He hasn't even graced the gun sight yet, but Daniel Craig is already
gearing up for another go-round as 007.
The English thesp, who's getting ready to make his big debut on Nov. 17 as
the sixth actor to play James Bond in MGM's Casino Royale, the 21st installment
in the four decade-old franchise, is aboard to star in a follow-up now in
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Roger Michell, the helmer behind the
1999 Hugh Grant-Julia Roberts romantic comedy hit, Notting Hill, and the
2002 Ben Affleck-Samuel L. Jackson thriller miss, Changing Lanes, is in
talks to direct the as-yet-untitled project, currently known only as Bond 22.
No word on the story line, but the trade says it comes from an original idea
suggested by longtime Bond producer Michael Wilson.
In any case, the move is a big thumbs-up from the Bond brain trust and comes
in the wake of withering fan criticism of Craig's casting, with some calling for
the ouster of the 38-year-old actor before he had the chance to swig his first
Back in February, when the Martin Campbell-helmed Casino was still shooting,
detractors stirred controversy by launching CraigNotBond.com, to protest the
hiring of the first blond Bond as a replacement for fan favorite Pierce
Brosnan. The anti-Craig faction called him an "unknown and unattractive"
performer and vowed to boycott any Bond film in which he starred. The site
further petitioned Eon Productions to revoke Craig's license to kill and bring
But Craig quickly wracked up an endorsement from original 007 Sean
Connery, who rushed to his defense, praising him as a "terrific choice," and
three other 007 predecessors, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Brosnan,
also gave Craig their votes of confidence. Meanwhile, Judi Bench, who plays spy
boss M, has also called his performance in Casino "edgy," while Bond babe
Caterina Murino told the BBC last week that her costar is a "great actor" who
will give fans "something they've never seen before."
While Craig has public appeared unfazed by the fan backlash, Murino said that
the criticism has left him feeling a little shaken, but insisted that his rugged
depiction of Bond will please fans in the end.
"When he's going to kill someone, he looks like a real killer. When he kisses
me, when he makes love, he's so sexy," the Italian actress said, adding that the
latest adventure in the Bond series will be much more violent than previous
Bond producers apparently are betting big on him, too. The BBC also reported
that Craig is signed to play Bond through 2012, giving him plenty of
opportunities to hone those secret agent skills.
Craig most recently starred as an assassin in Steven Spielberg's
Oscar-nominated Munich. His other credits include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider The
Road to Perdition, Layer Cake and Enduring Love, which was also directed by