Daniel Craig has officially retired his license to kill. The actor is done playing James Bond, having reportedly turned down $100 million to enjoy his martini shaken, not stirred in two more 007 films. “Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted,” according to a source quoted by The Mirror. Craig has played 007 four times, beginning with 2005’s Casino Royale, and is widely regarded as one of the best – if not the best – Bonds. 2012’s Skyfall was the most successful movie in the franchise’s history, netting over $1 billion, and even though last year’s Spectre was less successful (commercially and critically), Craig is a huge part of the films’ appeal and there was incentive from MGM to keep him.
Speculation now turns to which actor will take over the role. Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and Damian Lewis have all been mentioned as possible Bonds, but in recent weeks Tom Hiddleston has become the favorite (off the back of his role as a spy in the BBC/AMC series The Night Manager). Hiddleston was reportedly spotted last week in a meeting with director Sam Mendes and Bond producers, news which prompted UK bookmakers to suspend all bets on him getting the part. At 35, Hiddleston is the perfect age for the part, but I can’t help thinking that casting him would be something of a throwback: a return to a posher, smoother Bond than Craig’s more rough around the edges portrayal.