Now normally the loss of someone who has made a role his own would be a concern, but on this occasion, the timing feels just right. Yes, Craig should not make another Bond movie.
That’s not to say he is shot as an actor – quite the opposite. Craig has been a triumph as Bond: gritty, adrenaline-seeking, self-destructive. One of the best.
However, every spy must come in from the cold at some point. If the reports about his future are accurate, Craig has chosen to hand in his licence to kill on his own terms. And you can’t blame him.
The actor originally condemned as ‘James Blonde’ has proved the doubters wrong at every turn and served with distinction. Four films, a decade of Brand Bond, not to mention an eye-watering list of injuries. No one can say he hasn’t given the role his all, body and soul.
But the end of Spectre felt like the end of the affair (spoilers to follow). His nemesis Blofeld left in a pool of blood on Westminster Bridge, Bond heads off into the sunset with his lover Madeleine Swann, only popping in to MI6 a few weeks later in order to pick up his Aston Martin and drive off again.
After the highs of Skyfall, Spectre might not quite be the movie many would have wanted him to go out on, but the narrative of Craig’s past four films has reached a natural end-point.
Even director Sam Mendes agrees: “This movie draws together all four of Daniel’s movies into one final story, and he completes a journey,” he told Deadline last year. “That wasn’t the case last time. There is a sense of completeness that wasn’t there at the end of Skyfall, and that’s what makes this feel different.”
Mendes, who worked with Craig on both Skyfall and Spectre, has already confirmed he will not be directing the next movie. Shouldn’t Craig follow him to the bar?
But guess what, this time he doesn’t have to go through it again. This time there is a natural successor, an actor who can play a damn good spy, seduce you with a glance and keep the ‘James Blonde’ trend alive and well.