Has Daniel Craig stepped down from the James Bond Franchise?

Craig's friend Mark Strong, star of 'Grimsby' and 'Kick-Ass', says Craig has left 007 behind

After playing 007 four times, most recently in 2015’s Spectre, actor Daniel Craig is believed to have left behind the role, after the actor’s friend and fellow film star Mark Strong revealed he believes Craig has turned his back on the superspy.

On the press tour for the new action comedy Grimsby, written by and starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Strong, a well-known character actor, was asked if he’d like to play a villain in the long-running film franchise.

Speaking to Shortlist magazine, Strong said: “Do you know what, I’d have loved to have played the villain in a Bond movie while Daniel was doing it because he’s a pal and that would have been great.

Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong and Daniel Craig in Our Friends in the North [BBC]

“Having played so many villains, it would have been wonderful to have done the villain of villains, if you like. Because a Bond villain has a status all of his own,” Strong said, who befriended Craig when they both starred in the 1996 BBC drama Our Friends in the North.

Describing Craig as wonderful in the role, Strong added: “But I think he feels like he’s mined it. He’s done what he wants with it. That point has come.”

Craig, 47, first took on the role of 007 a decade ago in Casino Royale, playing the role is some of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful editions to the franchise in its decade-spanning history.

While on the press tour for Spectre, Craig made headlines when he replied that he would “rather slit his wrists” than star in another James Bond movie.

“I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”

Craig will next be seen in Purity, a television adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Franzen.

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