Daniel Craig Is Still The First Choice For James Bond, Despite The Many Other Options

At this point, we've all done more than our fair share of speculation on who the next James Bond will be. However, the one person whose name I thought was off the table at this point was Daniel Craig. He's hardly been shy about expressing his interest in leaving the franchise. But, despite that, Craig is still the first choice for the next Bond film. Wait, what? For real, guys? I love Craig as much as the next human being with a brain and eyes in their head, but it seems ridiculous to waste this opportunity to consider new talent. Not only are there vast numbers of actors out there who'd have new and interesting takes on this classic character that I'd be thrilled to see, but, unlike Craig, they'd actually be interested in taking on the challenge.

Right off the top of my head, names like Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, and Damien Lewis come to mind as worthy candidates; Elba has even stated publicly that he would accept the role if it was offered to him. Executive producer Callum McDougal has had a slightly different reaction than mine, which would have been to get off the couch and out the door to offer the role to Elba on the spot. In an interview McDougal gave to BBC Radio 4 Today, he said Craig is still "absolutely the first choice." When asked if it seemed likely that Craig would return for Bond 25, he said:

I wish I knew. We love Daniel. We would love Daniel to return as Bond. Without any question he is absolutely [series producers] Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s first choice. I know they’re hoping for him to come back.

But aren't we forgetting the fact that Craig has said he doesn't want to come back? In October 2015, when Time Out asked whether he had any intention of returning for another film post-Spectre, Craig answered:

I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.
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In case that wasn't clear enough for you, Craig followed up that bombshell with another, saying, "If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money." His words were later tempered somewhat by director Sam Mendes, who told Deadline that the star was questioned about his future plans at "the wrong time to ask, the day after he’s finished." But, in my opinion, Craig's words are those are the words of a guy who's burned out on this character, making him the last person I would want to see in the role.

This is nothing against Craig, by the way. He's already starred in four critically-acclaimed Bond movies Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, so he's fulfilled his Bond obligations and deserves the chance to move on to projects he's more excited about. He's spent nine years in this franchise, so why not take him at his word and use this opportunity to get some fresh blood in there?

Elba is still my top choice, because come on, but hey, we could also get a woman in there for the first female Bond. My point is, there are plenty of people who'd be excited about a new actor picking up the role, and one of them is Daniel Craig himself.