Now, as Craig’s friend and fellow actor Mark Strong tells ShortList, the hunky Englishman’s stint as the moody MI6 agent may have reached its conclusion, one film before Craig’s contract is up. “He has been [wonderful] and he’s loved it,” Strong said while promoting his spy spoof with Sacha Baron Cohen, “Grimsby.” “But I think he feels like he’s mined it. He’s done what he wants with it. That point has come.”
Sam Mendes’ second crack at the franchise, “Spectre,” marked Craig’s fourth turn as 007, and the actor betrayed his Bond fatigue to Time Out London’s Dave Calhoun. As for his potential replacement, Britain’s largest bookmakers have shifted from former favorites Idris Elba and Damian Lewis to Hollywood’s hottest hand, Tom Hardy — fresh off two grueling action/adventure roles, in Best Picture contenders “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Revenant.”
Elba had risen to the top of the pack after the Sony hack revealed that Amy Pascal, then running Sony, had recommended him to play the role. (Several wags subsequently pointed out that Ian Fleming wrote the role as a white Scottish man. Screw that.) For his part, Elba is on record saying, “I just do not want to be the black James Bond.” And it would be hard to fault anyone for choosing the charismatic, skillful Hardy, who has the looks and swagger to carry off the grittier Bond inaugurated by Craig.
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