Ending nearly two years of speculation, wagers and hand-wringing, Daniel Craig has confirmed he will indeed reprise his role as 007 in the 25th James Bond film.
"I couldn't be happier," the actor beamed Tuesday after he made the announcement on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The confirmation comes a week after a British tabloid reported Craig had signed on for two more Bond films, bringing his total to six.
Craig, 49, told Colbert he's known "for a couple of months" that we would reprise the role he assumed with 2005's Casino Royale. "We've been discussing it," he elaborated, "we've just been trying to figure things out. But I always wanted to -- I needed a break."
However, Colbert was quick to point out that Craig hasn't always wanted to, referencing the infamous 2015 interview in which the actor said he'd rather "slash [his] wrists" than play Bond again. Those comments, which Craig has repeatedly clarified were made after he'd just completed production of Spectre, ignited months and months of speculation about the future of the franchise, with actors ranging from Idris Elba to Tom Hiddleston to Tom Hardy floated as potential successors. Through it all, producers insisted Craig remained their first choice to portray Bond.
"Look, there's no point making excuses about it," a red-faced Craig reiterated to Colbert on Tuesday, "but it was two days after I finished shooting the last movie. I went straight to an interview, and someone said, 'Would you do another one?," and I went, 'Nooo!' Instead of saying something, you know, with style and grace, I gave a really stupid answer.'"
The 25th James Bond film, written by franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Skyfall, Spectre), is scheduled for release on Nov. 8, 2019.