The future of the James Bond franchise is a bit uncertain right now, but we can be certain it will continue. Currently, Daniel Craig is still the man playing 007 until he officially declares that he won't be back for the next installment. That being the case, he just hit a major milestone today, becoming the second longest-serving actor to play James Bond in the history of the franchise.
According to NME, Daniel Craig has now been playing James Bond for 4,147 days. That puts him just ahead of Pierce Brosnan, who played 007 in four movies, which spanned a grand total of 4,146 days. Craig first played the iconic spy in 2006's Casino Royale, which served as a total reboot of the franchise and is considered by many to be one of the best James Bond movies ever made. The 48-year-old actor also has the distinction of starring in the only Bond movie to ever gross more than $1 billion at the box office with 2012's Skyfall. His most recent outing was Spectre, which wasn't quite as well-received by fans and critics, but still brought in $880 million at the box office.
There are no franchises that can match that of James Bond in terms of longevity and ability to adapt from decade-to-decade. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they have been able to recast the role and refocus the movies to suit the time that they are in. The Daniel Craig era has been quite gritty and serious, while the Roger Moore era was a bit more silly and didn't take itself so seriously. Should Daniel Craig ultimately decided that he doesn't want to return for James Bond 25, the series could be due for another reinvention.
At the moment, Sony and MGM still really want Daniel Craig to return for what would be the 25th James Bond movie. He is still on the fence and things have been very uncertain ever since Spectre came out. At one point, the actor said he would rather "slash his wrists" than play 007 again, but last year he walked back those statements, saying he would miss playing the part if he decides to leave. Assuming he does decide to move on, names that have been thrown around to replace him include Michael Fassbender, Aidan Turner, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy, who suggested he would do a James Bond movie if Christopher Nolan directed it. Whoever plays the part next will have some very big shoes to fill.
Interestingly enough, the original big screen 007 Sean Connery, who played the role six times (and one time unofficially in Never Say Never Again for a rival studio), only held the mantle of James Bond for 3,049 days. That was mostly due to the fact that the movies were getting made much more quickly in those days. No matter who is playing the role, James Bond 25 is going to need to find a new director, because Sam Mendes has said he won't be returning. Recently, John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski expressed interest in taking on the franchise, so maybe he can try and coax Daniel Craig back. You can check out the full list of James Bond actors and how long they held the role for yourself below.
1. Roger Moore - 5,118 days
2. Daniel Craig - 4,147 days
3. Pierce Brosnan - 4,146 days
4. Sean Connery - 3,049 days
5. Timothy Dalton - 2,863 days
6. George Lazenby - 875 days