James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has revealed that Daniel Craig was always their first choice to play Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
The co-producer of the James Bond franchise was speaking to Britain’s top film critic, Barry Norman, in an interview for the current issue of Radio Times.
“We knew we wanted him from the beginning, but the studio [didn’t] want to see any stone unturned,” she told Norman.
Consequently, the producers were forced to see many other actors before they finally cast Craig as Bond for Casino Royale (2006). Craig was an instant success, going on to film Quantum of Solace (2008) and, now, Skyfall (2012), which received it’s world premiere in London earlier this week.
Daniel Craig is the sixth actor to play James Bond in the movie franchise, following Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.
Norman, who is a huge 007 fan, boasts two surprising links with the film franchise. First, his father, Leslie Norman, was short-listed to direct the first-ever Bond movie, Connery’s Dr. No (1962), but lost out to Terence Young. More surprising, however, is the fact that he put himself forward for the role when it was announced that Connery was stepping down.
Shortly after the announcement, Norman was interviewing Harry Saltzman, when the then Bond co-producer asked the journalist whether he had any ideas who could play the role.
Norman says that, at the time, he rather fancied the idea of transferring from journalism to acting, so replied straight off: “Well, I’m available. Look no further.”
However, Norman adds, Saltzman just laughed at the suggestion. “I thought [he] was very rude [and] who did he end up with? George Lazenby. Serves him right. I still reckon I could have done a better job.”
Last month, Digital Journal reported that Craig had signed on for the next two Bond movies, too.