Quelling months of speculation, Daniel Craig confirmed in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he will be back in the as-yet untitled 25th Bond film from EON Productions. Craig was on the late-night talk show to promote the comedy Logan Lucky, in which he plays demolition expert Joe Bang.
“I have been quite cagey about it. I have been doing interviews all day and people have been asking me and I think I’ve been rather coy. But it kind of felt like if I was going to speak the truth, I should speak the truth to you,” Craig told Colbert.
When Colbert asked Craig point blank if he would be returning as Bond, the actor replied “yes”.
Daniel Craig with Stephen Colbert
Craig first played Ian Fleming’s iconic MI6 agent in 2006’s Casino Royale, a reboot of the franchise. On the set of 2015’s Spectre, Craig infamously told journalists that he would “rather slit [his] wrists” than play Bond again. When Colbert confronted Craig about that remark, Craig admitted "instead of saying something with style and grace I gave a really stupid answer."
Colbert, a noted Star Wars fan, also asked Craig about his cameo as a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Craig joked that he slept with director J. J. Abrams to snag the cameo. The Star Wars film was shooting at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., the home base for Bond movies, at the same time as Spectre.
Craig claimed that Bond 25 would be his last hurrah as the superspy. "I think this is it," he told Colbert, adding "I just want to go out on a high note and I can't wait." A later discredited rumour had it that Craig was offered a whopping $150 million to shoot two more Bond films back to back.
Daniel Craig in Skyfall
Following the confirmation of Craig’s involvement, more announcements, including that of the film’s director, are surely on the way. Sam Mendes, who helmed Skyfall and Spectre, bowed out of the franchise. Yann Demange (’71), Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Sicario) and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water, Starred Up) are reportedly frontrunners, with Demange being the favourite of the three. Frequent Bond screenwriting team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have been involved in the series since 1999’s The World is Not Enough, have been tapped to write a draft of Bond 25.
Bond 25 is set for a November 2019 release date.