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Even before the release of the most recent James Bond movie, Spectre, there was chatter that Daniel Craig may have had his fill of playing the famous spy. While some have suspected that Craig may be willing to return to the role after enough time away, one source has implied that the decision to walk away has already been made. Actor Mark Strong has said that his friend is likely done with the franchise.
Mark Strong was speaking with The Short List as part of the promotion for his new movie The Brothers Grimsby where he plays against his normal type, as something of a secret agent himself. Strong is best known for playing the villain, which led to a conversation about possibly playing a Bond villain one day. It was at this point that the actor may have let the cat out of the bag.
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.
While Mark Strong does say "I think" when talking about the likelihood of Daniel Craig being done playing James Bond, he also speaks of it in the past tense, which implies that Strong, well, strongly believes his chance to star opposite his friend has passed by. When asked if Strong himself could talk Craig into returning, he said he would try, but he didn’t seem to hold out much hope that such a thing was possible.
While certainly not definitive, this may be one of the more reliable sources on the topic. People tell their friends things that they don’t always tell their employers. If Daniel Craig and Mark Strong were chatting as friends over a drink, it’s certainly possible that Craig might have said something to his "pal" he has yet to say to MGM.
Most recently, it has appeared that the studio is willing to be flexible and work with Daniel Craig in order to keep him in the role. Maybe they’ll also be willing to entertain Mark Strong as the next movie’s bad guy. It could be the thing to do to entice Craig back is let him work with a friend on the film. It might make the next outing more palatable for the actor, who was obviously exhausted after the last time.
Do you think Daniel Craig is done with James Bond? How much would you like to see Mark Strong as a Bond villain, with or without Craig in the lead?