The James Bond actor Daniel Craig has confirmed that he will return for the 25th film in the official franchise, that’s due to be released in late 2019.
In an interview on The Late Show on America’s CBS TV network, he confirmed that he would play 007 for a fifth time – but stressed that it would be his final outing as Bond, a role he first embodied in Casino Royale in 2006. “I just want to go out on a high note, and I can’t wait,” Craig buzzed.
The show’s host, Stephen Colbert, reminded the actor of an interview, soon after he finished shooting SPECTRE, in which he stated, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than reprise the role.
“There’s no point making excuses about it,” he conceded. “It was two days after I had finished shooting the last movie and I went straight to an interview where someone asked, ‘Would you do another one?’ and I went, ‘No!’” He added, “Instead of saying something with style and grace, I said something really stupid.”
This was possibly the worst kept secret in the film business, with the New York Times quoting unnamed sources at Eon Productions and MGM last month, just days after the next film’s release date was confirmed, although until as recently as yesterday morning, Craig himself had maintained the line that no decision had yet been made.
Speaking on the Late Show, Craig acknowledged that he’d known “for a couple of months” and admitted having been coy and cagey in interviews earlier in the day, apologising to those he’d been unable to disclose the news to, saying that he’d been saving it for Colbert.
So with that wait out of the way, the next wait is confirmation of who will be directing, with Skyfall and SPECTRE director Sam Mendes having ruled himself out. Then, it’ll be just two years to wait to see whether Bond 25 can live up to the critical and box-office success of its most recent predecessors.