Daniel Craig, star of Layer Cake and a much-touted candidate for the role of James Bond, has spoken candidly about his association with Casino Royale.
The media has recently been swamped with rumours suggesting Craig had landed the part, resulting in an initial denial from the actor’s camp. However, the latest interviews to emerge have suggested that casting for the role of 007 has fallen into a state of paralysis, as Pierce Brosnan put it when Eon opted not to renew his contract for the new film.
Speaking with HoustonChronicle.com, the actor appeared very coy about his current position with the role. “If I was to be [Bond], and I’m not saying I am, I couldn’t tell you anyway. Believe me, I couldn’t tell you. So the answer is … I’m in a group of names. It’s a high-class problem to have.”
“But I do know them and I have talked to them, but there’s no decision made as yet,” said Craig.
However, in an interview with IGN.com, Craig addressed the subject in surprising detail, suggesting conflict between the studio and Eon over casting for the film. “It was a surreal time to have the studio phoning you up saying you’ve got the job and then the Broccolis saying nothing,” said Craig. “I just let it go. I’m a big believer that if they want you? you don’t want to fight, you want to all be on the same page from the very beginning. I think I would have probably been a bit too radical for it.”
“I don’t know what the deal is [with Bond], I don’t know,” continued Craig. “There’s a lot of rumours floating around. It’s not a bad position to be in … There’s been some sort of move in my direction but there’s been a move in a lot of people’s direction. Possibly it’s a way of trying to raise debate. They throw out some names and then people start discussing it and then they can make a decision.”
So would Craig accept if offered the role? “I don’t know. That’s the truth of it, I really don’t know. It would be difficult not to give it really serious thought.”
Craig, 37, has starred in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Road to Perdition and The Jacket. The actor is also said to be a personal friend of Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.
Craig can currently be seen in Layer Cake, directed by Matthew Vaughn, who also had a brush with Casino Royale, before GoldenEye‘s Martin Campbell signed onto the project. Also speaking to IGN.com, Vaughn’s statements of creative differences between the studio and Eon echoed those of Craig.
“It was a strange situation,” said Vaughn. “The truth of the matter is I was offered it by MGM but not by the Broccolis. There was smoke or there was fire.”
Cameras are set to roll on Casino Royale early next year for a November 2006 release.