Oct 14, 2005 - After months of speculation, 37-year-old Daniel Craig has been named as the new James Bond. Craig will play the suave superspy in "Casino Royale" to be directed by Martin Campbell and due in theaters in late 2006.
Craig will be the very first Bond with blonde hair, a fact many felt was the only reason the filmmakers might be leery of casting the talented Brit as the womanizing Bond.
During the press conference announcing Craig as Bond, the actor said, "It is a huge iconic figure in movie history, and those things don't come along very often." He added, "It is a huge challenge, and I think life is about challenges."
Craig had been rumored for weeks to be at the top of a casting wish list, which at times had included actors Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen (who reportedly turn the role down), and Colin Farrell. Speculation the Brit (only the second Englishman to play Bond) would be named as the star of "Casino Royale" was fueled when Craig's mom made a statement earlier this week to a newspaper.
During a press tour for "Layer Cake" in April 2005, I asked Craig about the James Bond rumors. At that time Craig told me, "There’s a lot of names in the pot and I happen to be one of them. And you know I’ve said to people that I’d be very silly not to give it very careful consideration." Apparently Craig, after following his own advice, decided taking on the role would be a good career choice.
Craig's credits include "Lara Croft: Tom Raider," "Road to Perdition," "Sylvia," and "Enduring Love." Craig most recently starred in director Matthew Vaughn's crime drama, "Layer Cake."