A brief, but interesting, news item from RadarOnline.com has claimed that James Bond actor Daniel Craig has been offered a huge financial inducement to remain as 007.

According to the site, it has ‘exclusively learned’ that Sony is offering the actor a ‘whopping $150 million’ to reprise his role as James Bond for two more entries in the long-running franchise. A ‘source’ apparently told RadarOnline that: ‘The studio is desperate to secure the actor’s services while they phase in a younger long-term successor’.

The source, clearly referring to Craig’s current strong negotiating position, also voiced the opinion that Craig had ‘played a genius hand. Everyone knows how 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’. The source added: ‘Daniel’s the key for a seamless, safe transition as far as Sony and the Bond bosses are concerned, and they’re prepared to pay a King’s ransom to make it happen’.

Make of this what you will. There have been numerous claims and counter-claims made over Craig’s current Bond status since the last 007 movie, Spectre, stormed the global box-office, even though he has not officially stepped aside from the role.

What possibly gives the RadarOnline report a bit more credibility compared to many of the recent rumours is that it comes at a time when Sony will soon be announcing a new deal on the distribution rights for the James Bond films. Sony’s arrangement with MGM to co-finance and distribute the Bond films started with Casino Royale and came to a conclusion with Spectre, so some certainty for the franchise would be helpful for any new distribution deal. Ensuring Craig remains in place would give the deal additional authority in the eyes of investors.

Craig, in the meantime, has been busy shooting his new comedy heist movie, Logan Lucky, directed by Steven Soderbergh, from a screenplay by Rebecca Blunt. The movie began filming in the USA in August and has a 35-day shooting schedule. It is due for release in 2017.

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Daniel Craig as James Bond 007