Daniel Craig Spectre
Spectre could be Daniel Craig's penultimate outing as Bond REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

As speculation mounts about his replacement, actor Daniel Craig has confirmed that his appearance in the upcoming James Bond film will not be his last. The 47-year-old will take the lead as 007 once again in Spectre but he is contracted to star in at least one more Bond film.

Spectre will be Craig's fourth outing as the British spy, having played the iconic character in three instalments so far – Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall. In an interview with Event magazine, the actor hinted that he has considered leaving the role behind after eight years, admitting: "It's getting harder, but such is life. I'll keep going as long as I'm physically able. I'm contracted for one more – but I'm not going to make predictions."

The Layer Cake actor then gave respect to the team behind Bond, including director Sam Mendes, who joined the legendary franchise for 2012's Skyfall. Craig explained: "These movies don't get made very often. It's just the fourth time for me, a spit in the ocean. If you don't get excited about making a movie of this size with this cast, with Sam Mendes, then go home."

In reference to the forthcoming Spectre, Craig added: "I'm doing less [stunt work], I've got so many good doubles [but] I work myself to death to get fit." The Hollywood actor's comments about his future with the franchise come not long after he hinted that the next Bond movie could be his last. He told Esquire in September 2015: "I don't know. I really don't know. Honestly. I'm not trying to be coy. At the moment I can't even conceive it. At this moment, no. I have a life and I've got to get on with it a bit. But we'll see."

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While it is possible movie studio Sony Pictures could renew Craig's contract, the rumour mill has been rife with suggestions as to who could take over the role next. Luther actor Idris Elba has been the top contender for two years but the possibility has been met with some criticism. Author Anthony Horowitz, who wrote Bond novel Trigger Mortis, claimed The Wire star was "too street" to play the spy. However, there have been calls for the role to be diversified with former 007 actor Pierce Brosnan supporting the character being black or gay.

Other actors suggested for the role include Michael Fassbender and Damian Lewis, whom a source claims is the studio's "number one choice" to replace Craig. Spectre, which will also star Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Ralph Fiennes, will be released to cinemas across the UK on 26 October.