Several days ago, a friend and I were debating whether or not the upcoming Bond film, Spectre, will be any good. As I’ve previously explained, I’m not exactly a huge James Bond fan, but I did at least kind of enjoy Skyfall. Without giving it much thought, I argued that at this point the Bond franchise is perfectly set up to enjoy a run of continued success much in the way the Mission Impossible franchise has recently hit upon a reliable formula to ensure consistent quality from sequel to sequel. So, essentially, “Skyfall was good, ergo Spectre will be too.” Not the greatest argument in the world, I’ll grant you. My friend countered with, “Yeah, but Casino Royale was very good, and Quantum of Solace was very bad.” Oh, yeah. What if the modern Bond movies emulate the old Star Trek films and fall into a pattern of alternating between good and bad sequels?
We’ll find out when Spectre comes out on November 6th. However, my friend also asked if I knew whether or not Daniel Craig is signed up for any more 007 movies, or if Spectre is going to be it for him. I didn’t know the answer. I simply assumed Craig had been taking this on a movie-by-movie basis.
Thankfully, I now have the answer. Kind of. In Esquire’s current cover story interview with Craig, all is made clear (or, more accurately, unclear):
There has been much speculation that Spectre will be Craig’s last film as Bond. I thought he’d signed on for two more after Skyfall, meaning there would be at least one more after Spectre. “I don’t know,” he says. He really doesn’t know? “I really don’t know. Honestly. I’m not trying to be coy. At the moment I can’t even conceive it.” Would he at least like to do another one? “At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.”
So, if you’re someone who only barely pays attention to the 007 films maybe now you know why there have been so many headlines recently about the chances of the next 007 being a person of color, although Idris Elba is apparently “too street” (not that such criticism will rob Elba of his smile). It’s because we truly don’t know if Daniel Craig will be back. If you’re someone who’s a longtime, die hard 007 fan then all of this is probably business as usual, much like how Doctor Who fans learn to adjust to the persistent “When will David Tennant/Matt Smith/Peter Capaldi leave the show?” rumors.
When will Daniel Craig leave the 007 franchise? When he feels like it! Does he feel like doing it now? Kind of. When will we know for sure? No idea. What if he left and then several movies from now he returned for a multi-Bond special, finally revealing that the “007” and “James Bond” titles are indeed ceremonial, passed down from agent to agent? Or maybe I’m just channeling Doctor Who and the various multi-Doctor specials.
What do you think? Down with the blonde Bond? Or do you heart Craig 4ever? Or let’s wait for Spectre to see if maybe it’s time to move on, especially since the film’s plot is thought to come full circle and complete the Bond origin story they started way back in Casino Royale?
And I close with the trailer: