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Daniel Craig as James Bond

While Daniel Craig is going to be James Bond for a few months longer than planned, now that No Time to Die has seen its release pushed back to next spring, a full year after it was originally set to be released, whenever we do finally see the next James Bond movie, it will be the last time we see Craig in the iconic role. Craig has proven to be one of the most popular actors to ever take on the role, giving Bond, both the man and the franchise, a much-needed infusion of energy. Now that the actor has brought Bond back, all he's asking is that the next person not screw it up.

Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the host asked Daniel Craig if he had any advice for the next person to take up the role. Craig's advice was fairly blunt and to the point. Put politely, Craig told his successor to find a way to improve the character and keep James Bond strong. Put in Daniel Craig's words...

Don't fuck it up. It's a beautiful, amazing thing. Leave it better than when you found it.

Clearly, while Daniel Craig has decided now is the right time to step away from James Bond, he's proud of the work that he's done and is feeling protective of the character. He wants whoever follows him to do well and to pick up the ball and run with it.

It's difficult to argue that Daniel Craig didn't do exactly what he's asking his successor to do here. While James Bond has never been unpopular, it certainly seemed that following Pierce Brosnan's run with Bond, people were starting to get a little tired. Daniel Craig came in and took James Bond in a very different direction and that gave the franchise new life.

And where things go from here is anybody's guess. There were a lot of different names thrown around as potential new Bonds when it was unclear if Daniel Craig would be back, and now that we're near the end of that run, the conversation is starting up again. There have even been calls to make the next James Bond either a person of color, a woman, or both. At this point, it's impossible to know how likely any of that is to taking place but it does seem clear that those ideas are not off the table, so anything is possible.

Whoever the new James Bond is will have a tough job not just taking on the role but in following Daniel Craig. Will we see a Bond that follows closely in the footsteps of Craig or one that goes off on its own path? It's an exciting question that we'll have to wait years to get properly answered, but one certainly hopes James Bond will continue to be a "beautiful, amazing thing."

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