Daniel Craig’s Legacy as James Bond


Liron Brunner, Staff Writer


“Shaken not stirred”. “The name is Bond. James Bond”. If you have not heard of these quotes, you clearly have not been paying attention to the worldwide craze known as the 007 series. A sly, quick-witted, British spy who never dies, who always gets the lady, who always gets the job done, and who has a license to kill, James Bond can be considered the iconic staple for spies as he has been watched on the silver screen since 1962. Many of the world’s most emblematic actors have taken up the role – its most recent candidate, Daniel Craig. Starting out his James Bond legacy in 2006, for many, he is the original James Bond and the only one they have ever known.

His kick-off film, Casino Royale, premiered in 2006, four years after Craig’s successor, Pierce Brosnan, finished his term as Bond with his closing film, Die Another Day. In the introductory film, he has earned his 00 status and license to kill, and is sent to a high stakes gambling match with a private banker who is funding a terrorist organization. It is a classic James Bond plot and since this was Craig’s first movie, a lot was riding on its success and relation to the history of Bond as a whole. He had to differentiate himself from the other actors, building his own rendition of who Bond is. His physique and style have now become the common staple of Bond.

Nearly every James Bond movie has a scene with either gambling, Aston Martins, or a scene in a bar. Once again, Craig was able to pursue these scenes, connecting with past movies and the audience. If someone was to order a vodka martini, then a bell was rung in relation to the one he orders every other movie. The Aston Martin has become a staple of speed, luxury, and excess, as every movie highlights the car within an action scene, particularly a chase. Another part of the iconic franchise is the long introduction with a popular artist at the time. In his most recent film, No Time to Die, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas composed and sang the introduction. In his film Skyfall, Adelle performed. Additionally, Alicia Keys and Jack White sang “Another Way to Die” in the 2008 Quantum of Solace, and even Sam Smith sang for Spectre, performing his well-known song, “Writing on the Wall”.

Daniel Craig has also created many firsts when it comes to this series, most significantly pioneering the death of Bond. His closing movie was the 25th Bond film that recently came out, full of new turns, surprises, and twists. The longest Bond movie, with a running time of two hours and 43 minutes, Craig has been the longest-running, and first American, James Bond, reaching 15 years as the beloved character. Cary Fukunaga, the director, is the first Asian-American to ever direct a Bond movie. Throughout the years there have been many ‘Bond girls’, known as his romantic interests for which he falls in love with. This year is the first time that one of the “Bond girls” is of Cuban descent. 

Many of the previous James Bond films have started from scratch, despite being played by the same actors. In Craig’s case, he defied that norm and continued each of his movies after the other. In the newest film, two more characters are introduced: Nomi, Bond’s replacement starting from his retirement, and Paloma, who was Felix’s (an agent for the CIA and one of Bond’s closest friends) ally. Felix helped Bond fight the ‘bad guys’ in a truly epic and beautifully choreographed fight scene. There is much speculation now on whether or not one of them will take Bond’s place as the first female Bond, or if a new character will originate like the pattern seen many times before.

One of the most significant plot twists in the new film is the revelation of Bond’s daughter, to which he saves her and his love’s life. There is also great speculation that she might be the next Bond. Another point of discussion is whether or not the side characters will stay the same. The iconic ones, M, Q, Moneypenny, and Felix, have remained constant throughout the series, but the actors have been replaced. The actor who played M switched from Dame Judy Dench to a newcomer. What will happen is still unknown, yet there are at least another several years until the next Bond film comes out, so until then, we will have to take a break from British intelligence and stick with the American spy dramas. The preference for spy remains up to you.