British Secret Service Agent James Bond has done battle atop a moving train, from the outside of a cargo plane, and in space. That said, the 55-year-running 007 film franchise is still going strong – and the upcoming 25th Bond movie edging its way into theaters has audiences wondering what will happen next with the franchise.

Based on the novels by Ian Fleming, the 007 franchise kicked off in 1963 with Dr. No. Starring Sean Connery as James Bond, and introducing audiences to what would become a familiar – if not oft-parodied – formula that includes megalomaniacal villains in hidden lairs, mysterious women with suggestive names, and highly-stylized gadgets, the entire 007 series has had a lasting effect in pop culture. Over the years, various actors have taken over the role, including Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig (who currently holds the torch). Woody Allen and Peter Sellers starred in a loose adaptation and spoof of Fleming’s novel Casino Royale, though it’s not considered canon within the live-action series.

Now, with the untitled Bond 25 releasing next year with Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) and Daniel Craig sporting Bond’s tux, martini, and Walther PPK for what may possibly be his last time, the future of the franchise is shrouded in mystery. Will the storyline remain consistent with previous entries? Will the series undergo yet another soft reboot? And does a woman or person of color have a shot at playing the famed and meticulously groomed MI6 agent? Seeing as the franchise is no stranger to cleaning house and resetting the board, audiences may well see some major shifts with Bond in the foreseeable future.

After four movies (not including Bond 25), Daniel Craig currently ranks second for actors who have played James Bond the most times in the franchise (Connery and Moore are tied in first place with seven movies each). That said, during the twelve years that Craig has starred in the franchise, his enthusiasm towards playing Bond has ebbed and flowed, so it’s unclear how much longer he’s willing to stick with the character.

Though Craig’s movies have more or less been two-for-two in terms of success (with Quantum of Solace and Spectre often considered the lame ducks in comparison toCasino Royale and Skyfall), his interpretation of Bond has fared fairly well with audiences and critics. However, in an interview with Time Out, Craig famously stated that he would “rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than star in another 007 movie, adding that all he wants to do is “move on.” He even reportedly turned down roughly $100 millionto star in two more films after Spectre, but that tone has changed considerably since then, when – after officially signing on for Bond 25 – he said, “I just want to go out on a high note. I can’t wait. So, as of now, Craig’s future with the franchise is a guessing game, seeing as his unpredictable mindset doesn’t offer much in the way of certainty. And assuming Boyle sends him off on that desired high note, Bond 25 may well be the end for Craig.


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