This, of course, is why Hollywood is abuzz with whether he is up for another film or finished with the series.
Even more exciting is, who will be the replacement?
(Image Source: wynsors.com)
Speculation runs the gamut to the point of bookmakers taking odds. Will it be Idris Elba who was recently cast as Roland Deschain in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series? Will it be Mad Men’s John Hamm or X-Men’s Michael Fassbender? Whoever’s man it is, Daniel Craig will be a hard act to follow, and we don’t just mean his physique.
We took a look at the 9 most intense Bond moments in the history of Bond, and it’s no surprise that half of them feature Craig. If you are a Bond fan, (and who isn’t?), the others may come as no surprise as well.
9. Dia De Los Muertes
All right, we had to start with a Craig flick. The opening scene of the most recent film Spectre had a moderate level of intensity escalating to extreme when the building collapses and Bond barely makes it out alive. What actually is intense were the preparations that went into making the opening scene happen.
Director Sam Mendes was decidedly against doing the scene using CGI, and after six months of planning, 1500 extras were hired for it. An individual costume was created for each extra and makeup for the entire group was completed in in a record-breaking 75 minutes.
Setup aside, the hand-to-hand combat in a BO-105 helicopter that followed the collapse of a building was incredible. America’s only licensed aerobatic helicopter pilot, Chuck Aaron, got to fly low through the streets and perform an amazing barrel roll while two people on board were trying to kill each other. It was just a little intense!
8. Boat Chases Make it Enough
The World Is Not Enough features Pierce Brosnan in possibly the best boat chase in any Bond Film, if not cinema history. Brosnan’s Bond films were fairly subpar, however the boat chase along the Thames River in London definitely ranks in the top 9.
Bond “borrows” Q’s retirement boat to chase an assassin through a route that doesn’t actually match the one on Bond’s map – but, who cares? It goes through London’s docklands and jumps dry land to end up opposite the Millennium Dome. The chase took six weeks to film and was way more believable than Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist.
7. Up The Ante
Daniel Craig made his first appearance as the suave MI6 agent in Casino Royale where he established himself as a very different Bond than the rest. In one of the most intense casino scenes from any 007 flick, Craig changes the game.
Bond has traditionally been a baccarat man, all the way back to Sean Connery in the 1962 Dr. No. Director Martin Campbell made a great choice switching to Texas Hold’em when he reintroduced Bond to the 21st century audiences. The rules of poker are very different than baccarat, as it is a game of skill and strategy. Seeing Bond’s opponents going “all in,” that is betting all their chips on one single hand sets the stage up for a legendary comeback by the spy.
When the British government refuses to fund another loss for Bond, he goes on to wager his own government funds. The tension is palpable as Bond turns over his last two cards and beats Le Chiffre with a straight flush and his usual cool grace. Who wouldn’t cry tears of blood after losing over $100 million?
6. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Well, okay, maybe just trains and motorcycles. That’s all it takes to make one of the most action packed opening scenes of any Bond film. While Skyfall may not be the best Bond movie ever made, it sure proved that Daniel Craig was by far the best Bond action hero.
Craig begins the scene with a motorcycle chase through the markets and across the shanty roofs of Istanbul, is followed by realistic hand-to-hand combat a speeding train and culminates in his partner shooting him off the top of said train; he then promptly falls a gazillion feet into a river.
Another trait that makes Craig a better Bond is his insistence to do as many of his own stunts as possible. For this one, however Robbie Madison, the world record holder for the longest motorcycle jump (322 feet) doubles for Craig and without a helmet to boot.
5. Hanging Ten
While Pierce Brosnan is an avid paddle boarder and surfer, he definitely DID NOT get anywhere close to the big wave surfing that opened Die Another Day in 2002. The scene was shot off the coast of Maui in Pe’ahi with professional surfers Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and Darrick Doerner doubling for Bond and his surf spy buddies.
Later, when the bad guys use the satellite Icarus to create a tsunami wave, Bond kite surfs it with the help of some mediocre CG. If you can sit in a moment of suspended belief, it was pretty intense, dude.
4. Cold War and Hot Fights
From Russia with Love is still considered one of the best Bond films of all time, and no matter who becomes the next 007, Sean Connery will always be a foundation to build on. Released in October of 1963, Russia marks the beginning of the opening action sequence, which carried through as a benchmark for Bond films.
The fight scene between Connery and Robert Shaw (playing Red Grant) on the Orient Express was phenomenal. Director Terrence Young makes some brilliant choices in that he plays no music over the bone crunching battle. He creates nightmarish lighting when Grant shoots out the carriage light, leaving the fight bathed in blue, and when Grant breaks the window, we hear the roar of the train over the punching. All makes for an intense, memorable fight!
3. A Royal Good Chase
We have to come back to Casino Royale for its opening sequence of one of the very best foot chases and fights we have ever seen James Bond thrill us with. This film revived Fleming’s franchise with a troubled and melancholy Bond for the 21st century.
The new and improved Bond (sans suit and tie and quite dirty and sweaty) races to capture a bomb maker, which leads to an incredible chase sequence full of hard hits and lots of gymnastics. It climaxes with an intense battle on top of a crane. If you didn’t cringe every time a hand or foot almost missed its mark, you were in a different theatre.
It culminates when Bond breaks into the Nambutu embassy and is surrounded by soldiers. We see the new darker side of the MI6 agent when, instead of giving up, Craig shoots the unarmed assailant.
2. Spies, Skies and Skis
Each of the six actors who have played 007 have taken to the slopes at one time or another, so it is no surprise that our number 2 spot goes to the best ski action scene ever to grace the new fallen snow. Roger Moore, portraying one of the smoothest Bonds to date, made audiences cheer out loud after the opening scene of The Spy Who Loved Me.
After a 2-minute classic “Bang Bang, Bond’s Not Dead Yet” chase scene, James plunges off a Baffin Island cliff falling 1000 feet to his, well, not death. It was well before B.A.S.E. jumping became so mainstream and everyone was jumping off cliffs. We held our breaths until suddenly, a brilliant Union Jack parachute opened, carrying the sexy yellow suited secret agent to safety. Sweet!
1. Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion
Yes, it is a mouthful, and four pages of Google searches don’t lie. Spectre is hands-down THE best Bond film to date, and the fight on the train between Criag and Dave Bautista is the most action-packed fight scene yet. We love that Craig’s Bond gets dirty and sweaty and bloody. While it wouldn’t have worked for Moore or Brosnan, it is definitely appealing on Daniel Craig.
Why does it look so realistic and not so elegantly choreographed? Because it was. Craig and Bautista went so hard at the brawl that they both ended up injured. Way to go out with a bang, Daniel Craig.
With 25 Bond movies to date making over $7 billion, it is doubtful that the rumors of the series ending are true. James Bond is a diamond in the film industry, and everyone knows, Diamonds are Forever.