James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson says he expects Daniel Craig will return for a fifth outing as the iconic 007.
"I think we've got Daniel Craig," Wilson tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview, waving aside the actor's recent protestations that he was through with the role. Wilson makes a comparison to director Sam Mendes, who said he was done with Bond after 2012's "Skyfall," only to return for "Spectre.""[Mendes] said they were never going to make the picture again, and he told the press that."
Asked if Craig was legally bound to do another Bond film, however, Wilson acknowledges: "We don't have a contract."
As "Spectre," the latest in the Bond franchise, opens in U.S. theaters (it already has set box office records in the U.K.), Wilson says he thinks there will soon be a resolution to the question of which studio distributes the Bond films. With Sony's deal up, MGM (which produces the series but does not release it) has been talking to three studios in all, he says, without naming them. (Warner Bros. and Paramount have been rumored to be interested in taking over Bond if the price is right, though MGM is expected to drive a hard bargain.)
Wilson says he has met with executives from the prospective studios. Asked how one would be chosen, he continues: "It's almost impossible for us to evaluate it except on the basis of their past successes or failures. That's the only thing you can use. You know, until you work with people, you can't evaluate their marketing executives or their publicity people... And we pretty much run the marketing anyway, ourselves. So they execute it. We create it and they execute it."
In terms of timeframe, he says a decision will be made "probably in January or February."
Wilson, who has produced all the recent Bond films with his sister Barbara Broccoli, spoke to THR at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & TV, where he took part in the ongoing Hollywood Masters interview series.
He praises Broccoli for believing Craig was the right man to play Ian Fleming’s secret agent from the very beginning, even when others expressed doubts.
"I thought he was good, but she knew he was the right one," he says. "[Craig] was very reluctant. He didn't want to do it. And we kept asking him to come in, talking to him, and finally he says, 'Well, if I do it, I'll do it 100 percent. I'll totally do it.' So then, when we hired him, he went into a six-month physical thing that really transformed his body. I've never seen anything like it. He must have added, I don’t know, 10 inches to his thighs and the whole chest. He actually transformed himself. And he kept at it. And he eats this scientifically controlled diet all the time, and he goes to bed at nine o'clock at night when he's making the movies. He's like a monk."
"Spectre" opens in theaters on Friday.