Daniel Craig ‘still first choice for Bond role’

Malta Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

The mak­ers of the James Bond films want Daniel Craig to re­main in the 007 role, one of their ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers says.

Cal­lum McDougall, who has worked on nine Bonds, said Craig was “ab­so­lutely the first choice” of se­ries pro­duc­ers Bar­bara Broc­coli and Michael G Wil­son.

“I know they’re hop­ing for him to come back,” McDougall told Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme yes­ter­day.

Pinewood Stu­dios in Buck­ing­hamshire, where many of the Bond films were shot, is cel­e­brat­ing its 80th birth­day.

The fa­cil­ity has been a sig­nif­i­cant part of the Bri­tish film in­dus­try since open­ing in 1936.

Craig, 48, made his de­but as Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale, re­turn­ing to the role in Quan­tum of So­lace, Sky­fall and Spec­tre.

He has yet to com­mit to an­other in­stal­ment, prompt­ing spec­u­la­tion as to who might re­place him.

Asked yes­ter­day morn­ing who would be the next James Bond, McDougall said: “I wish I knew.”

But he in­sisted the role was “ab­so­lutely” Craig’s should he choose to con­tinue as Ian Flem- ing’s leg­endary spy.

Pinewood Stu­dios was founded when Charles Boot, a builder with movie am­bi­tions, bought Heather­den Hall and its es­tate in 1934.

A year later, Boot met J Arthur Rank and the two be­came part- ners in the stu­dio project, re­leas- ing their first film, Lon­don Melody, in 1936.

The James Bond movies have a long his­tory with Pinewood, be­gin­ning with the first Bond movie, Dr No, in 1962.

In ad­di­tion to the Bond fran­chise, Pinewood has hosted Superman, Star Wars, Harry Pot­ter and the Carry On films.

“It’s lit­er­ally a dream fac­tory,” said McDougall, who has been a part of the Bond “fam­ily” since The Liv­ing Day­lights in 1987. “Peo­ple will be stag­gered by the films we’ve made here.”

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