With the very exciting news that Daniel Craig will indeed play 007 for the fifth time, there was widespread coverage of his confirmation of his return as Bond in the UK’s media, as well as some great headlines around the world.
As many Bond fans will be intensely aware, Craig made the dramatic announcement about his return when he appeared as a special guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on American TV on Tuesday night, effectively putting an end to many months of intense speculation.
Craig told Colbert on Tuesday that he had been doing interviews all day and had been ‘quite cagey’ and ‘coy’ about the question of Bond: ‘But I kind of felt like if I was going to speak the truth, I should speak the truth to you’. Asked directly by Colbert whether he would return, Craig said ‘yes’, which brought loud cheers and applause from the audience.
He said the film would likely be his last outing as 007, adding that he wanted to ‘go out on a high note and I can’t wait’.
There was extensive coverage of the news on the British TV news bulletins, together with some big headlines in the UK’s main national and local newspapers. The British quality newspapers, along with the more downmarket ‘red-top’ papers, all broadly welcomed the news. The London Times (August 17th), for example, headlined its coverage with ‘Craig signs up to be the longest-serving Bond’, noting that his announcement means that Craig is on course to be the longest-serving James Bond. Similarly, the UK’s ‘I‘ newspaper (August 17th) headed its coverage with ‘Craig wants to go out on a high in his final Bond’.
Some of the most detailed analysis in the UK’s quality press came in the Guardian (August 17th), which noted that the actor had ‘finally put an end to the long-running saga of whether he would play the character for the fifth time’. The paper also offered some thoughtful discussion on the news from Andrew Pulver, who reflected on how the Bond franchise has been the Rolls-Royce of British cinema: ‘film-making that maintains a reputation for excellence while simultaneously acting as a classy but discreet national esteem enhancer’. But, since his debut, Craig had helped Bond morph ‘from a Rolls into a supercar: a Ferrari or Lamborghini’.
London’s free commuter newspaper, The Metro (August 17th), which is read by thousands of people across the capital, also joined in the spy-fest with ‘Spy another day! Daniel confirms is return as 007’. Similar excitement could be seen in the Daily Express (August 17th), which proclaimed on its front page: ‘Licence Renewed… Craig returns as Bond’, and gave a big splash inside to the news, as well as devoting part of its editorial column to Bond.
Britain’s two leading red-top newspapers, the Sun and the Mirror (August 17th) also devoted some significant coverage to the new Bond news. In the case of the Sun, the newspaper claimed that ‘a source’ had said that producer Barbara Broccoli had persuaded Craig to return, adding: ‘The financial lure along with the realisation he’ll be the longest-serving Bond is a huge deal. That will mean Daniel goes down in history’.
The only slightly sour note was sounded by the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper (August 17th), which splashed Craig on its front page and, on its inside pages, asked why the actor is ‘so grumpy’. The newspaper, which has a reputation for being markedly grumpy itself, claimed that Craig has an ‘apparent distaste’ for the role. Really? Sorry, Mail, but we beg to differ. The actor has shown huge enthusiasm for branding his own distinctive interpretation on the character of James Bond.
All in all, MGM and the EON producers must be very happy indeed with all the media coverage that Craig’s confirmation has already created. And the news also spread rapidly around the globe, which just goes to show what huge interest there still is in the James Bond series.
Welcome back, Mr. Craig – we’ve been expecting you!