Right now, the James Bond franchise is in a bit of a holding pattern. Spectre did very well at the box office, but didn't quite live up to the expectations that were put on it by its predecessor Skyfall. It was also reportedly a very long and tumultuous shoot, which put some wear and tear on star Daniel Craig. For months, there have been rumors and whispers of the actor walking away from the role of 007, but there is still hope he will return. Well, at the very least, his new gig shouldn't get in the way should he decided that he does want to return as Bond one more time.
Daniel Craig will be playing one of the lead roles in the upcoming Showtime series Purity. There had been some speculation that due to his schedule for the series, it would interfere with him being able to return to James Bond for the next installment. The network CEO David Nevins recently spoke at a panel for the Television Critics Association, and Deadline is reporting that he feels that the show shouldn't get in the way of Craig once again playing the super spy. Here is what he had to say.
"It depends when they do the next James Bond movie, but I don't think it precludes him, is the answer. This will largely be completed during the course of 2017, depending how long they're willing to wait and shoot the next Bond. There might be some breaks somewhere, but (production) will be fairly continuous."
Nevins is clearly in the dark, as are we all, as to when exactly Sony and MGM want to jump into production on James Bond 25, but we do know that they want Craig back. The studio doesn't seem like they want to rush into anything, but there have been plenty of rumors of other actors being looked at should Daniel Craig truly be done with 007. The most persistent of these rumors is that Thor star Tom Hiddleston is being eyed to play the part. This rumor got a ton of heat behind it several months ago when bookies were forced to stop taking bets on Tom Hiddleston to be the next Bond, because the odds tipped so heavily in his favor. The actor has since come out and denied the rumors, but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen. If he had been meeting with the producers, he wouldn't be able to come out and say anything about it, so the situation is a bit tricky. But the BBC reported that Craig hasn't made a decision yet, and it will likely be some time before we find out.
Prior to Craig taking over as 007 in 2006 with the very successful Casino Royale, which is considered by many to be one of, if not the best film the franchise has produced to date, the James Bond series was in a very bad place. Die Another Day, the fourth and final of the Pierce Brosnan era, was critically lamented and is still considered to be one of the Bond franchise's lowest points, and ultimately led to Brosnan having to move on, even though he had desires to continue. However, even at its lowest point with Quantum of Solace, the Craig era of Bond has been incredibly well received and has helped to reinvigorate MGM. All told, the four Craig Bond movies have grossed nearly $3 billion in total, so it would make sense that the studio would do anything they could to keep him on board.
During the press tour for Spectre, Daniel Craig famously said that he would rather "slit his wrists" than do another Bond movie. He has since lightened up his tone a bit, but hasn't said anything remotely definitive on the matter. Given where Spectre left off, it would be nice to have Craig come back one last time to give his Bond's arc a satisfying ending, but we will have to wait and see if the studio can make it appealing enough for him to do so. The good news is, his current projects won't be keeping him from doing it, so it is all a matter of scheduling and willingness to do so.