Daniel Craig has been playing James Bond since Casino Royale came out in 2006 and while he’s maintained the steely gaze and impeccable suit styling that he had then, it’s become clear that he is less able to stand up to the rigors of playing Bond as he ages. Not that this is anything to be ashamed of. I’d probably have a lot more injuries than just a torn meniscus if Dave Baustista threw me around a room. Still, it seems like we might be getting to the end point of Daniel Craig playing James Bond or at least THIS kind of James Bond. There are now rumors swirling around Bond 25 scheduled for release next year, and I hope that one of those rumors is a dramatic shift in focus for Bond. For the sake of Daniel Craig, I implore the creators to consider the following options:
- Bond retrains as an info-security specialist to fight the modern war online. We have a lot of scenes of Bond typing aggressively and using social engineering tactics over the phone in order to get information and hack accounts, all of which is done from a climate-controlled office with an ergonomic chair and a standing desk.
- Bond is transitioning to a new role in MI6, training the young agents who will be throwing their limber bodies into danger while he advises them from afar. While we watch his young protégées jump across trains, leap off buildings, and grapple with foes, we see Bond himself come to terms with aging, learning how to deal with a lack of control, and how to live a life where tomorrow is virtually promised.
- The cabal of villains is entirely women. Seeing as how watching Daniel Craig beat up a bunch of women is not really something anyone wants to see, Bond’s mission revolves entirely around beguiling, befriending, and occasionally seducing his way through the organization. Perhaps there is a single slap to the face or drink thrown at one point, but nothing more violent than that.
- The villain’s lair is hidden in a high-end spa that serves both money laundering and illicit meeting purposes. In order to infiltrate, Bond has to make his way through steam rooms, massage tables, and mud baths, eavesdropping and conniving his way to a final confrontation where he calmly swings open the door and shoots the villain in the head before he can stand up. After all, fisticuffs could ruin his manicure.
- Otherwise traditional Bond film, but Bond gets a new suit from Q that tases anyone else who puts a hand on it. No more extended hand-to-hand combat!
- Everyone realizes that for all the talk, MI6 seems to only invite danger into London rather than preventing it and so the organization is disbanded. Bond, Q, and Ms. Moneypenny leave England to start a new life in the Caribbean as wealthy and reclusive expats running their own hotel. Hilarious (and occasionally sexy) hijinks ensue.
I’m just spitballing here. There are a lot of ways we can write a new Bond film that could transition Daniel Craig out of the role while not giving him a new set of injuries and surgeries to deal with in the meantime.