Casino Royale director had “reservations” about casting Daniel Craig as James Bond

Casino Royale director Martin Campbell wasn't convinced about Daniel Craig – and the reason why may surprise you.

CR_13909_r – Eva Green (left) and Daniel Craig (right) star in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure Casino Royale.

Photo Credit: Jay Maidment

It’s been a long wait, but No Time To Die is set to make its cinema debut – more than a year after it was supposed to – at the end of September.

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The 25th film in the James Bond franchise will mark Daniel Craig’s last outing as the suave spy. Craig’s five-film tenure as the 007 agent brought the character into a new, grittier age following Piers Brosnan’s turn.

Though Craig’s Bond is a fan favourite and has been lauded for his performance by critics and aficionadoes alike, many weren’t convinced when he was announced as Brosnan’s replacement in 2005, including Casino Royale director Martin Campbell.

“I had certain reservations,” Campbell told CinemaBlend. “Only because there was no doubt he was a terrific actor. He was a superb actor. But of course I’d been brought up in the tradition of Connery, and Roger Moore, and Pierce, all great looking guys.”

He added: “You know, there was a stereotype, if you see what I mean, with those three characters. And Daniel, of course, is much more like Ian Fleming’s conception of that part. I think it was Hoagy Carmichael, he said would be the perfect Bond. He was a Bond for the time, basically whenever we started. I think in 2006 we made Casino [Royale], and he was just perfect for the complete reboot, to be honest, which was much more reality based.”

It turned out Campbell had nothing to worry about, as Craig was voted the sexiest man on the planet shortly after the release of Casino Royale.

Campbell also revealed it was producer Barbara Broccoli who championed Craig for the lead: “[Barbara Broccoli] was the one that really pushed for Daniel Craig; her instincts were 100 per cent correct.

“So it was Barbara [that] was the one who really championed that, quite correctly, and he turned out to be a terrific Bond.”

Ahead of the release of No Time to Die, a James Bond documentary featuring Broccoli, co-producer Michael G Wilson and Daniel Craig himself is set to land on the Apple TV app on 7th September, reflecting on the actor’s time as the Ian Fleming’s spy.

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No Time to Die will be released in cinemas in the UK on Thursday 30th OctoberLooking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Movies hub for the latest news.