News has come out that Daniel Craig is coming back for a fifth Bond movie.
This after his comments about returning can be summarized as "not on your life, you asshole."
It might not have been quite an example of biting the hand that feeds him, but it's pretty darn close. While I'm not looking up particular quotations right now, his perspective on the subject seemed to be that he would sooner play the little orphan in the next remake of Annie than play James Bond again. (Just looked up an actual quotation. He said he'd "rather slit his wrists.")
Well, he's playing James Bond again.
Money would obviously be a motivating factor, though it would seem that Craig has plenty of that. Not only has he made those four Bond movies, but he's made plenty of other movies during the same period, remaining quite active throughout.
Dwindling relevance? I suppose that could be a factor too. Craig turns 50 next March, so no time like the present for a midlife crisis.
I wouldn't ordinarily fault an actor type or other Hollywood type for taking another job after saying he or she definitely, absolutely was not going to. Athletes do it all the time. Are you retiring or aren't you? It's something we live with in every sphere of entertainment. How many bands have promised this is definitely, absolutely, positively their final tour?
But something about Craig's attitude has made him a bit of a different case. It's kind of seemed like Craig has felt that Bond was "holding him back" for some time now, and that even returning two movies ago for Skyfall involved a lot of arm twisting.
Few people have evinced as much desire to leave Bond behind them, saving perhaps only George Lazenby, who made good on his promise and walked away after one movie. Bond has clearly been a stepping stone for Craig -- he'd be a successful actor without the role, but not a household name. Yet he's been eager to push that stepping stone down to the bottom of the pond and never look back on it, or so it has appeared.
Yet with this fifth movie, he will be becoming the longest running Bond behind only Roger Moore and Sean Connery. He's currently tied with Pierce Brosnan's four, so this would be putting him ahead of the erstwhile Remington Steele.
Is that an important consideration for Craig? Probably not.
What is his most salient consideration? Hard to say. The articles don't say anything about it.
All I know is, next time he says he's done, he better be done.
And, it might be nice to display a bit of gratitude toward this franchise that has thrust him into such international prominence.
Personally, I'm a bit disappointed. Only one of Craig's films is one I'm reasonably fond of (Skyfall), and I definitely thought it was time for some new blood. And I definitely though that new blood could be of a different race or even gender. That would have been a Bond film I'd like to see.
Craig's next, and presumably final?
Not so much.