Daniel Craig reveals he wanted to kill off James Bond as early as 2006

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Image via EON Productions LImited

For a long time, Daniel Craig has speculated whether or not his breakthrough role as James Bond was as worthwhile as it seemed. In several interviews for Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), long before No Time To Die was even conceived, Craig had expressed doubts about the continuation of the franchise and shown a distaste towards the character and his development.

At one point, after the release of Spectre, we found out that Daniel Craig almost quit prior to the film’s production. In fact, his abhorrence for the MI6 agent bubbled to the surface most pointedly in 2015. When asked if he would consider playing Bond again, Craig said, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.” Although he has since regretted the rather extreme comment, Craig has discussed the fact that he asked for Bond to be killed off long before he bites the dust in No Time To Die.

In an interview with The Playlist, Craig says he knew he wanted that fate for his character back in 2006. So even in the early days of Casino Royale (2006), Craig knew that Bond would outgrow him — or vice-versa. Apparently, this is an age-old story that Craig has told before, but he elaborated on the strangely specific date.

Yeah. I have told this story. I’ll tell you again. For your sake, I hope it sounds like I’m telling it for the first time. I was driving with Barbara [Broccoli] in the back of a limousine away from the Berlin premiere of “Casino Royale,” and we were in a good mood because things were going well. Somehow, the movie was successful. People were enjoying it and I thought, “Oh, I didn’t have enough time to talk to the producer.” And I’d had this plan in my head. And I just said to her, “How many movies do I have to make?” Because I didn’t know because I never look at the contract. She said, “Four.” I said, “O.K.” I said, “Can I kill him off at the end of the fourth one, please?” It wasn’t the fourth one, but it’s the fifth one. And she said, “Yes.” She said yes. And I had it there for a number of reasons.

One, because I felt like it would be a good ending for me, personally, so I could move on. I could say, “O.K, I can’t go back to that. This is it. This is.” 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 trying to grab some control and say, “O.K, right now I can move to a point and work to that point, then I’ll be good with this.” The other thing is, as I said to Barbara, “You had a real great chance with ‘Casino Royale’ because you’d never done it before to start at the beginning, and you don’t have that choice anymore. So if we reset it, you can do whatever the f**k you want. You can start from the beginning. You can go back, you can go forward, you can do whatever you want.” It was partly selfish, but it was also kind of trying to think to protect the franchise a little bit.

Daniel Craig via The Playlist

Since the whole discussion came about after No Time To Die, it seems plausible that the notion of Bond kicking the bucket sooner than anticipated must have bounced back and forth between the respective parties involved during the production of earlier films such as Casino Royale and Spectre. To obtain clarification, the interviewer asked Craig, “Was this something that you discussed even casually over the years working on the other films?” He said:

Absolutely. When I came him off at the end of “Quantum of Solace,” [the answer was] no. When I came off “Skyfall,” no. Came off at the end of “Spectre,” no. This one was a yes. So it was a conversation. We didn’t have it all the time. When Cary came on board, we had it as an idea. And as we spoke, we spoke about it the other day. If we hadn’t have found the right ending, we wouldn’t have done it. It wasn’t a set in stone thing. It was an idea, one of a few ideas that we had. It was the main idea, and we kept on coming back to it, but we did work towards another thing. We had to find the right way for it to happen. If we hadn’t have found, I think, a pretty good way of ending, then we wouldn’t have done it.

Daniel Craig via The Playlist

Now that the dust has settled and No Time To Die has reaped over $730 million worth of rewards, Daniel Craig sealed the deal to permanently leave the role of James Bond after urging for the character to meet his end. He seems eager to move on to bigger and better things, especially with several exciting projects on the horizon. This year, Daniel Craig will return as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out 2 — the sequel to the 2018 hit — set to release sometime in 2022.