Ryan H. wrote:
: I see no reason to believe Craig won't be back for BOND 23, even after an extended gap. With the case of Dalton, he was hardly the favorite (and LICENCE TO KILL was the low point of the series in terms of financial success) . . .
Only in North America, where its $34.7 million was indeed the lowest the franchise had seen since The Man with the Golden Gun
's $20.9 million in 1974. (All the films in-between had grossed between $46 million and $54 million, with the unusually popular exceptions of Moonraker
's $70.3 million and Octopussy
's $67.9 million.) Overseas, however, License to Kill
grossed a decent $121.5 million, which appears to be more-or-less in line with what the other Bond films had made (even Moonraker
, the most financially successful of all the Bond films pre-Brosnan, made just $140 million overseas -- not quite what you'd expect if it had doubled License to Kill
's earnings across the board).Wikipedia
claims that the franchise was held up because of legal problems, and not because Licence to Kill
underperformed; and it also claims that Dalton, who had signed a three-movie deal in the mid-'80s, was still attached to the franchise until he officially resigned in 1994, at which point the producers turned to Brosnan. For whatever that's worth.
I will say this much in Craig's favour: He is the first Bond star since George Lazenby who had not been considered for the role years before he actually took it (Moore was reportedly considered before Connery got the role, Dalton was reportedly considered before Moore got the role, and Brosnan was definitely considered before Dalton got the role), and there don't appear to be any OTHER actors waiting in the wings right now. So not only is Craig really popular, there also don't appear to be any obvious successors, as there were with the previous Bonds.
So yeah, this gap between movies would have to be pretty darn long before it made sense to dump Craig for another actor.