Daniel Day-Lewis Will Not Play James Bond. And William Boyd Never Said It.
The media jumped the gun on Daniel Day-Lewis possibly playing Bond.
The internet went into overdrive yesterday with news that three-times Oscar winner and the greatest actor on the planet, Daniel Day-Lewis, would play 007 himself, James Bond. Ok, so there wasn't anything like confirmation, but judging by the way both the tabloid and broadsheets span a couple of comments from Bond author William Boyd, the whole thing seemed bizarrely nailed on.
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So let's take a quick look at what was said at the press conference in London, where Boyd was launching his new 007 book Solo. Asked by one of the gathered journalists which actor would play 'his' Bond, the author innocuously replied, "I think Daniel Day-Lewis actually resembles the Bond Fleming described," which is fair enough, given Ian Fleming described his creation as "tall" and "rangy."
"He described Bond on at least three occasions, I think, as looking like Hoagy Carmichael. And there is a sense in which that image was what he saw Bond looking like. So that's why I'd choose him," said Boyd, referring to the American composer and actor who actually more resembles the Mad Men actor Jon Hamm than Day-Lewis.
But anyway, the remarks had the Macbook Pro's in the Dorchester Hotel firing into action. Editors were getting 'Daniel Day-Lewis for James Bond' stories in their inbox faster than Barbara Broccoli was phoning Sam Mendes to hire him for Bond 24. Hey, even this website was guilty of jumping the gun.
In its headline, The Telegraph asked, Is Daniel Day-Lewis the next James Bond? before announcing "Daniel Day-Lewis has become the hot favourite to play the next James Bond," which is almost, if not completely, false.
As it stands, no bookmaker in the country is offering Daniel Day-Lewis as the favorite to replace Daniel Craig - in fact, he's not even in the Top 10 chances. Paddy Power still have Michael Fassbender as the 9/2 favourite, while Idris Elba is available at around 6/1. Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill and Sam Worthington are next on the list, with the latter two having had auditions for the role before Craig landed it.
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Gerard Butler, Benedict Cumberbatch and - oh look - Jon Hamm are considered the next best outsiders, while Goran Visnjic, Colin Firth, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman are available at long odds. No sign of the three-time Oscar winner who had the Academy Awards tied up as early as November last year for his seminal portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's historical epic.
The articles spread like wildfire - all despite the fact that William Boyd explained that an adaptation of his novel would almost certainly never see the big-screen. Owing to the author's own experiences, Solo is set in Africa in the 1960s. Bond movies are never retrospectives and given the success of Skyfall, are likely to remain in the present day for some time.
The fact of the matter is that Daniel Craig is still contracted for two more James Bond movies, one of which will be another collaboration with Sam Mendes in 2015. Realistically - after release and promotion - his likely final outing as 007 will come in 2018. And Daniel Day-Lewis will be 61-years-old.
Though reports have suggested Craig is ready to walk away from the franchise, he and his CAA representatives are smart enough to realise that Bond is big business, especially after Skyfall. It doesn't take a movie buff to realise his efforts outside of the franchise - namely Cowboys & Aliens and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - haven't exactly been blockbusters.
The series has grossed over $5 billion to date, making it the second-highest film series of all time, behind Harry Potter, and the biggest ever when adjusted for inflation.
Daniel Day-Lewis, who has made just five movies since 2002, chooses his projects wisely. It would be almost unimaginable for him to enter into the Bond franchise and be at the behest of Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson who would demand three movies in ten years, at least.
If the Oscar winner does have another project in sight, it would likely be Thank You For Service, an adaptation of David Finkel's non-fiction book about the profound effect that the recent wars have had on the men and women in the armed services. According to Deadline.com, Jason Hall will pen an adaptation of the book, with Steven Spielberg interested in directing, so long as Daniel Day-Lewis comes aboard.
So there you have it. Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes will begin shooting the new James Bond next year - apparently an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care, partially set in Persia and Russia and focusing on Bond's investigation into Dr Julius Gorner, a megalomaniac chemist with a deep hatred of England. Perhaps a role for Day-Lewis?