In the movie Casino Royale, Daniel Craig starred for the first time as the spy hero James Bond. In 2006, he became forever linked to the role – first because of those steel-blue eyes and second, the scene where he walks out the ocean in his speedos. From that moment on he became everyone’s new favourite Bond. Now, in 2020/21 he will appear for the last time as Bond in the film No Time to Die. The character of Bond has retired from the secret service and many predict we are being introduced to the future of the franchise.
Here we explore the many reasons why Daniel Craig has become our favourite Bond – and why he will remain so for a long time to come.
He does action so well
Some of the greatest action scenes ever in the Bond franchise have been in the Craig films. Who can forget that scene at the beginning of Skyfall when Bond lands on a train or the point he seems to die when he is shot and falls into the river. Craig’s Bond is a doer not a talker and tends to act before chatting through the scenario. There is none of the easy charm of Connery’s Bond, as Craig makes him darker and more prone to outbursts of violence. The impact of the spy world on the man Bond is much more realistically represented by Craig too. So, although the action is intense, so is the sense of awe and shock in the character.
Those driving scenes
And then there are the car chases in the Bond movies where Craig is at the wheel. Don’t believe us? Well, take a look at the trailer for the last of Craig’s films and tell us if you have ever seen a better car chase filmed by another actor playing the lead role.
Still need some persuasion? Look at Quantum of Solace, those opening scenes, this has to be the best car chase of all time as he heads towards Siena,Italy while dodging gunfire. Wow, that is some handling.
He looks good
Oh, come on. It had to be said. When Daniel Craig puts on a suit and can run along a roof while shooting a machine gun, you know he is the Bond of all time. Roger Moore acknowledged that Craig was more of a spy than he was, more capable of killing someone if needed and Connery was never approved of by Fleming because he was “too sexy” – whereas Craig gives us more the stuntman that a spy should be.
And did we mention the speedos?
He’s been at it a long time
If longevity is a measure of success in a role, then Daniel Craig has exceeded expectations. He has been Bond for 14 years, while Connery managed 9 and Moore managed 12. His value was demonstrated when he claimed he would rather slit his wrist than play Bond again, and was still hired for the next instalment. In contrast, Pierce Brosnan was essentially fired from the role after Die Another Day.
Box Office Leader
While it is difficult to compare takings at the box office across time, there is no doubting the grossing power of Daniel Craig. His Bond movies have taken an astonishing $2..6 billion before we take into account the release of the latest film. Skyfall was the highest grossing film of all time and took close to a $1 billion in profit.
The complexity of relationships
Bond’s interaction with the people around him in the service have also been a little two dimensional in the past. Bond stole the show and everyone else was a way of making him look good. In Craig we finally managed to get a Bond that had complex relationships with the others, whether it is Moneypenny or M. The interaction between Dench and Craig was the best the Franchise has ever seen and in many respects the death of M was a great loss to Craig’s role as Bond as much as the Bond film themselves.
He proved everybody wrong
The final point worth making is that Craig did all of this against expectation. When he was announced as the next Bond in 2005 there was genuine outrage. First, he was blonde, no Bond had ever been fair haired. He was also more physical and rugged than the suave actors that had gone before. He seemed to be more East-end Lad than Upper-class Gent.
When he stepped into the role in Casino Royale expectation was insanely low. People were waiting for him to fail. Then, low and behold, he was given not a single word of criticism from onlooking film pundits. He had won the day and seized the role as his own.