Sunday, 22 May 2016
Daniel Craig is 'done' playing James Bond - but will Tom Hiddleston be the next 007?
Daniel Craig, the actor who has played James Bond for four films, has reportedly told studio bosses he is "done" with the role as speculation mounts about his replacement.
The 48-year-old is said to have turned turn a £68million offer from MGM studio to return as the British Secret Service agent for two more films.
Craig, who last year said he would rather "slash my wrists" than agree to another Bond film, told bosses it "just wasn't what he wanted" despite bosses throwing "huge amounts of money at him", a source said.
It comes after a bookmaker suspended betting on who will be named the next 007 after a large bet was placed on British actor Tom Hiddleston taking on the role.
Craig, who has played Bond since 2005, has helped secure more than £2billion in box office revenues.
He is reported to have been paid a total of £38million for the films in the franchise he has starred in - Spectre, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale.
Craig has now turned down an offer to return for two more films in a £68million deal that would have included endorsements, profit shares, and a co-producing role, an LA film source told the Daily Mail.
"Daniel is done - pure and simple - he told top brass at MGM after Spectre," the source said. "They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn't what he wanted.
"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."
After his comment that he would rather "slash my wrists" than agree to another Bond role, Craig later said he would agree to it "for the money".
But the source said that a knee injury he suffered during filming for a scene in Spectre had helped him decide that "it was a journey with an ending".
Meanwhile, a flurry of bets have tipped Hiddleston - the star of The Night Manager - to replace Craig, making him the 2-1 favourite. After a particularly big gamble, his odds plummeted to 1-2 and Coral suspended betting.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes is among those still accepting bets and it says Hiddleston is the frontrunner to become 007, with punters offered odds of 2/5.
Luther star Idris Elba and Homeland actor Damian Lewis had been frontrunners for the job in previous months.
Elba was priced at 9-1 and Lewis at 14-1 before betting was suspended. Poldark star Aidan Turner had 3-1 odds and Mad Max: Fury Road actor Tom Hardy was at 4-1.
Earlier this week, Hiddleston was reportedly spotted meeting with Bond movie director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli.
Nicola McGeady, a spokeswoman for Coral, said: "There is no smoke without fire, and following the big gamble on Tom Hiddleston in the last 24 hours, we've had no choice but to pull the plug on the market.
"Earlier in the year there was a gamble on Idris Elba and Damian Lewis, but nothing has come close to the recent gamble on Hiddleston."
Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes, said: "Nearly 5,000 bets have been placed on the next James Bond market and Hiddleston is the fifth different favourite that's proving a popular bet with punters.
"Previous gambles have seen Hardy and Lewis backed into odds-on so as far as we're concerned it's not over until the fat lady sings."