It has been a little more than a year since Spectre hit theaters and since then, the story of the next movie in the James Bond franchise has been a revolving door of confusion. The studio really wants Daniel Craig back for at least one more turn as 007, but we still have no idea if that is going to happen and apparently, neither do the producers of the movie. Some new reports claim the next entry in the James Bond franchise may be in a bit (or a lot) of trouble.
According to unnamed sources close to the matter in a report by British gossip site The Sun, the producers are flat out "panicking" about the states of James Bond 25, which they reportedly are eyeing an October 2018 release date for. Daniel Craig still has yet to commit one way or the other about returning to the franchise and there has reportedly been very little contact between his camp and MGM. Here is what the insider had to say about it.
"Daniel and MGM are currently at a stalemate with him having not spoken to them about Bond. They have offered a bigger wage deal, and asked about his filming availability to his reps in 2017, but as yet they have not spoken to Daniel. They want Bond 25 out in October 2018, but currently they have no Bond, film dates or knowledge of when that will change. Daniel's commitment is also a key part of whether Sony Pictures will come in to co-finance the film. So much is hanging in the air - and no-one knows."
Sony and MGM have had a very successful partnership during the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies, with 2012's Skyfall being the high watermark of that partnership. The movie was met with a ton of praise from fans and critics and was the first movie in the franchise to ever cross $1 billion at the box office. Spectre was a bit of a different story. It was much more divisive among fans and critics and didn't quite match the heights of Skyfall at the box office, but still brought in $880 million. But perhaps more importantly, the shoot was exhausting and took a toll on Daniel Craig. In an interview very shortly after the movie wrapped, he famously said that he would rather "slash his wrists" than do another James Bond movie. However, he more recently walked back those comments and seemed more interested in potentially returning.
"They say that shit sticks, and that definitely stuck. It was the day after filming [stopped on Spectre]. I'd been away from home for a year. Boo-hoo. It's a good gig. I enjoy it. Everyone's a bit tired. As far as I'm concerned, I've got the best job in the world. I'll keep doing it as long as I still get a kick out of it. If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."
For whatever it's worth, at the moment bookies still have Daniel Craig as the odds-on favorite to play 007 in the next James Bond movie, but rumors about other actors being eyed for the role have been swirling for some time. At one point Thor actor Tom Hiddleston had the odds tip so far in his favor that bookies literally weren't taking bets on him anymore. Other names that have been thrown around include the shortlist of Jamie Bell, Aidan Turner, Michael Fassbender and fan favorite Idris Elba. While some of those actors seem like fine choices, Sony's interest in co-financing the movie, at least according to these reports, relies heavily on Daniel Craig returning.
It should also be noted that The Sun is a gossip site, so what they are saying shouldn't be taken as gospel. Not only that, but Daniel Craig is currently starring on a production of Othello on Broadway, working with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, so clearly there is still a good relationship there. For the moment, things are still very unclear but if Daniel Craig does ultimately decide that he is done with Bond, things are going to get very interesting, very fast.