The Day The Blonde Bond Bombed

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Current James Bond, Daniel Craig recently caused a storm with the media and fans of the super spy franchise with his comments that seemed to indicate that his reign was at an end. Tom Pheby goes undercover in a long black trench coat and talks to a man known as Vladimir to obtain sensitive information.

I'm always disappointed when someone whose work I have always admired throws caution to the wind and speaks to the media in the way Daniel Craig has recently. The Craigster, normally a placid, thoughtful and endearing kind of guy seems to have been substituted for a hairy, loose lipped, "I don't give a fuff" Russell Crowe type character. Which is a bit of a rarity having seen many of his media outings.

What am I going on about? Well it seems that Craig no longer wants to play the iconic role of James Bond, (fair enough I suppose, he's knocking on a bit anyway) and apparently there is no way that he can see past his latest excursion, Spectre.

"I'm off! And I'm taking the car." 

I can understand it must be exhausting, filming in various exotic locations with a beauty or two on his arm and, invariably, ending up underneath him. I also understand that it must be physically demanding performing the majority of the stunts. Maybe as demanding as counting all the cash that is destined for his bank account. But let's be honest here, Bond has made him into an international star and these things should be discussed behind closed doors with those involved in the franchise, not vomited into the ears of leather faced hacks eager to get a sensational story.

Perhaps he should have just thrown a hissy fit and thumped a member of the production crew - as seems to be the norm these days if your sandwich has too much mayo or your soup has an insufficient amount of croutons. But no, Craig chose the brutally honest truth when asked about a future replacement.
“Look, I don’t give a f—. Good luck to them. All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we’ve left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better.”
That wasn't all he had to say as when asked if he was going to return for a fourth outing as Bond, Craig replied...
“I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,”
“No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
Put the glass down Daniel.

My initial thought was that the Craigster may have been misquoted. After all, the Press have a cute habit of rearranging words, omitting phrases and ... well, making it up a bit, so all this hubbub could be a storm in a gun holster. But hold on a mo, only a few days after the alleged publicity disaster up pops co-star Naomi Harris to leap to Craig's defence, claiming that the comments were meant to be sarcastic.

Oh, right! No problem, Phew.

It had all been misconstrued, no need for alarm, it's just a wizard wheeze. Old Dan, he loves a laugh...except this felt like a mopping up job or damage limitation exercise. The sort those annoying politicians undertake when they call a supporter "a bigot" without realising the microphone is still on, or criticising the parents of a sick child because they looked like Labour voters.

If it was meant to be sarcasm then Dan isn't very good at it. Perhaps in the future he should get a drunken relative to attend press conferences in the hope that they pass out before they utter anything majorly stupid. I'm mixing irony with sarcasm at this point just to show Daniel how it's done correctly.

The suicide reference was completely moronic and illustrates that film stars are so preened and pampered that they can no longer be expected to speak for themselves without offending the masses in some way or another, especially those that are vulnerable.

The press, on occasions such as these, love to find what they call 'an insider'. A curious term that conjures up images of an unshaven outcast, eavesdropping on set , hoping for volatile incidents or unrest between cast members and crew which they can hand over for publication for a modest fee. This time 'the insider' was reported to have said,
"Craig is pretentious and thinks he’s better than Bond, that it doesn’t give him the creative range he needs."
A man with no name. Known only as 'an insider'. How very Bondesque.

As each day came and went the story seemed to grow and grow. It's as if it was a marketing exercise or publicity ruse so that we attend the local cinema to see Craig in his last Bond outing. I may seem sceptical at this point, or am I simply suffering reflective sarcasm?

Another 'insider' revealed that furious Sony executives have told Craig to "Shut up" and stop undermining the release of Spectre. If true and if he has any sense at all, he will adhere to the request or life after Bond may leave him with a lot of time on his hands .

Craig initially copped a load of flack for being blonde but managed to steady a flagging franchise with some hypnotic performances in Casino Royale, Quantum of solace and Skyfall, and in doing so he firmly applied his own stamp to the role. The toe curling quips were decreased, the flippant and embarrassing comedic moments were dispensed with, along with the mind numbing array of gadgets and gizmos (remember the invisible car - yuk) as Craig returned to Fleming's original outline of a more complex professional killer. In the process he added much needed credibility and bought it slap bang up to date in line with the Bourne films (although I personally still think they have the edge).

Spectre has had it's problems. The script has been re-written over and over and key scenes had to be re-shot as little as two weeks ago. If that wasn't enough, Craig suffered a knee injury that required surgery and was unfit for duty for a spell, so its hardly been a breeze and probably isn't the type of experience that makes you warm and fuzzy.

So if it is true that he wants out his employers may put the Aston Martin into storage, the babes may well have to do some additional modelling/waitressing and Q may have to take up position on the customer services desk in PC World until the whole thing is resolved. Dan, on the other hand, is no doubt destined for a series of less successful films that will "give him the creative range he needs". Things like rom-coms, prison breaks and dull action adventure flicks. But who will take his place as 007?

Idris Elba seems to constantly be linked to the role, and I totally get it but is he sophisticated enough? It's got nothing to do with the colour of his skin, I'm a massive fan of Idris, have been for years and can't wait for series 4 of BBC's Luther, but I'm just wondering if he will fit the Fleming outline of the super spy.

Then there's Henry Cavill, whose star is on the rise and needs a part that will enhance his profile. Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cucumberpatch (oops), Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Jackman (surely not) and what about a ginger Bond - Damian Lewis.
There are certainly a fair few high profile actors whose names have been rumoured to be in with a chance at playing Bond. My own choice would be from Lewis, Fassbender or Cavill, but Elba is in the mix as well.

Daniel Craig has redefined the role, we have to be grateful for that, but he has misjudged and mishandled this situation and has come across as a bit of a twat! I'm sure EON will assist him with his ambitions of diversifying by issuing a professional statement thanking him for his contribution, that's how it should be done, with dignity and class.

Perhaps Craig should employ one of those ridiculous spy phrases at future media outings, "The man on the roof with the daffodil has no pyjamas". To which the press can reply, "I prefer a rain coat myself ". This would make more sense than anything the Craig has said recently.

Script Writer, Poet, Blogger and junk television specialist. Half English, half Irish and half Alsatian, Tom is well known for insisting on being called Demetri for reasons best known to himself. A former film abuser and telly addict who shamefully skulks around his home town of Canterbury after dark dressed as Julie Andrews. Follow Tom on Twitter

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