Craig appeared as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, where he was asked point-blank by Colbert about reprising his iconic role as James Bond. The actor responded, “Yes,” to which a pleased Colbert stood and shook his hand. He indicated that the decision had been made months ago but that he was not ready to confirm anything due to finalizing the deal.
Craig also made sure to underline that this will be his final film in the Bond role, saying “I think this is it. I just want to go out on a high note, and I can’t wait.”
This confirmation settles months of uncertainty over Craig’s return that began in October 2015, when the actor said he would rather “slash his wrists” than play secret agent 007 again, but he apparently had a change of heart.
Craig, who starred in the last four James Bond movies, is said to have changed his mind after seeing the list of British actors being eyed to replace him in the historical film franchise.
Craig is not the only familiar face expected to return to the franchise. According to The Mirror, Craig will be joined by singer Adele, who won an Academy Award in 2012 for her theme song to Skyfall, Craig’s third film as James Bond. Franchise producer Barbara Broccoli is “determined” to bring the singer back.
The New York Times notes that London-based production outfit Eon Productions has confirmed that the film is targeting a November 8, 2019 release in North America. The company also promised an international premiere date, along with news about the cast and director “at a later date.”
Prior to Craig’s rumored turnabout on returning as 007, reports indicated that the list of actors under consideration to become the next James Bond included The Wire and Luther star Idris Elba, Mad Max: Fury Road and Peaky Blinders actor Tom Hardy, Happy Valley actor James Norton, and The Hobbit series and Poldark actor Aidan Turner.
Of the 25 films in the James Bond franchise, the most recent two — 2015’s Spectre and 2012’s Skyfall — were the highest-grossing installments, with Skyfall the biggest hit thanks to its $304.3 million in U.S. theaters and $1.1 billion worldwide.
As for who else might be behind the camera, The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan recently expressed interest in taking on a James Bond movie and has long been rumored as a director the producers are interested in bringing on board. Whoever does direct the next film will replace Sam Mendes, the director of the last two films who has set a high bar for future Bond filmmakers.
The script for the as-of-yet untitled film will be written by Skyfall and Spectre scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have worked on the screenplays for the super spy’s last six adventures. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated as information on the project becomes available.
Update: Added additional reporting on Craig’s official confirmation he will return as James Bond.
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