Hollywood’s search for ‘the next James Bond’ has ended right where it began – with Daniel Craig.
The British actor, 49, is set to reprise the role in what will be his fifth film in the franchise, producer Barbara Broccoli told The Mirror.
The tepid announcement marks a significant about-face for Craig, who in 2015 said he’d “rather slash my wrists” than play the suave super-spy again, following turns in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).
He had also turned down a $137 million offer from studio MGM to star in two more 007 films, reports at the time said.
Broccoli said the upcoming production was also “talking around” singer Adele to record the theme song, reuniting the pair from the profitable Skyfall, which grossed around $1.5 billion worldwide, a record for the franchise.
“Craig and Adele are the winning team, the ultimate choice, the money-spinners,” another source involved in the film told The Mirror.
“It’s taken time but Daniel has come around and the strong consensus in the Bond offices is that Mr Craig is 007 again,” they said, adding “signs are positive” that Adele would join the project, too.
To be fair, Craig’s previous disavowal of the role came immediately after a lengthy eight-month shoot on Spectre.
He had also publicly complained about the character’s surface-heavy lack of depth, and the time-consuming nature of each shoot.
The news puts an end – for the time being at least – to fervent speculation over who was to be passed the Bond baton.
Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and even Gillian Anderson in a gender-flipped reboot were all names that were legitimately debated, buoyed by significant campaigning from fans online.