Daniel Craig is “exhausted” from playing James Bond.
It was reported earlier this month that Daniel, 48, has turned down a £68 million offer to play the suave super-spy in two more movies and his former co-star Dame Judi Dench, who played M opposite Daniel three times, believes he needs a break.
She told the Daily Mail: “I should think he is exhausted, absolutely exhausted.”
But when asked who she believes should replace Daniel, Judi, 81, whose character was killed off in ‘Skyfall’, said: “I don’t know really. It’s nothing to do with me, it’s up to [producers] Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson!”
Daniel reported rejected the huge offer, which is thought to be made up of profit shares, endorsements and a role as co-producer, from MGM studio and told bosses he is “done” playing the spy.
A Los Angeles film source said: “Daniel is done – pure and simple – he told top brass at MGM after ‘Spectre’. They threw huge amounts of money at him, but it just wasn’t what he wanted.
“He had told people after shooting that this would be his final outing, but the film company still felt he could come around after ‘Spectre’ if he was offered a money deal.”
The Hollywood actor’s future as Bond has been the subject of much speculation in recent months.
Just recently, British actor Tom Hiddleston was spotted meeting with Bond director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli in London, amid reports he could be the next 007.
An onlooker said at the time: “At first it was Barbara, Tom and another good looking young man. Then Sam Mendes joined them at about 11pm and they stayed until around 1am … There was lots of laughter; they all looked to be having a very jolly time.”
This prompted some bookmakers to suspend betting on Tom taking on the role next, but the actor insisted earlier this month that he hadn’t been offered the part and wasn’t aware that Daniel – who is married to actress Rachel Weisz – had hung up his Bond tuxedo.
He said: “The thing is, the position isn’t vacant as far as I am aware. No one has talked to me about it.
“I think the reports have all come about because in the ‘Night Manager’ I play a spy and people have made the link.”
Last year, Daniel – who has starred as 007 in ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘Skyfall’ and 2015’s ‘Spectre’ – said he would “rather slash [his] wrists” than portray the spy again, but later admitted he would do another Bond movie “for the money”.
He also threw his Bond future in doubt when he signed up for 20-episode US TV series ‘Purity’.