By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 6, 2012 at 1:05PM
Update: Deadline confirm that Craig has indeed signed on for "Bond 24" and "Bond 25," and the site also say that Sony will co-finance both films. Barring any change of plans, Craig will become the third-longest-serving Bond, behind Sean Connery and Roger Moore. You can also watch a new featurette on the opening sequence at the bottom.
Whatever you think of the films so far (the general consensus being that "Casino Royale" is one of the best ever entries of the franchise, and "Quantum of Solace" was something of a disappointing follow-up), few would argue that Daniel Craig has disappointed as the sixth incarnation of James Bond. Beating out the likes of Henry Cavill and Sam Worthington to the role, Craig wasn't an obvious choice, causing certain dim sections of fans to complain in advance that he was 'too blonde' and 'not attractive enough' to play Ian Fleming's creation. But the actor soon banished any doubts by proving appropriately suave and sexy in the part, while retaining the cruelty that had been absence since Connery, and adding a greater psychological realism that's worked beautifully for a modern-era Bond.
With the incredibly promising "Skyfall" set to be unveiled next month, the question has to be asked: how much longer will Craig stay in the role? The actor originally signed a three-film contract, and given that he's staying busy outside the franchise, including the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" franchise, one wondered if he might start to feel a little restless, despite the hopes of producers that he might stick around to beat the seven-film record in the series set by Roger Moore (Connery starred in six, plus unofficial entry "Never Say Never Again"). But if recent reports are accurate, we might see Craig sticking around for a little longer.
Fan-site MI6 say they've confirmed Craig has upped his contract to stick around for two more films after "Skyfall," and that the actor will return for the 24th and 25th entries in the series, bringing him to five altogether (one more than predecessor in the role, Pierce Brosnan). Backers Sony are said to favor a return to the one-film-every-two-years template that was interrupted by MGM's financial difficulties, although production company EON and Craig are said to be keen on a longer break between pictures in order to crack the script and to give the actor a bit of a break.
Although the news should be taken with a slight pinch of salt until official word arrives, it's not a huge surprise that Craig wants to stay involved -- the actor's had some difficulties establishing his box office credentials elsewhere, with "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Dream House" both flopping, but a Bond film every few years means the actor stays bankable and gets the freedom to do more personal projects. And if they continue to attract talent like Sam Mendes and John Logan, the director and writer of "Skyfall," we're sure Craig will be keen to stick around for a little longer. We'll see the extent to which "Skyfall" shows the future of the 007 franchise when the film opens in Europe on October 26th and in the U.S. on November 9th.