Bond. James Bond.

Little bears are very excited, Daniel Craig is coming back as James Bond in 2019.

Eon Productions, the London-based company that oversees all things 007, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which holds rights to the franchise, said on Monday that the next installment would arrive in theaters in North America in November 2019. Eon and MGM also said that the script would be written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have teamed up on the screenplays for the last six Bond installments, starting with The World Is Not Enough in 1999. The next Bond movie — the 25th in the series, if you include Never Say Never Again from 1983, which was made by an outside production company — will be produced by Eon’s Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006)

When he was cast as Bond, filling the position most recently vacated by Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig did not seem like an obvious choice. He was an actor’s actor known for his intensity of focus and his wide range of challenging, counterintuitive roles. He has played, among other things, a sharp-lapeled pornography baron from Manchester in the BBC mini-series Our Friends in the North; a college professor pursued by a male stalker in Enduring Love; a builder sleeping with his girlfriend’s sexagenarian mother in The Mother; a drug-dealing businessman in Layer Cake; a killer full of murderous rage and heartbreaking tenderness in Infamous; the poet Ted Hughes in Sylvia and the physicist Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Traditionalists were appalled. The British tabloids sniped that he was too short, too blond, too actory, too potentially Lazenbyesque; they spread the rumor that he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift, let alone one attached to an Aston Martin.

But from the first scene in Casino Royale (2006), in which Bond brutally kills a man with his bare hands and then coolly shoots and kills his own corrupt boss, Daniel Craig proved to be a rare combination of plausibility, physicality and charisma. He got rave reviews, and not just from little bears 🙂

Even the meanest-spirited, most Sean Connery-nostalgic critics in Britain seem to have been charmed out of their bad attitudes by Daniel Craig’s performance as a gritty, steely James Bond. Contrary to their predictions, they say, Daniel Craig is not too blond, too wimpy, too dough-faced or too lightweight for the part.

Skyfall (2012) – Filming at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar was only allowed on Sundays when it was closed to prevent any harm to the 400,000 daily visitors.

The release of the dazzling Skyfall coincided with the 50th anniversary of the series, which began with Dr. No in 1962. It earned over $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Bond film ever. The film won two BAFTA awards (Outstanding British Film and Best Original Music), two Academy Awards (Best Original Song for Adele’s Skyfall and Best Sound Editing), two Grammys (Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and Best Song Written for Visual Media for Adele’s Skyfall), a Golden Globe (Best Original Song for Adele’s Skyfall) and a SAG (Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture). The last Bond film to pick up an Academy Award was Thunderball, winning in the sound effects category in 1965.

Skyfall (2012) – Production worked during the National Portrait Gallery’s closing hours at night to film the meeting between Bond and Q, aka Paddington Bear 🙂

Even the Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, offered no fewer than five glowing articles about Skyfall! It declared Skyfall one of the best instalments in the Bond film franchise. The paper raved that the film makes its protagonist more human, real and emotional. While still surrounded by beautiful Bond girls 🙂 and drinking the essential vodka martini.

There are a few James Bond anniversaries this year: You Only Live Twice (Sean Connery, 1967); The Spy Who Loved Me (Roger Moore, 1977); The Living Daylights (Timothy Dalton, 1987); Tomorrow Never Dies (Pierce Brosnan, 1997).

Little bears will watch none of them, their preferred Bond is now Daniel Craig. They think he looks quite good! For a human 🙂

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