Many believed that Daniel Craig had one more Bond film in him, because his contract allowed it. Although, producers had been reaching out to other actors as potential replacements, even before the film’s release. A new bit of information seems to give more insight to if Daniel will be back, who seemed very sully to the idea of returning during the press tour for Spectre.
Brothers Grimsby actor Mark Strong was doing an interview with ShortList, and the subject turned to Daniel Craig’s return to Bond, allowing him to play a Bond villain alongside his friend and Our Friends In The North co-star. Revealing that Craig has apparently quit the franchise, due not being able to anything more with the role.
“Do you know what, I’d have loved to have played the villain in a Bond movie while Daniel was doing it because he’s a pal and that would have been great. But I think he’s come to the end of his Bond time and so it’s probably never going to happen, but that would have always been great.”
“Having played so many villains, it would have been wonderful to have done the villain of villains, if you like. Because a Bond villain has a status all of his own.”
“Well, I will try, believe me, I will do my best. But there are powers at work greater than us who make all these decisions.”
“He has been [wonderful] and he’s loved it. But I think he feels like he’s mined it. He’s done what he wants with it.”
Sam Mendes exited the franchise after directing Skyfall and Spectre back-to-back, with Spectre not really meeting financial and critical expectations (said to be the most expensive Bond film). That could a big reason why Craig and producers see a reason to move forward with a new actor.
It might also have a lot to do with the positive reactions to replacements like fan-favorites Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation, Luther), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Shame), Dan Stevens (The Guest, Downton Abbey, Legion), and rumored front-runner Damien Lewis (Homeland, Billions).
There had also been some serious interest from writer-director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Interstellar, Dark Knight), but wanted to reboot the franchise and mould it with a new actor.
This isn’t official, but if Strong is putting that out there to the press, there has to be some truth to it.