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Daniel Craig insists he’s ready to pass the James Bond torch

Daniel Craig has insisted he’s ready to let someone else take over the role of James Bond after No Time To Die – but that he’s ‘really really happy’ he made one more film as 007.

Speaking to The Mirror, he also elaborated on how physically challenging the part is. 

‘It’s time for someone else to have a go! I’ve hurt myself on every single Bond movie,’ he told the publication. ‘I’m really, really happy I did this movie – that I did one more. 

Hanging up his gun: Daniel Craig has insisted he’s ready to let someone else take over the role of James Bond after No Time To Die – but that he’s ‘really really happy’ he made one more film as 007

‘It’s been, as they always are, incredibly hard work. But it’s a massive collaboration and one of the most moving things for me about finishing this film is some of the people that I have worked with on five Bond films.

‘And for me that’s what it was all about – it was those people and saying goodbye to them.’

No Time To Die was delayed by Craig’s latest stunt-related injuries – and then further pushed back amid the pandemic.

Shooting early scenes for the film in Jamaica, Craig’s ankle ‘exploded’ when he slipped running along a wet dock.

He had to have surgery and recover for nearly three months.

Over to you...: 'It¿s time for someone else to have a go! I¿ve hurt myself on every single Bond movie,' he said. 'I¿m really, really happy I did this movie ¿ that I did one more'

Over to you…: ‘It’s time for someone else to have a go! I’ve hurt myself on every single Bond movie,’ he said. ‘I’m really, really happy I did this movie – that I did one more’

Other injuries during his Bond tenure have included losing two teeth filming Casino Royale, needing knee surgery during Spectre, and losing the tip of his finger and dislocating his shoulder on Quantum Of Solace.

While the debate of who will play Bond next rumbles on, producer Barbara Broccoli has said she believes 007 will always be a male character.

The head of Eon Productions, who signs off on every key hiring and firing in the franchise, said she will be discussing who will take over the role from Craig next year – and that it will be a man.

She told the PA news agency: ‘James Bond is a male character. I hope that there will be many, many films made with women, for women, by women, about women.

'James Bond is a male character!' Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has said she believes 007 will always be a male character

‘James Bond is a male character!’ Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has said she believes 007 will always be a male character

‘I don’t think we have to take a male character and have a woman portray him. So yes, I see him as male.’

She also admitted she hasn’t faced the fact that current Bond Craig – who will not play the part any longer, following the latest film No Time To Die – is stepping down.

‘I’m sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever,’ she went on. ‘So I’m not thinking about [his replacement]. That’s something Michael [G Wilson, her half-brother and fellow producer] and I will discuss next year.’

Asked if conversations about Craig’s successor are imminent, she replied: ‘No. We want to celebrate the fantastic tenure of Daniel Craig, who’s given everything to this character into this franchise for 15 years and it is really time to celebrate him.’

Stepping down: The head of Eon Productions, who signs off on every key hiring and firing in the franchise, said she will be discussing who will take over the role from Craig next year - and that it will be a man [pictured in 2006's Casino Royale]

Stepping down: The head of Eon Productions, who signs off on every key hiring and firing in the franchise, said she will be discussing who will take over the role from Craig next year – and that it will be a man [pictured in 2006’s Casino Royale]

No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga, the first American to direct a Bond film, said whoever replaces Craig will have a tough act to follow.

Asked if he would like to see more diversity in the character, he said: ‘That’s a tough one. I don’t actually have a strong opinion either way on that. I think it’s going to be hard for anyone to follow in Daniel’s footsteps because, for me, as much as I liked Pierce Brosnan, I was in my early 20s, and kind of checking out of the films a bit.

‘When Daniel came in, it was such a different version of the character that I hadn’t seen before, it made me lean back in as an adult. Whoever plays it just needs to have that charisma, needs to have those layers.

‘So, I think the most important thing is that that there’s attrition to the character, obviously, in terms of who they are and what they’re made up of, but I don’t really have an opinion beyond that.’ 

A family affair: 'I'm sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever,' she said. 'So I'm not thinking about [his replacement]. That's something Michael [G Wilson, her half-brother and fellow producer] and I will discuss next year' [the three are pictured in Jamaica in 2019]

A family affair: ‘I’m sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever,’ she said. ‘So I’m not thinking about [his replacement]. That’s something Michael [G Wilson, her half-brother and fellow producer] and I will discuss next year’ [the three are pictured in Jamaica in 2019]

Craig, 53, told Radio Times last week that he also believes Bond should remain male.

The actor said: ‘There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. 

‘Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?’

He said the addition of Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge to the writing team was to ‘spice it up’ but she was a Bond fan so ‘she wasn’t about to take him in a different direction’. 

Multiple actresses have supported Daniel’s statement that Bond should be played by a male actor, including Die Another Day star Halle Berry, who said on Entertainment Tonight in 2017: ‘That series is steeped in history… you know, Ian Fleming’s stories. I don’t think you can change Bond to a woman.’

Craig, 53, said: 'There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour'

Craig, 53, said: ‘There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour’

The franchise has taken a significant step forward in with the casting of Captain Marvel actress Lashana Lynch as a new 00 agent, who she says is ‘standing up for black women’.

Lynch told PA: ‘It’s completely significant, it’s a reflection of where we are right now where I personally would like the world to go. It’s a real reminder that we need to keep having conversations about all communities around the world so that we can keep including everyone in our cinema, in our TV, theatre, radio, across the board, so that we’re not one note.

‘I never want to be one note with anything, and I would hope that the industry never wants to be one note. We want everything to be as colourful and as as open and inclusive as possible.

‘That’s partly what I think she represents, but also she’s bold and fierce and standing up for women, black women. We shoot in Jamaica and that is a massive deal for me.

‘I’m Jamaican and there’s just so many things that she’s ticked off alone that I actually think that a lot of filmmakers, if they’re going to create someone like Nomi in the future, they’ve got a great example in her as the bold female that she is.’

Progress: The franchise has taken a significant step forward in with the casting of Captain Marvel actress Lashana Lynch as a new 00 agent, who she says is 'standing up for black women'

Progress: The franchise has taken a significant step forward in with the casting of Captain Marvel actress Lashana Lynch as a new 00 agent, who she says is ‘standing up for black women’

Venom star Tom Hardy and Bridgerton actor Rege-Jean Page are considered to be among the contenders to be the next James Bond.

Hardy has been named bookmaker William Hill’s favourite to play the British spy with odds of 5/2. 

The British actor, 44, has also starred in a host of Hollywood blockbusters directed by Christopher Nolan including Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk.

Page, 31, is now being eyed up for the role of 007, coming in at joint second favourite at William Hill, which is offering up odds of 3-1.

Could it be? James Norton has been rumoured as a potential Bond successor

Could it be? James Norton has been rumoured as a potential Bond successor

The actor told The Mirror earlier this year: ‘Ah, the B word. I think if you are British and do anything of note, that other people take notice of, then people will start talking about that.

‘That’s fairly normal and I’m flattered to be in the category of Brits that people have noticed.’

He added: ‘The concept of having plans in this moment in history is mildly hilarious. I’ve given up making them.’

James Norton is the second actor to be placed at 3-1 odds. He stars in the crime drama McMafia as Alex Godman, the son of a Russian mafia boss living in London.

The actor, 36, was also nominated for a Bafta award for his role in Happy Valley in 2015.

'It's an honour to even be in the conversation!' Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding has prompted Bond rumours [pictured in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins]

‘It’s an honour to even be in the conversation!’ Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding has prompted Bond rumours [pictured in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins]

When previously asked his thoughts on being linked to the Bond role, Norton told The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine in 2020: ‘It’s crazy. It’s not real. It’s speculative. There is no truth behind it. Unless journalists know something more than I do. 

‘It’s bizarre and quite flattering to be even considered in that world, but beyond that? Pure speculation.’

Scottish Sam Heughan, 41, was more enthusiastic at the prospect of taking on the beacon of the classic role, admitting he would ‘jump’ at the chance.

Heughan previously starred as special forces operator Tom Buckingham in SAS: Red Notice, an adaptation of former SAS soldier Andy McNab’s novel of the same name.

In an interview with the PA news agency earlier this year, he said: ‘I don’t know if there is a conversation being had apart from in the media, but I think it’s an incredible franchise and a great character, so of course I would jump at it.

Favourite? Idris Elba is also amongst the favourites by bookmakers, with William Hill placing him at 8/1

Favourite? Idris Elba is also amongst the favourites by bookmakers, with William Hill placing him at 8/1

‘But I feel like Tom Buckingham is equally as interesting and, who knows, maybe this could be the new franchise.’

Idris Elba is also amongst the favourites by bookmakers, with William Hill placing him at 8/1. He previously won a Golden Globe for best actor in a miniseries or television film for his role as DCI John Luther in the BBC psychological crime drama of the same name.

Elba, 49, has also starred in the crime drama series The Wire, sci-fi movie Pacific Rim and 2021 supervillain film The Suicide Squad.

Henry Golding has previously suggested it was his sharp-suited role as Nick Young in the hit 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians that had prompted the Bond rumours.

Venom star: Tom Hardy has been named bookmaker William Hill's favourite to play the British spy with odds of 5/2

Venom star: Tom Hardy has been named bookmaker William Hill’s favourite to play the British spy with odds of 5/2

The Malaysian-British actor, 34, told Attitude magazine in 2020: ‘It was definitely from Crazy Rich, maybe (the scene with) the white suit coming out of the park.

‘(And) because I’m Asian and everybody’s fighting for a diverse Bond – sorry, white guys. I don’t know. It’s an honour to even be in the conversation. It’s one of the greatest film roles ever, you’d be stupid to be like, ‘I don’t want to do that.’

‘Isn’t it great that people are like, ‘OK, now’s the time, why the hell can’t we have a black Bond, an Asian Bond, a mixed-race Bond, a non-distinct Bond?’

No Time To Die is released in UK cinemas on September 30.  

Bridgerton actor: Rege-Jean Page, 31, is now being eyed up for the role of 007, coming in at joint second favourite at William Hill, which is offering up odds of 3-1

Bridgerton actor: Rege-Jean Page, 31, is now being eyed up for the role of 007, coming in at joint second favourite at William Hill, which is offering up odds of 3-1


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