting a Walther PPK.