Back in October 2015, when the prospect of a “President Donald Trump” seemed like twisted fanfic, Daniel Craig gave a remarkably candid interview to Time Out magazine where he confessed he’d “rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than play James Bond again, adding, “I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
As absurd as it is for Craig to complain about receiving a reported $39 million paycheck for acting in a Hollywood film, the Spectre shoot was rather grueling—a seven-month globetrotting expedition that saw the A-lister sustain several serious injuries. Following Craig’s “we’re done” sign-off, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson scoured the globe for a possible replacement, taking meetings with a number of established and up-and-coming stars, from The Night Manager’s dashing Brit Tom Hiddleston to Poldark’s Aidan Turner, many of whom campaigned for the role in the press. Idris Elba emerged as The People’s Bond, a rumor that began with the news—broken by The Daily Beast during the Sony hack—that Sony’s then studio chief wanted Elba for Agent 007.
But it was apparently not to be. Rumors have been swirling of late that Craig had signed on for two more Bond films (his fifth and sixth outings), and stood to receive as much as £100 million ($128.7 million) for the movies.
Well, Craig took to The Late Show couch to clear up the gossip.
“I’ve been quite cagey about it,” said Craig. “But I kind of felt like, if I was going to speak the truth, I should speak the truth to you.” “Daniel Craig…we could use some good news here,” Colbert replied, adding: “Daniel Craig: will you return as James Bond?”
And then, the moment of truth:
“Yes,” answered Craig. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The actor went on to say he’s known about his return for a “a couple of months,” before claiming that he’s “always wanted to return”—but then Colbert, ever the game interviewer, threw the “slash my wrists” quote back in Craig’s very red face.
“I’m not allowed to change my mind?” he added. “Look, there’s no point in making excuses about it, but it was two day after I’d finished shooting the last movie, I went straight to an interview, and someone said, ‘Would you do another one?’… Instead of saying something with style and grace, I gave a really stupid answer.”
Later on in the interview, Craig confirmed that this would indeed be his final outing as 007. “I think this is it,” he said. “This is it. I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait.”