Daniel Craig has reportedly been offered a staggering $150million to shoot two more James Bond movies.
The 48-year-old British hunk, who has played the super sleuth since 2006, has yet to confirm his departure from the role yet famously said he would rather ‘slash his wrists’ than reprise the part.
Sources tell Radar Online that Sony bosses are desperate to keep Daniel in the picture for a further two films, in order to ‘phase in a younger long-term successor’.
The 007 actor, who has played the spy since 2005, has reportedly been offered the hefty sum listed above to return to the franchise for two more films. But Craig has made no secret of his reluctance to step back into the famous tuxedo.
“The studio is desperate to secure the actor’s services while they phase in a younger long-term successor,” a source told the celebrity news website Radar.
The source also suggested that by playing coy – remember when he told an interviewer he’d rather “slash his wrists” than immediately return to Bond? – Craig has only upped his perceived value.
He’s essentially made himself into the man too cool to play Bond.
“Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned,” said the source, who added that Craig “has played a genius hand.”
“Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen.”
The story above, which has not been confirmed by Sony or by representatives for Craig, comes in the wake of a May 2016 claim that Craig had turned down a £68 million offer to return for two more films. If true, it could suggest that studios is trying to tempt Craig back with increasingly larger sums.
In the meantime, there’s been a steady string of rumours about who could replace Craig as Bond, with a new hopeful claimed as the frontrunner almost every other week (we’re getting pretty fed up of writing the weekly news articles, truth to be told).
Some of the latest contenders named include Victoria actor Tom Hughes, who has allegedly impressed Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, and Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.
Despite claiming he’s too old for the role, Idris Elba remains a popular choice with Bond fans, as does Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell.
Murmurs have been circulating Hollywood for some time suggesting Daniel’s replacement is imminent, with many insiders tipping the likes of Idris Elba or Tom Hiddleston to nab the iconic role.
Yet insiders claim Sony are determined to keep the first blond Bond in the role following his four turns as the spy in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).
A new day generally brings a fresh frontrunner to inherit 007’s tuxedo, with Victoria star Tom Hughes the most recent to join the likes of Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Aidan Turner. But according to a source reported by Radar, the most likely candidate to star as James Bond is Daniel Craig.
Craig, 48, has already starred in four films, and despite a rumoured $65m (£48.66m) payday for 2015’s Spectre, was apparently sceptical about returning for more instalments. But pre-release qualms (“I’d rather slash my wrists”) were felt to have been overstated and, in the absence of an obvious replacement, Sony are said to be keen to sign him on for at least two further films. The actor added that he reserved “the right to change my mind” about quitting the series.
According to Radar, Craig’s public reluctance may even have helped his cause. “[He] has played a genius hand,” said the source. “Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned.”
The $150m would apparently involve two more films, shot “virtually back-to-back” – but neither would be shot by Sam Mendes who, despite the critical and commercial success of Spectre and its predecessor, Skyfall, has ruled himself out of returning.
The final decision rests with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, who in July was reported to be focusing on the next two films, with a view to potentially rehiring Craig.