This weekend, North American audiences joined the rest of the world in returning to the world of James Bond with “Spectre,” and the results were strong. While the $300 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide haul of “Skyfall” is likely out of reach, the picture is hardly a failure, and will perform quite strongly regardless. But now the question of the franchise turns to the future: will Sam Mendes return? Will Daniel Craig? In the case of the former, it sounds like he’s done, but in the case of the latter, we can probably expect him to suit again.
Mendes recently chatted with Deadline, and when pressed about his future with 007, the director revealed that unlike last time with “Skyfall,” the latest Bond picture truly feels like a chapter has been closed. “Without giving too much away, the difference here for me is, this movie draws together all four of Daniel’s movies into one final story, and he completes a journey. 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,” the director said. “It feels like there’s a rightness to it, that I have finished a journey.”
As for Craig, while he would rather discuss anything else than his future in the franchise, producer Michael G. Wilson is pretty confident the actor will return. “I think we’ve got Daniel Craig,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
However, while many have said Craig was signed up for five pictures and that it’s inevitable he’ll be back, Wilson reveals they don’t have him inked. “We don’t have a contract,” he stated. They might want to wait a while before having that conversation with Craig….
Meanwhile, the franchise itself might be looking for a new home. While Bond is MGM property, they no longer distribute their own movies, and their deal with Sony to bring Bond to cinemas wrapped with “Spectre.” So far, the producers are staying mum on whether they’ll stick with Sony or look at other offers, but it’s a big commitment to whoever takes it on. Sony was required to pay half the budget of the Craig-era movies, plus marketing, for only 25% of the profits. That’s a lot of put on the table, and according to the Sony email hacks (via The New York Times), the studio only expected to make $38 million on “Spectre” provided it hauled in the same numbers as “Skyfall,” which doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony uses the performance of “Spectre” to try and negotiate a better deal, however, Bond producers aren’t obligated to return to the studio, and can field other offers.
So, some interesting decisions lay ahead for the franchise, as it could see a new director, actor, and studio home for the next outing. But no matter what, in some shape or fashion, Bond will be back.