$99 Million Is Not Enough for Daniel Craig to Return as James Bond
You can now call Daniel Craig “Dr. No.” The British actor has reportedly turned down a potential payday worth more than $99 million to continue as James Bond for two more films.
Craig told studio executives at MGM after 2015’s Spectre, which grossed $880 million at the global box office, that he wasn’t coming back, according to The Daily Mail. On top of his salary, he would have earned on profit endorsements, profit sharing, and a co-producer role.
Fortune reached out to a spokeswoman at MGM for comment and will update this article with any response.
Craig’s reported disinterest in continuing the role should come as little surprise, considering that he has made no secret of his reluctance to keep making Bond films when speaking to the press, though the amount of money that he’s walking away from is mildly staggering. Craig has played Bond in four films, starting with 2005’s Casino Royale, that have banked a combined $3.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
Craig’s run of Bond films have all been co-produced by MGM and Sony (SNE) through a partnership that expired with the release of Spectre last year, which makes the iconic franchise a Hollywood free agent with various major studios reportedly lining up to woo MGM for a distribution rights deal.
Of course the franchise’s value could waver depending on which actor is attached to the role, especially after Craig experienced so much success following Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, and Sean Connery. While many fans have clamored for producers to show a little diversity by hiring an actor of color for the role—Idris Elba is a popular choice—the current odds appear to be favoring yet another Brit: Tom Hiddleston (no relation to this reporter). In fact, U.K. bookmakers recently suspended betting on Hiddleston winning the role due to a massive influx of wagers on the actor.
For his part, Hiddleston said earlier this year that playing Bond would be an “extraordinary opportunity,” but he hasn’t yet heard from any studio execs pitching the idea.