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Craig's licence renewed for second Bond film

Daniel Craig as 007 in Casino Royale

Story by Jack Foley

DANIEL Craig is to play James Bond for a second time with a new film set to be released in May 2008.

The actor, who replaced Pierce Brosnan last year, has signed a new contract even though his first outing, Casino Royale, has yet to open in cinemas.

Franchise producer Barbara Broccoli has been so impressed with the actor’s portrayal of 007 that she wasted no time in inviting him back to reprise the role.

Commenting on his performance, she said that Craig was portraying Bond “with emotional complexity” to present “a darker and edgier 007”.

The contract renewal is the latest twist in the ongoing saga of the new 007 which began when Craig was first cast last year.

Many Bond fans were quick to criticise his perceived lack of enthusiasm at the press launch, while others lamented the decision to cast an actor with blond hair.

But former Bond collaborators, including Brosnan and former villain Christopher Lee, have come out in support of the actor, insisting that he will surprise the sceptics.

And Caterina Murino, one of several new ‘Bond girls’ who star in Casino Royale, predicted that Craig would win over fans despite being hurt by some of the harsh criticisms.

“This James Bond doesn’t look like a little cartoon like before, like the last one or so charming and playful like the first James Bond. This is new,” she said.

A teaser trailer also suggests that Craig is well-equipped to take the franchise into the grittier, darker direction required to enable it to compete in the genre and has served to silence some doubters.

Casino Royale is due out in November.

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