Many men – and women too, for that matter – would love to play James Bond. Most of us would also love $150 million.
But Hollywood superstar Daniel Craig is not most people.
The 007 actor, who has played the spy since 2005, has reportedly been offered the hefty sum listed above to return to the franchise for two more films. But Craig has made no secret of his reluctance to step back into the famous tuxedo.
“The studio is desperate to secure the actor’s services while they phase in a younger long-term successor,” a source told the celebrity news website Radar.
The source also suggested that by playing coy – remember when he told an interviewer he’d rather “slash his wrists” than immediately return to Bond? – Craig has only upped his perceived value.
He’s essentially made himself into the man too cool to play Bond.
“Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned,” said the source, who added that Craig “has played a genius hand.”
“Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a king’s ransom to make it happen.”
The story above, which has not been confirmed by Sony or by representatives for Craig, comes in the wake of a May 2016 claim that Craig had turned down a $100 million offer to return for two more films. If true, it could suggest that studios is trying to tempt Craig back with increasingly larger sums.
In the meantime, there’s been a steady string of rumours about who could replace Craig as Bond, with a new hopeful claimed as the frontrunner almost every other week (we’re getting pretty fed up of writing the weekly news articles, truth to be told).
Some of the latest contenders named include Victoria actor Tom Hughes, who has allegedly impressed Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, and Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.
Despite claiming he’s too old for the role, Idris Elba remains a popular choice with Bond fans, as does Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell.