With the opening of ‘No Time To Die‘ being pushed back to April 2021, a full calendar year since it was originally scheduled to be released, we’re still going to wait five more months before we see Daniel Craig in action as Bond again.
The film will draw Craig’s time as the iconic 00 agent to a close, but what a memorable tenure it has been. Although the initial news of his casting back in 2005 was not without controversy, since he first appeared on screen in 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’, Craig has established himself as a Bond for the 21st century.
Gritty, flawed and surprisingly vulnerable, Daniel Craig has breathed new life into this elephant of a movie franchise role, taking the character from a 1960s relic to a modern-day protagonist. So, as we prepare to bid goodbye to our generation’s James Bond, let’s look at some of Daniel Craig’s most iconic moments in the role.
Bond becomes a 00
As the franchise reboot, a lot was riding on ‘Casino Royale’ and the pre-credits sequence needed to be a defining one. Luckily, the realistic, gritty, black and white approach that set the tone for the franchise going forward.
We’re immediately introduced to a no-nonsense Bond, a cold assassin who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. For his first kill, it’s a brutal beat down of a dangerous suspect; while his second shows the suave side as he coolly closes in on his target.
Baccarat may be considered Bond’s casino game of choice, but some of the most memorable ‘Bond at the casino’ scenes depict him playing the dice-based game of craps. When Sean Connery returned to the fold in ‘Diamonds are Forever’, he casually remarked to a stunned Lana Wood that he’d played the game “just once” before outplaying everybody but actually, it’s Craig’s Bond who has the more iconic craps scene in history.
This scene was filmed as a parody sneak peek at ‘No Time to Die’ for the hit US comedy show ‘SNL’. It opens with Craig as Bond striding into a casino, before stopping at a craps table to confront Chloe Fineman. While engaging in a heated conversation with her, Bond rolls the dice and wins, with hilarious effect. As the sketch builds it becomes more and more clear that as a super-spy, Bond is pretty useless, but as an unsuspecting craps player he’s the best in the casino.
Bond vs. Patrice in Shanghai
When Sam Mendes was brought on board for Skyfall (2012), we knew we’d be in for a treat. What we weren’t prepared for, however, was how much his direction would show off Roger Deakins’ master cinematography. Whatever you think of the finished movie with all its references and homages, there’s no denying it is exceptionally well shot and framed, and this scene perfectly blends classic Bond with new Bond.
From the moment Bond approaches Patrice, we’re on tenterhooks. The anticipation is built perfectly with Craig’s subtle performance and the blazing neon signs of downtown Shanghai. As the fight progresses, we’re treated to some genuinely beautiful choreography as the pair go toe-to-toe on an open ledge of a high-rise building.
The polar opposite of Skyfall’s sleek and stylish Shanghai fight, ‘Casino Royale’s opening parkour chase between Bond and a bomb-maker in Madagascar has come to define Daniel Craig’s Bond. Easily one of the best action scenes in the entire franchise, not only does this scene treat us to suspenseful and exhilarating action, but it also gives us a rare glimpse into Bond’s humanity.
The fleet-footed Mollaka looks to be outrunning Bond, as 007 struggles to keep up and has quite a few crash landings and falls. But ultimately, the scene shows us that while Bond’s approach may not be as technical (read: by the book) his way of doing things can still work.