I posted recently that Daniel Craig is likely to step down as James Bond following Spectre, his fourth movie as the character. Two news stories that broke in the last 24 hours appear to confirm those rumors. Daniel Craig has signed on for Steven Soderbergh heist movie Logan Lucky and Jamie Bell has reportedly been in discussions with producers about putting on the tuxedo as Britain’s super spy. Continue reading for more information.
Soderbergh has been unofficially retired from directing since 2013 and has been involved mainly with television producing since then. For some time now he has been connected with Logan Lucky, but there have been questions on whether he will actually be directing the feature or simply act as a producer on the project. In either case, his attachment to a heist movie is very promising following him directing Ocean’s 11. Channing Tatum is confirmed to be the lead in the film, but various other names have been rumored to be connected to the project. Now NASCAR has come out a provided some details about casting and the story (via Screen Rant).
“A press release from NASCAR reveals that Soderbergh is collaborating with the stock car racing association on Logan Lucky. The film will feature the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and pre-production filming begins at this Memorial Day weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 race. Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development, describes the movie as a “big-hearted, fun story” that features the racing venue in much the same way the Bellagio took center stage in Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11.”
They also confirmed that the cast will include Daniel Craig, Katherine Heigl, Riley Keough, Adam Driver and Seth MacFarlane. While that would certainly be an odd mix of actors who are typically associated with separate genres, that plays into the idea that this could be a fun ensemble feature like Ocean’s 11. Craig’s involvement in this feature along with signing on for the TV series Purity, which is likely to be 20 episodes over two seasons, will keep the actor very busy and may preclude him for participating in any other projects (connecting the dots, no more Bond).
The other entertainment news story that came out is how Deadline is reporting Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Snowpiercer) was in talks with long-time Bond producer Barbara Broccoli about possibly taking on the role. Nothing has been confirmed, and his name didn’t even appear on most people’s list as Craig’s potential replacement, but it’s a possibility following Bell’s collaboration with Broccoli in Film Stars Don’t Die. While another Bond movie is inevitable (I love Bond. There’s no negativity implied in that statement, just stating that the franchise has a storied history and will continue for a very long time), there’s no rush to find a replacement for Craig since there’s currently no director or script in place for the next film and because there’s currently negotiations for a new distributor for the franchise following the conclusion of the contract with MGM (Sony and Warner Bros. are believed to be the front-runners).
Belle is the youngest options thus far suggested and would tie Lazerby as the youngest actor to take on the role. He’s not as established or as well-known an actor as the other names who have appeared on internet lists (but Craig wasn’t a household name before his tenure as Bond), but his age would allow for him to play the character for a long time.
What are your thoughts? Is Craig really done playing James Bond and would you like Jamie Bell to take over for him? What do you think about the cast for Logan Lucky? I’ll provide more information about both stories as soon as I hear anything.