After 15 years, Daniel Craig is saying goodbye to Bond, James Bond, with the long-awaited film No Time to Die.
The follow-up to 2015’s Spectre was significantly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and marks the Brit’s fifth and final performance as 007. It’s also the 25th film in the Bond franchise, which made its debut with Dr. No in 1962.
American actor Barry Nelson was the first to portray Bond in the 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale, but Sean Connery originated the film role of the iconic spy who likes his martinis shaken, not stirred.
After Connery’s death in October 2020, Craig praised the Scottish actor for the way he “defined an era and a style” with his portrayal of Bond.
“The wit and charm he portrayed onscreen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster,” the Logan Lucky actor said in a statement on the official 007 website. “He will continue to influence actors and filmmakers alike for years to come.”
Following Connery’s final Bond film, 1967’s You Only Live Twice, six actors went on to play the super spy: David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Craig.
The Knives Out star has played the role created by author Ian Fleming the longest, narrowly beating out Moore’s 12-year tenure. However, Moore still holds the record of starring in the most Bond films with seven, which is two more than Craig.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star hasn’t always seemed all that excited to play the MI-6 agent, but it’s clear he will miss working with his Bond family. In a 2021 AppleTV+ documentary titled Being James Bond, which looks back at Craig’s time in the role, the Road to Perdition actor shared a touching moment with the crew and thanked them for always having his back.
“A lot of people here worked on five pictures with me, and I know there’s a lot of things said about what I think about these films,” he said tearfully. “But I’ve loved every single second of these movies, and especially this one because I’ve got up every morning and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys. And that has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”
There has been no official announcement regarding who will play the next Bond, but that hasn’t stopped speculation about possible replacements from spreading. Idris Elba and Regé-Jean Page are among some of the names being thrown into the ring — and even Harry Styles has been rumored to want the role.
Others wonder whether Lashana Lynch, who makes her debut in No Time to Die as the next 007, could be the one to fill Craig’s shoes. However, the Casino Royale star doesn’t think a woman should play Bond.
“Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” he told the Radio Times in September 2021.
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