Things have been a little quiet on the James Bond front since last year’s Spectre. That’s likely down to the uncertainty surrounding the franchise. Their last release was a step down from Skyfall, and it seems like they might need to replace Daniel Craig. The actor has stated he’d “rather slit his wrists” than come back for another go as 007. Could a $150 million payday change his mind?
According to Radar Online, Sony has offered Craig a new two-picture deal worth $150 million. Per the report, they want Craig to film two more Bond films back to back, before they recruit a younger successor. If true, it could mean the iconic role wouldn’t be recast until Craig reached his 50s.
However, the report also points out that Sony doesn’t actually own the distribution rights to the franchise. Spectre marked the end of the four-picture deal they had with Eon, the company behind the series. We’ve heard little about where those rights will land, although they are the subject of a Hollywood bidding war.
Another odd part of the article is the claim that Bond gives Sony “billions of dollars in revenue.” According to Deadline, Skyfall’s $1.1 billion gross saw the studio earn $57 million. It would take some inventive accounting to turn that into billions. The kind of accounting that Bond took down in Casino Royale.
There are a few holes in this story, although you could see Sony’s reasoning for wanting to retain their leading man. They won’t want to rock the boat too much after Sam Mendes refused to return for a third Bond film. Christoph Waltz’s return is dependent on Craig keeping the role, adding more motivation to strike a deal. Even if he doesn’t pick up $150 million, don’t bet against a return for Craig in the near future.
Image via Eon/Sony