Cary Joji Fukunaga, director of the next James Bond film, has revealed he discussed potential replacements for Daniel Craig when it appeared the 007 actor had quit the franchise.
Speaking to Total Film, Craig admitted that after sustaining an injury filming 2015’s Spectre, he believed he was “physically not capable of doing another” Bond movie.
“For me, it was very cut and dried that I wasn’t coming back,” he said.
“He was so exhausted after that film,” added 007 producer Barbara Broccoli. “We’d had our own trials and tribulations on Spectre, and [Daniel] had a massive injury. It was very difficult. So he just needed some time.”
Craig eventually signed up for one more film, No Time to Die, which is set for release in September following repeated delays amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, in the period before he agreed to return, No Time to Die director Fukunaga met with Broccoli and “spit-balled” ideas for Craig’s replacement.
“Two years ago I took Barbara to my favourite Japanese restaurant in New York,” he explained. “I tried to wine and dine her. At that point Daniel said he wasn’t doing another one, so we spit-balled all the potential new Bonds – that was exciting.
“I just told her what I loved about Bond and what it meant to me growing up. And just that I’d be honoured if they’d consider me for the next one.”
Though Danny Boyle was originally hired to direct Bond 25, he later departed the project and Fukunaga was hired as his replacement.
No Time to Die is now set as Craig’s final Bond film, his fifth across a period of 15 years, with actors including Outlander‘s Sam Heughan and Bridgerton‘s Rege-Jean Page among the bookies’ favourites to replace him.