LONDON (AFP) – The producers of the hugely successful James Bond film franchise have chosen British actor Daniel Craig to take over the role of the suave super-spy, a report said.
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The 37-year-old has been offered a three-film deal by Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and is expected to sign up formally in the next few weeks, The Sun newspaper reported Wednesday.
Craig, a tough-looking character actor who has mixed up appearances in many art-house titles with roles in blockbusters such as “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, just beat fellow Briton Clive Owen for the role, the report said.
Craig would be the sixth Bond in the official series of films based on the novels by Ian Fleming, following Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and most recent incumbent Pierce Brosnan.
According to The Sun, Owen — nominated for an Oscar this year for film “Closer” — had told casting agents he did not want the job, although Broccoli was already favouring Craig.
While Craig remains relatively unknown outside Britain, he is well respected as an actor and also has the necessary reputation for being something of a Bond-esque ladies man, having recently dated supermodel Kate Moss.
Citing an unnamed “movie source”, The Sun said that staff working at Eon Productions, which makes the Bond movies, had been told Craig would star in the next films.
“Daniel is the new 007. He is going through the deal with his lawyers. It’s a big commitment for a minimum of 10 years, but he has indicated he will take the job,” the source said.
Brosnan’s last film as Bond was “Die Another Day” in 2002. Since then a string of possible replacements have been mooted, including Britons Jude Law and Ewan McGregor and Australian actors Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana.
Fleming’s novels chronicling the adventures of the British spy codenamed 007 were first turned into a film in 1962, with “Dr No”.