Sorry, Idris Elba fans: You may have to wait at least one more film till you can start begging producers over Twitter to cast him as Bond again. After a year-plus of grumbling and threats to
“slash [his] wrists” instead of doing one more go as 007, Daniel Craig is reportedly gung-ho about returning one more time, if not more. According to those ever-reliable entities known as “sources,” the esteemed English actor has “changed his mind” and series producer Barbara Broccoli has “secured” him for episode 25.
The Craig years may be an acclaimed (and, perhaps most important, profitable) era for the franchise, but they’ve also been bumpy. His maiden voyage as James Bond helped refashion an old brand, catching the super-spy up with the times — which, in 2006, meant making him leaner, tougher, terribly brooding. In “Casino Royale,” Craig was dashing, but he didn’t do quips, didn’t like gadgets, didn’t seem to have fun. His first outing even did what it took the original run of the series six films to do: Have the loose-zippered Bond fall in love, only to have his object of affection (played by Eva Green) quickly killed (and by herself, as it were).
“Casino Royale” is easily one of the series’ best — but let’s not forget that the second Craig Bond, “Quantum of Solace,” is easily one of its worst. “Skyfall” is mildly overrated, but it remains a solid piece of work. “Spectre,” which brought back the pretentious but capable Mendes, is pure diminishing returns, enjoyable only because, for all its pomp and seriousness, it’s as dumb as any of the campy Roger Moores.
So what flavor of 007 will “Bond 25” be? If the Craig 007s alternate in quality, much like the original “Star Trek” movies (whose even numbered entries are vastly superior to the odds), then we should be good. But since there’s been so much excitement over rebranding Bond yet again — with Elba, or with Tom Hardy, or with Tom Hiddleston, or with relative newbs James Norton and Aidan Turner — why not make Craig’s fifth stint a little different? Craig is a serious, classically trained actor who does Harold Pinter plays on Broadway with his brilliant wife. He’s an open-minded sort.
So let’s make Bond bi-curious! Craig even flirted with that in “Skyfall,” coyly, smirkily intimating to swishy villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), as he was being felt up, that perhaps he’d gone guy-on-guy before. (Watch it below.) Craig himself has played gay; in one of his first prominent screen roles, 1998’s “Love is the Devil,” the future shaken martini fanatic got it on with Derek Jacobi. Though Craig himself has said there will never be a gay Bond, prove him wrong! Instead of yet another “Bond girl,” give him a “Bond dude.”
Or they could just play with tone. These Craigs have been awfully serious, in keeping with its awfully serious star. But instead of some incoherent mish-mash like “Spectre,” which is like “Moonraker” directed like it was “Hamlet,” let’s make a full-on fun old school Bond, where Craig is just cracking jokes and busting out gadgets and hitting on women (and men).
In other news, Craig may be bringing Adele back with him. The singer won an Oscar for her low-key song to “Skyfall,” which is by far the best of the Craig Bond songs. (Though we have a soft spot for Chris Cornell’s, too.) And even more in the early stage/may never happen department is the revelation that Christopher Nolan has been talking to the producers for years and that “Maybe one day it will work out.” If that ever does, we might get the first Bond movie shot largely with IMAX cameras backed with a throbbing Hans Zimmer score.