It has just been a few weeks since the worldwide promotional extravaganza for Quantum of Solace wrapped up and now Daniel Craig is once again promoting yet another film: the war drama Defiance, which has just gone on limited release in the United States.
Sitting down for an interview with The Times, Craig spoke about his penchant for experimenting with film roles and how he chooses one over another.
Daniel Craig is James Bond
With his second James Bond film still playing in theatres around the world, the box office success quickly came up as a converstation point.
After being told that Quantum of Solace had recently passed the $500 million mark worldwide, Craig responded: ‘I wouldn’t know $500 million if it sat on my face. But it would probably be quite nice if it sat on my face. I know that, when it comes down to it, these films are about box office, but the moment I start thinking about the figures, I’ll be stuffed–though maybe I won’t be saying that in a year’s time, when I’ve spent everything.’
While his debut as 007 in Casino Royale scored higher overall when it came to reviews by the critics, the appeal of Quantum as judged by those box office numbers puts these two films on roughly the same playing field (Royale ended up with a $594 million take, while Quantum is at $540 million and climbing).
‘I know that, when it comes down to it, these films are about box office, but the moment I start thinking about the figures, I’ll be stuffed.’ – Daniel Craig
Craig stated that the success of this latest Bond film is even more satisfying than when Casino Royale was certified an overwhelming success upon its 2006 release.
He said: ‘The first film was a huge punt, although I think if it had failed miserably, I could have walked away with my head held high and said, “Well, I gave it a go.” But the fact was that it wasn’t. It was a success, and in a way that nobody could have predicted. Quantum was about keeping it interesting, relevant, and the only way I could think about doing that was just to throw myself headlong into it. So I know the work we put in. We didn’t have a complete script, so Marc [Forster] and I had to batter it into shape, to find the story we wanted to tell.’
As for the criticisms that Quantum was too dark and humourless for a Bond film, Craig said: ‘Well, I nicked a lot of the ideas about who Bond is from Ian Fleming. But the point is, we did the movie we had to do to finish the story off, and comedy and lightness weren’t relevant. This was a story about loyalty, about friendship, about who you can trust. Gag-writing wasn’t at the top of the list.’
‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m up for a submarine base, as long as the gag works.’ – Daniel Craig
As for Bond 23, seemingly anything is possible now that the Royale–Quantum storyline has seemingly come to a close.
‘I love the idea of putting Moneypenny in the film,’ he said. ‘I’m dead keen to do it. And Q.’ However, Craig stressed that there needed to be some characterization to these two MI6 favourites. He said: ‘I work from the premise that there are millions and millions of people out there who never saw one of the earlier Bond movies. So they don’t understand the martini gag. Or the Moneypenny gag, which is a gag–it had ceased to be a character. So, let’s find out who she is. We can have fun doing that. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m up for a submarine base, as long as the gag works. The problem is that Austin Powers screwed everything up. He exploded the genre. Did I just say that? I did.’
According to producer Michael G. Wilson, preliminary script work is scheduled to commence this month, so keep your eyes on CommanderBond.net for all the latest Bond 23 coverage as it becomes available.