The actor was reportedly offered the vast some of money for two more 007 entries
While it hasn't been 100% confirmed yet, many outlets are reporting that Daniel Craig was offered £68 million (€100 million) to return for the next two James Bond movies.
All this talk has lead to bookies freezing any future bets on Tom Hiddleston being is immediate successor, while fans of the recent outings are up in arms that he's getting replaced at all.
Craig is reported to have earned £38 million combined for his previous outings, but this hefty new price-tag that he has reportedly turned down is part of the problem.
When he took over the mantle for Casino Royale in 2006, the budget was set at $150 million. Nearly a decade later, and Spectre is reportedly to cost in excess of $250 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made. Over the course of his run, Skyfall managed to pass the billion dollar box office mark, as well as get some Oscar attention, but equally, Quantum Of Solace is seen as one of the worst Bond movies ever.
Bond, like Batman, needs reinvention to remain in conversation. Casino Royale was a direct response to the down-and-dirty Bourne movies that set the spy genre in a new direction in 2002, as well as the wanton excess of Die Another Day, which was actually released after the first Bourne movie.
Cut to 2016, and even Bourne has gone off the boil, with nobody all that interested in 2012's The Bourne Legacy, and despite a $120 million budget, this summer's Jason Bourne is practically coming in under the radar. The same goes with Spectre's $880 million box office falling far short of Skyfall's $1.1 billion. Sure, it's far from a failure, but critically there was a freefall too - Skyfall earned a hugely impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to Spectre's 64%.
Outside of Bourne, the spy genre has had the increasingly inventive Mission: Impossible series continue to up it's game, while Kingsman: The Secret Service and Spy attacked from the opposite direction by being a smart dissection of it's cliches.
While Skyfall managed to stir up some new, fertile ground for 007 (spoiler: someone of actual importance is killed off), it was back to business as usual with Spectre, and while the formula of Guns + Girls + Gadgets + Exotic Locals + Fancy Suits has worked liked gangbusters for decades, 24 films in, maybe it's time for a change, and not one implemented just to keep up with the competition, but one put in place to keep Bond relevant on it's own terms.
A change of time period, keeping the action in one location, a closer look into the 00-programme... there's plenty of scope to switch it up, but considering this is a series where the idea of Idris Elba playing Bond is met with anything other than complete acceptance, change is probably going to be slow, if at all. It will take an absolute flop for MGM to change their approach, and let's face it, Bond is never going to flop. Perhaps it's nothing but wishful thinking, but maybe Craig declining Bond 25 (if that is indeed the case) will be the moment for everyone involved to take a step back, take stock, and take us somewhere new with cinema's oldest and most enduring action franchise.