Daniel Craig, 44, is officially the highest earning Bond actor of all time and has now risen to become one of the top paid actors in the world. Though there had been murmurings that Craig would leave his post as 007, the Lancashire born actor has now signed a £31 million contract to pay the international spy twice more.
The pay-rise was inevitable following the phenomenal success of Skyfall, Sam Mendes' new Bond movie that took £57 million in 12 days in the UK. Craig is expected to appear in the next movie as early as 2014, though it's unclear whether his pal Mendes will be back behind the camera. For his first appearance as Bond in Casino Royale, Craig was paid £1.9 million before getting £4.4 million for the follow-up Quantum of Solace. His salary more than doubled to £10.7 million for Skyfall, which was £3 million more than Pierce Brosnan got for The World Is Not Enough in 1999. In today's money, Roger Moore was paid an average of £6.3 million per movie, while Timothy Dalton got £5.4 million. Craig has been lauded by critics as the best Bond since Sean Connery - who was paid just £10,000 for Dr No - and possibly the best Bond ever. His salary for the next two movies puts him firmly amongst Hollywood's elite earners, such as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. It is thought the latter commands around $20 million per instalment of the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Yesterday, Craig paid a visit to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where he introduced a special screening of Skyfall to 800 British servicemen and women.
The new deal could scupper Idris Elba's chances of landing the Bond role. Though he's met with producers regarding becoming 007, he would be 46-years-old in 2018, the likely year of the first post-Daniel Craig Bond.