Daniel Craig Allegedly Quits James Bond, Turning Down A Lot Of Money

Trying to determine whether or not British actor Daniel Craig is still playing super spy James Bond in the franchise’s next movie is beginning to sound like one of 007’s completely implausible missions. Ever since November, when the Spectre star “joked” about preferring to slash his wrists to starring in another Bond film, the media-driven rumor mill has been churning out freshly shaken content about Craig’s future and whether or not it includes the series’ next entry. Recently, this dovetailed into the wide world of gambling when bookies stopped betting on Tom Hiddleston’s chances as the new Bond following now-debunked rumors that the Marvel actor had met with director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli.

Hiddleston, for his part, appreciates the attention his rumored casting keeps getting, but has long maintained that Craig is still Bond. Whether or not he will still think this after reading the Daily Mail‘s latest report about Craig’s supposed departure from the franchise remains to be seen. That’s because, according to yet another batch of mysterious “sources,” Craig is out. And not just out of playing Bond, but out of playing Bond for a sh*tload of money. How much exactly? A whopping £68 million (or $99.5 million for the non-Brits out there) for two more films, which reportedly would include acting fees, “endorsements, profit shares, and a role for him working as a co-producer.”

The Daily Mail‘s supposed sources went on to describe the behind-the-scenes action that led to Craig’s alleged decision:

One LA film source said: ‘Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after Spectre. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted.’

He added: ‘He had told people after shooting that this would be his final outing, but the film company still felt he could come around after Spectre if he was offered a money deal.’

One source said that executives had finally agreed to let the actor go after growing tired of his criticism of the franchise.

Craig’s apparent distaste for the character and his back-and-forth with the studio are nothing new, which clouds these new rumors in suspicion. However, what sticks out more than anything is the price tag of £68 million, because that’s a helluva lot of money for just two films. It isn’t unheard of, either, as Craig landed a massive £39 million (U.S. $57 million) in acting fees, endorsements and projected income from profit shares for his role in Spectre.

Others might point to Craig’s involvement in the upcoming television adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel Purity, and comments made last year by fellow actor and friend Mark Strong, as further evidence of the Blonde Bond’s immanent departure. The more of this “sourced” fluff that’s thrown out there, the better these reported stories about massive backroom financial offerings and deals turned down will sound good to the press (and the people who read them).

(Via the Daily Mail)