Daniel Craig has ended months of speculation by confirming that he will indeed return to play James Bond in the upcoming 25th film in the iconic series. The film, officially announced in July, will also be his last.
Early yesterday (15 August) Craig told a US radio show that "nothing official has been confirmed" but apparently this was to throw us all off the scent before confirming his return during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
After singing Craig's praises as the "greatest" to play the super-spy, host Colbert asked point blank if he would be returning to the role.
He replied with a simple yes, to which the audience erupted in applause.
The 49-year-old revealed that he's known he would return "for a couple of months" saying that he had been "trying to figure things out" with the film's producers at EON Productions.
"I think this is it," he said towards the end of the interview. "I just want to go out on a high note."
Right after the announcement, Craig said he "always wanted to [return]" but Colbert quickly cut him off to bring up an interview in which the actor said he'd rather "slash his wrists" than play James Bond for a fifth time.
"There's no point in making excuses about it, but it was two days after we finished shooting the last movie and I went straight into an interview and someone said: 'Would you do another one?'. And I went: 'No!' Instead of staying something with style and grace I gave a really stupid answer."
Bond 25 was announced in July and given a release window of October/November 2019. Until now, no casting or a director had been announced. All we know is that Bond veterans Robert Wade and Neal Purvis will pen the film's script.
Craig's tenure as Bond began with the excellent Casino Royale in 2006, before follow-up Quantum of Solace and 50th anniversary spectacular Skyfall in 2012. That film's director Sam Mendes returned for Spectre three years later, but the film was considered a disappointment by many.
This fifth film will make Craig the third longest-running Bond, behind Sean Connery with six films and the late Roger Moore with seven. He overtakes Pierce Brosnan, whose four-film run ended with 2002's Die Another Day.
With confirmation that Craig is to depart the series in two years, speculation will begin anew regarding the next actor to play the role. Between Spectre and now, when it seemed Craig may not return, names including Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston were attached to the role.
Neither of those big names are likely to be cast come 2019, but other younger names including Aidan Turner, Jack Huston and James Norton could be contention.