The long, tortured history of Daniel Craig not wanting to play James Bond and then doing it anywayGet the Full StoryThe INSIDER Summary:
Daniel Craig is reportedly returning for another James Bond movie, to be released in November 2019.
He previously said he'd rather "slash my wrists" than play the role again.
Here's a timeline of his on-again-off-again relationship with the character.
Daniel Craig is reportedly finally signed on to be James Bond for another movie, to be released in November of 2019. It took him a long time to get there.
For the past five years, the actor has had a tortured relationship with the iconic character.
"I d rather break this glass and slash my wrists," he memorably told Time Out when asked if he could imagine playing the role again after 2015's "Spectre."
Craig appeared to be tired of 007, even though his "Bond" movies are the highest-grossing entries of all time, unadjusted for inflation.
Speculation about his successor is a frequent parlor game in Hollywood. At different times, Damian Lewis, Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, and Emily Blunt have been possibilities.
And fans frequently get restless. If the next Bond movie is Craig's last, that'll be five movies "Casino Royale," "Quantum of Solace," "Skyfall," "Spectre," and a still-untitled one in a 13-year span. Other huge franchises, such as "Captain America" and "Harry Potter," are much more prolific.
Nevertheless, Daniel Craig is holding on to his martini glass for now. Here's a timeline of the actor's tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship with his most iconic character.
November 12: "I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it."
Shortly after the release of "Skyfall," Craig's third movie as James Bond, Rolling Stone published an interview where Craig said he was contractually obligated to do more Bond movies, but would get out if it if he could.
"I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it, but they won't let me go," Craig said. "I've agreed to do a couple more."
In crude terms, Craig also said he was confident he could find a way out of his contract if "Skyfall" flopped.
"Let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the s--- goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their a-- with," he said.
"Skyfall" went on to become the highest-grossing "Bond" movie by far, making more than 1.1 billion and winning two Oscars.
December 2014: The Sony hack reveals that Idris Elba could have been the next Bond.
Late in 2015, Sony Pictures released "The Interview," a comedy from Seth Rogen and James Franco that mocked Kim Jung-Un and the North Korean regime. In retaliation, the country hacked the company's servers, according to the FBI.
Among the victims of the hack was Amy Pascal, who was then the co-chairman of the company's Entertainment division.
In one of Pascal's leaked emails, written in January of that year, Pascal brought up Elba as a potential "Bond" successor to Elizabeth Cantillon, a former of executive of Columbia Pictures, the division of Sony Pictures that distributes the films in the United States.
"Idris should be the next bond," the email read.
Jordan Strauss Invision AP
Elba had been a potential candidate for Bond for years, and it was the first public piece of evidence that producers were considering a replacement for Craig. The decision to pick a new 007, though, is largely up to the Broccoli family, which runs Eon Productions, the company that owns the rights to adapting Ian Fleming's "James Bond" novels. Eon Productions did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.
September 2015: "I ll keep going as long as I m physically able."
In the lead up to the next "Bond" movie, 2015's "Spectre," Craig gave conflicting accounts about his feelings toward 007.
To the Mail Online, he said that making the movies were taking a toll, but he wanted to keep going.
"It s getting harder. But such is life. I ll keep going as long as I m physically able," Craig said.
Craig said it's a challenge to stay fit for the role, but it's been getting easier because he's had to do less stunt work. At that point, he had one remaining Bond movie required in his contract, but he wasn't sure if he could do it.
"I m contracted for one more but I m not going to make predictions," he said.
October 2015: "I d rather break this glass and slash my wrists."
A month later, Craig was singing a different tune.
In an explosive interview published in Time Out, Craig was thrown into agitation when asked to "imagine doing another 'Bond' movie."
"Now? I d rather break this glass and slash my wrists," he said. "No, not at the moment. Not at all. That s fine. I m over it at the moment. We re done. All I want to do is move on."
As far as his long-term prospects as James Bond, Craig wasn't enthusiastic. He was eager to work on other projects instead. He said that if he did another "Bond" movie, "it would only be for the money."
"I haven t given it any thought," Craig said. "For at least a year or two, I just don t want to think about it. I don t know what the next step is. I ve no idea. Not because I m trying to be cagey. Who the f--- knows? At the moment, we ve done it. I m not in discussion with anybody about anything."
Craig also didn't seem to care about the future of the franchise. When the interviewer suggested some kind of "backseat driving" role in the series, where he'd be creatively involved with it without playing the main role, Craig rejected the idea.
"Oh Christ, no. How f---ing sad would that be? 'Oh look, it s Daniel Craig, he s on set again!' No!" he said.
He also didn't care about who replaced him in the role.
"Look, I don t give a f---. Good luck to them!" Craig said. "All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we ve left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better. Make it better, that s all."
One of the perks to being 007, to some, might seem to be wearing expensive custom Tom Ford suits and driving Aston Martins all the time. But Craig told Time Out that he was even getting fed up with maintaining that look.
"It s a drag," he said. "The best acting is when you re not concerned about the surface. And Bond is the opposite of that."
As an actor, he was frustrated with Bond's superficiality as a character. He told Time Out that the most interesting parts of the stories are how the women in his life change him not the cool clothes and gadgets.
"I know that how Bond wears a suit and walks into a room is important," Craig said. "But as an actor I don t want to give a f--- about what I look like! So I have to play with both things. In a way that works, as that s Bond: He looks good and he doesn t give a f--- what you think he looks like!"
Also in the interview, Craig admitted that he eventually grew to like his character, but it took some time. It's not every movie that you can play a character who can "do anything." His biggest complaint is that it takes so much time to make the movies.
"Bond allows me to do anything I want to in some respects," Craig said. "But it s changed my working life in an incredible way. There are more opportunities. I could do many, many things. But it takes an awful amount of time. If anything, the restriction is that it is incredibly time-consuming."
Also in October 2015: An MGM executive "hit the ceiling" reading Craig's interview.
Craig's tell-all about his frustrations with James Bond didn't exactly go well with the producers who make the "James Bond" movies happen.
Gary Barber, the chief executive and chairman of MGM, which has been involved in distributing "Bond" films for half a century, personally contacted Craig after reading the interview, according to Vanity Fair.
"Gary hit the ceiling when he read the story," a source told Vanity Fair. "He called up Daniel to yell at him. He was furious."
MGM Columbia Pictures EON Productions
But it isn't easy to simply fire Craig and find a replacement. His "Bond" movies are the highest-grossing ones of all time unadjusted for inflation , and "Skyfall" is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, period.
February 2016: MGM adjusts "Bond" shooting schedule for Craig, signaling they want him to stay.
After Craig's "Time Out" interview, speculation for his replacement even though he had one movie left in his contract was rampant.
But an MGM source told The Sun that they were scrambling to keep him on board, even if it meant pushing back the 25th "Bond" movie. Craig had signed on to shoot 20 episodes for the TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's novel "Purity," and the source said they wanted to accommodate him.
"They know he wants to do 'Purity' and had hoped to get the new film in cinemas next year, but they have vowed to push it back a year to help make his schedule easier," the source said. "Daniel leaving the franchise at this moment is something MGM cannot stomach. He is a major draw and a key player in terms of raising money for the films."
September 2016: "We would love Daniel to return as Bond."
After months of negotiations to try to keep Craig on, "Bond" producer Callum McDougall told the BBC that he was still the first choice to play the MI6 spy.
Sean Gallup Getty Images for Sony Pictures
"We would love Daniel to return as Bond, without any question," McDougall said. "I know they're hoping for him to come back."
October 2016: "If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."
At the 2016 New Yorker festival, Craig dismissed his comments he made a year earlier. He said he did the interview a day after finishing "Spectre," and the combined physical strains of the role and being away from home for a year took a toll.
"Boo-hoo. It s a good gig. I enjoy it," Craig joked. "As far as I m concerned, I ve got the best job in the world. I ll keep doing it as long as I still get a kick out of it. ... If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."
July 2017: Daniel Craig is still James Bond.
Sources told The New York Times that Craig will play 007 for at least one more movie, with a release date of November 8, 2019. A director or cast hasn't been announced yet. It isn't clear if Craig negotiated a new contract with the companies producing the series, or if this will be his last film in the role. NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York here's what happened