"James Bond will return" reads the final title card of every James Bond movie. The caveat: it may not be the same 007 we know and love.
According to The Daily Mail, Daniel Craig, the man currently filling Bond's bespoke suits, will not return for the inevitable follow-ups to Spectre, last year's underwhelming blockbuster and the character's 24th big-screen adventure. Sources tell the British tabloid -- which touts a spotty track record, so the report's drenched in grains of salt -- that knee problems and general exhaustion are the reasons behind Craig's departure. "He felt it was a journey with an ending."
The studio already postponed filming on the next installment due to Craig's obligations in the upcoming TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's Purity. Whatever the case, these unnamed insiders say Craig told his bosses, "I'm done," and that was that. That meant turning down a reported £68 million paycheck, or around $98 million USD.
The Daily Mail's scoop fans a fire that's been raging since months before the release of Spectre. On the press tour for the film, antsy tabloids and franchise power players alike wondered openly about Daniel Craig's future in the superspy role. When asked by The Guardian weeks before Spectre's release if he could imagine returning for a sequel, Craig replied, “Now? I’d rather … slash my wrists," He ended his remarks with a slightly more restrained, "I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”