With No Time to Die – the latest addition to the extensive legacy of the James Bond franchise, Daniel Craig is finally giving up his tenure as the iconic international spy. Directed by the incredibly talented Cary Joji Fukunaga, No Time to Die is already being touted by many critics as one of the best James Bond films in recent years.
There has been a lot of discussion about who the next James Bond is going to be, with many fans wanting to see a change from the usual straight white male archetype. People have called for various revisions to the legacy of James Bond, including suggestions that the new Bond should be played by a woman or a person of colour. Others have expressed their interest in seeing a gay James Bond, going against the heteronormative history of the series.
In a fairly recent interview, Craig claimed that women should not play James Bond because that would be a disservice to the talented female actors out there. Instead, they should be cast in more interesting and fresh roles that are written specifically for them: “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” he said.
Craig did not always have such an interest in the future of the franchise, especially after the release of Spectre – the lacklustre 2015 Bond film by Sam Mendes. In an incendiary interview with the Guardian, Craig insisted that he would rather commit suicide by slashing his wrists than reprise the iconic role again.
“Look, I don’t give a fuck,” Craig had responded at the time. “All I want to do is move on. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
After having an emotional experience on the set of No Time to Die, Craig is more sympathetic towards the fans and is more invested in the next James Bond. When asked about the advice he would give to the person who plays it next, Craig answered: “Don’t be shit… I just wanted to make sure I left it in as good a place as I found it. That’s all I kind of cared about and I think that anybody [who] takes it on will feel the same way because it matters.”
Adding, “It’s a huge part of cinema history and it’s a huge part of British cinema history which is sort of like a massive thing. The importance of it… for everybody involved is to make the best movies we can and I think that’s what I’ve certainly tried to do and I know that all the people I’ve worked with have tried to do.”