THE BIBLE OF ‘BOND, JAMES BOND’ [BelserVerse, Part 11]: The 21st Century Bond.

And now.. the conclusion…

Over these eleven chapters, we have gone over many different aspects of this fantastic character that been around for over 50 years. To close this series out, we will talk about the current custodian of the James Bond role: Daniel Craig.

DANIEL CRAIG

Tenure as Bond: 2005–present

Daniel Craig as he looked when he was first introduced as James Bond to the world

In 2005, Craig was contacted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. Initially, he was unsure about the role when first offered it and was resistant to the producers’ overtures. There was a period of trying to woo him” longtime Bond co-producer Barbara Broccoli later commented in 2012.

During this period, he sought advice from colleagues and friends, to whom “most of us said to him…’there is life after Bond’.” He stated he “was aware of the challenges” of the Bond franchise, which he considered “a big machine that makes a lot of money”. He aimed at bringing more “emotional depth” to the character.

Eon went all out to show Bond is back and better than ever

Eon Productions, MGM and Sony introduced Daniel Craig as the sixth actor to portray Bond in the Eon series at a press conference in London on 14 October 2005.  A tuxedo and life jacket-clad Craig arrived via a Royal Navy speedboat. Craig accepted the role based on the strength of the script for Casino Royale.

Craig later recalled that “once I sat down and read the story, I just thought that I wanted to tell [it] … I’m a big Bond fan, and I love what he represents”

Blonde, James Blonde

Throughout the entire production period, Internet campaigns like danielcraigisnotbond.com popped up as die hard fans expressed their dissatisfaction in the casting of Daniel Craig and threatened to boycott the film. Craig, unlike previous actors, was not considered by the protesters to fit the tall, dark, and handsome image of Bond to which viewers had been accustomed.

Many mockingly called him “James Blonde“, believing the 5 ft 10 in  blond-haired blue-eyed rugged Craig far from the traditional tall, dark and suave actors who had earlier portrayed him. The Daily Mirror ran a front-page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, The Name’s Bland – James Bland.

Craig grew into the role of Bond

Craig first played Bond in the 2006 film Casino Royale, an adaptation of Fleming’s novel and a soft reboot of the Eon series, which saw Bond earn his 00 status. Craig was widely praised by critics and former Bonds after the release of the film, many of whom believed he was the first actor to truly nail Fleming’s character in the book.

Variety reviewed the film saying that Craig comes closer to the author’s original conception of this exceptionally long-lived male fantasy figure than anyone since early Sean Connery”.

A Bond for the new century.

Steven Spielberg called Craig “the perfect 21st-century Bond”.  BBC stated that “Daniel Craig is not a good Bond. He’s a great Bond. Specifically, he is 007 as conceived by Ian Fleming—a professional killing machine, a charming, cold-hearted patriot with a taste for luxury. Craig is the first actor to really nail 007’s defining characteristic: he’s an absolute swine”.

His four Bond films released by Sony have earned a combined gross of $3.5 billion globally.

Daniel Craig in the upcoming Bond film NO TIME TO DIE

BOND FACTS:

  • He is the first blonde actor to play Bond, and also the first to be born after the start of the film series, and also the first to be born after the death of author Ian Fleming in 1964.
  • Four of the past Bond actors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan have indicated that Craig is a great choice as Bond.
  • After filming for Casino Royale (2006)had wrapped and before production for Quantum of Solace (2008) began, he had his body insured for $9.5 million.
  • Craig has stated that his own favorite previous Bond actor is Sean Connery.
  • His favorite Bond film is From Russia with Love.
  • He was the second English actor to play James Bond in the film series. The first was Roger Moore.
  • The first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA Award for playing James Bond.
  • When it was confirmed that Craig would play Bond again in 2019, he officially became the longest-serving Bond actor ever.

Best Bond Film: Casino Royale

Synopsis: After earning 00 status and a licence to kill,  newly-christened secret agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007. Bond must defeat a private banker funding terrorists in a high-stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro.

  • Daniel Craig was producer Barbara Broccoli’s first choice for the role of Bond. She had him in mind after seeing his performance in Layer Cake (2004).
  • The first film in the franchise to show James Bond as a rookie in MI6. In all of the other movies, he had long been a spy.
  • Craig gained twenty pounds of muscle for the role by adhering to eating mostly proteins, minimizing his carbohydrates intake, trained five days a week, only doing cardio exercises on weekends.
  • To prepare for the role, Craig read all of Ian Fleming’s novels and talked with Mossad and British Secret Service agents who had served as advisers on the movie Munich (2005).
  • Craig’s very first day of shooting  as James Bond was the scene where Bond storms the African embassy.
  • First James Bond movie to be based on a full-length Ian Fleming novel since Moonraker (1979). As of 2020, it remains as the last James Bond movie based directly on an Ian Fleming novel.
  • As of 2007, this was highest-grossing movie of the Bond official film franchise until Skyfall (2012) surpassed it.

-JaDarrel Belser

I hoped you enjoyed this series as much I enjoyed writing and doing the research for it. UNTIL NEXT TIME!!

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