The state of James Bond has been in flux for the last handful of years, all thanks to one man: the actor currently playing him. While Daniel Craig has been reluctant to continue playing the decades-old super-spy, he’s also been reluctant to give it up, especially when moguls keep driving dump trucks filled with money to his doorstep. And yet there he was on Friday night, breaking the news to Stephen Colbert that, no, really, this next 007 film will be his last.
As caught by Entertainment Weekly, Craig was promoting a very different movie — the sprightly, twisty murder mystery Knives Out, in which he plays an amateur sleuth with a Foghorn Leghorn accent — when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The host couldn’t help but try to get some dirt out of him, asking him point blank if next year’s No Time to Die is indeed his time to die (as the character).
“Yes,” Craig replied. “It’s done.”
So there’s that, allegedly. Of course, we’d be remiss if we pointed out Craig has said he was done with 007 before, albeit not so directly. Back in 2016, not long after his last go with the franchise, Spectre, he told a reporter he’d “rather smash this glass and slash my wrists” than have another martini, shaken, not stirred — that, of course, being a rather insane way to have that classic cocktail.
Still, this response does make it seem final in its brevity. Craig jumped into the franchise in the mid-aughts, taking over for Pierce Brosnan and overseeing a dramatic shift in the series, from lighthearted, rakish romps to more serious and dark. The films themselves have been spotty: While Casino Royale and Skyfall received some of the best reviews of any Bond films, the other two — Quantum of Solace and Spectre — did not. The box office has been consistently huge, though, and that’s what really counts.
No Time to Die, Craig’s fifth — and, allegedly, final — turn as Ian Fleming’s spy is due on April 3, with Rami Malek, hot off his Oscar, as the baddie, as well as his Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas. That film will hit theaters on November 27. You can watch Craig break your heart above.