Being done with a film franchise certainly creates a sense of liberation for an actor. Especially when they’ve been connected to it for a long time. We’ve seen quite a few instances where actors finish a big franchise and decide to open up a lot about what goes on behind the scenes. With “No Time to Die” out in the wild for months, Daniel Craig is finally opening up about some of the amusing, if not shocking, stories from his time as James Bond.
Daniel Craig discussed the history of his time as 007 in the James Bond film series on the Awards Chatter podcast, including stories about getting Sam Mendes involved and when he came up with the idea of killing the character.
Craig was at Hugh Jackman’s Christmas party, got a little drunk (he admits this is an annoying namedrop), and offered Mendes the job when they sat down to talk. “I was definitely a little drunk,” he admitted. “Sam arrived late and I hadn’t seen him in years, I hadn’t seen him since ‘Road To Perdition.'” “Sam sat down, and we were having a drink together, and it just dawned on me that it was exactly like one of those [moments].” We were [already] talking about directors…and it just became obvious to me sitting next to him. ‘Of course,’ I thought. So I basically said, ‘I’m probably not supposed to say this, but do you want to direct the next Bond film?’
“And he just did this thing, he kinda just looked at me [and squinted] and said, ‘Yes,'” Craig continued. Then I said, ‘I’m in shit now.’ I’m sure there’s someone I need to talk to about it before I start offering director positions. It’s not my fault, but I was inebriated!”
Craig claimed he called Broccoli the next day to apologize. “I called Barbara the next day, thinking, ‘Oh god, here we go, I’m going to be in shit now.'” ‘I think I offered Sam Mendes the directing job last night,’ I said.
Daniel Craig had the idea to kill James Bond years earlier
In our exclusive interview with Craig and “No Time To Die” director Cary Fukunaga, the actor also shared an amusing anecdote about coming up with the James Bond death years in advance. In fact, it was right after the world premiere of “Casino Royale,” in a limo with Barbara Broccoli after the film had played, and everything seemed to be going swimmingly.
“I was driving away from the Berlin premiere of “Casino Royale” with Barbara [Broccoli] in the back of a limousine, and we were in a good mood because things were going well.” The film was a success in some ways. People were having a good time, and I thought to myself, “Oh, I didn’t have enough time to talk to the producer.” And I’d planned it in my head. “How many movies do I have to make?” I asked her. I didn’t know because I never read the contract. “Four,” she said. “OK,” I said. “Can I kill him off at the end of the fourth one, please?” I asked. It wasn’t the fourth, but it was the fifth. “Yes,” she replied.
Craig explains that, while he was being cheeky at the time, he did have a vague plan for it all, which was basically leaving the door closed for himself after it was over because it was such a large investment in years, as well as leaving space for the next generation to start fresh.
“And I had it there for a variety of reasons,” he said. “I desired for a variety of reasons.” One, I felt it would be a good ending for me personally, allowing me to move on. ‘OK, I can’t go back to that,’ I could say. That’s it.’ I was trying to protect my future in my head because I realized how much this was going to change my life when I was grabbing some control and saying, ‘OK, right now I can move to a point and work to that point, then I’ll be good with this.'”
We’re still dealing with the fallout from “No Time to Die,” which is lining up for an Oscar nomination. Then, once Broccoli and the other Bond producers have determined who will be the next 007, it will be interesting to see how the franchise decides to proceed.