Is Daniel Craig the Best Bond Ever?

For some, the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, was another triumph for the franchise. For others, it was a bit “meh”. However, for Daniel Craig, it appears to have been a harrowing experience.

Earlier this year, the British actor stated that he would rather do anything than reprise the role. Naturally, with Craig on the verge of handing in his gun and locking away the Aston Martin, the big wigs at the production company were forced to take evasive action and reportedly made an uncharacteristic play for Craig.

According to reports, Craig was unhappy at the amount of time it takes to shoot a Bond movie so, in a bid to keep him on board, the bosses apparently offered him a back-to-back deal which would have cut down the amount of time he was away from his family.

As yet it’s unclear whether or not Craig has acquiesced to any modified deals, but that hasn’t stopped the bookies from setting lines on the most likely man to replace him. Idris Elba and Damian Lewis are currently the hot tips among Bond fans and industry insiders, but it looks as though they’ll only get to don the famous tuxedo if Craig heads off into the sunset.

So why the love for Craig? With Casino Royale set to turn ten years old later this year, we thought we’d take a look at three reasons why he could be the best Bond ever.

Craig Made Bond Modern

One of the main reasons Craig is lauded by Bond fans is that he helped bring the character into the 21st century. Pre-Craig, the franchise had become stale and outdated. Although Pierce Brosnan embodied the charm and charisma of Bond, he didn’t have the rugged edge that many modern movie heroes have.

This rugged edge was then expertly combined with the always cool casino motif. Images of slick gamblers in flashy suits wagering huge sums of money on games such as poker and blackjack has always captivated the imagination of audiences, so when Bond took on Le Chiffre in a high stakes poker game it became an instant hit.

To make the poker scenes as believable as possible, director Martin Campbell hired professional players such as Casper Berry to help make Craig’s moves authentic. This ability to capture the moment, give off an air of authenticity and still make James Bond an aspirational figure was a major reason for Casino Royale, moreover, Craig’s success as Bond.

In fact, the connection between Bond and the casino world has lived on ever since. When the film was released in 2006 the online gaming boom was at its peak and, spurred on by the popularity of Casino Royale, a host of operators decided to use Bond imagery to enhance their products. James Bond-themed slots such as Double 0 Cash and Spy Game sat alongside classics such as blackjack and roulette.

With everyone wanting to become the next James Bond and bring down the house, online casinos like Titan Casino Online are giving new players a chance to join the action without spending their own money. Today, the online gaming industry is still going strong and even though Craig’s Casino Royale is a decade old, his image is still be used to show off the “cool” aspects of the industry.

Craig Brought in the Big Bucks

Despite initial fears that people wouldn’t take to Craig in his role as Bond, the numbers don’t lie. After breaking box office records in its opening week, Casino Royale went on to gross $594 million in movie theatre revenue and a further $210 million in home movie sales.

As if that wasn’t enough, Quantum of Solace went on to take $591 million in box office sales. However, as impressive as those figures are, Skyfall managed to almost make more than those two combined with a staggering $1.1 billion in international box office sales.

To top it all off, Spectre banked an impressive $879 million back in 2015 to take Craig’s box office earnings as Bond beyond the $3 billion mark.

Craig’s Body Did the Talking

At 5 foot 10 inches, many said Craig was too short to play bond. However, following his famous beach scene in Casino Royale, many quickly changed their tune.

Craig was not only buffer than the average Bond, but his frame actually made his fight scenes a lot more believable. Although many male fans will deny that this changed their opinion of Bond, there’s no denying that he was one of the more athletic Bonds in recent years and that helped turn the tide.

Is Craig the best Bond ever? Quite possibly and even if he doesn’t reprise the role, we can certainly look back at some impressive performances as the world’s greatest spy.

Craig Gerber talks about creating Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess”

Craig Gerber is the co-executive producer/writer of Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess”. Disney will introduce its first little girl princess with the debut of “Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess,” an enchanting, music-filled animated Disney Junior television movie for the whole family, Sunday November 18 on Disney Channel and Thursday and November 22 on Disney Junior, the 24-hour channel. The primetime television movie special stars Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) as the voice of Sofia, Sara Ramirez (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as her mother, Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make A Deal”) as Clover, a wise-talking Rabbit; and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) as Baileywick, the family’s Royal Steward. A television series of “Sofia the First”  will debut in early 2013 on Disney Junior, as well. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Craig about how this show was created and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” was born?
Craig Gerber: A few years ago, I was approached by Nancy Kanter at Disney Junior because they were looking to create a TV show centered around a princess for 2-7 year old children. She asked me flat out if I had any ideas, so I said I would think about it. So I got in my car and was stuck in traffic, I guess that is where you do your best thinking in Los Angeles. I started thinking about my own childhood. I grew up in a blended family. My parents divorced. My dad remarried. I have a half-brother. It occurred to me that it would be great to create a fairy tale story that the modern family can relate to. For there, I thought it would also be wonderful to have a princess character that children could closely identify with. I just had my first child at the time and I was watching him experiencing new things and how to get along in the world. I saw him emulating fantasy characters. Fantasy has always been a great way to tell stories and to impart lessons. I thought wouldn’t it be great for kids to be able to use those fantasy stories to provide life lessons to them as they grow up. With all that in mind, I thought “What if, there was an ordinary girl that lived in an enchanted village and her mother fell in love and married the king overnight, which made this young little girl a princess overnight.” She has to learn how to be royal and get to know her step-family. The idea of this blended royal family in an enchanted world is the heart of the show.

MG: What is a princess movie without great songs…tell us about that aspect?
CG: It is funny because I never intended it to be a musical. I got to a part in the script for the TV movie, when Sofia gets the power to talk with animals due to this emulate and they have a chance to give her their piece of mind. Her rabbit friend Clover wants to tell her why woodland creatures have been helping princesses all these years. I thought wouldn’t it be great if they just broke out into song. Like this was the first time that anyone has ever thought about that [laughs]. So I wrote lyrics to the song that would become “A Little Bit of Food”. We find out these furry woodland creatures are helping out princesses since that is where all the great food is. For there the response from the network was so great that they asked me to write three or four more songs. So it became a musical just like that! And I got to tell you…it is one of the best parts.

MG: How was it incorporating classic characters like Flora, Fauna and Merryweather from “Sleeping Beauty” and Cinderella?
CG: It is daunting. It is wonderful. That has been the fun of the show is embracing the Disney legacy and the Disney fairy tale storyboard world. And taking the decades of films and characters and creating our own unique kingdom while still incorporating those characters and elements into our show. To be able to put Flora, Fauna and Merryweather in the show and make them the head mistresses of Royal Prep, the school where Sofia and all the princesses all over the world go, is just great fun. They are great characters and children know them from “Sleeping Beauty”. It is just a blast to be able to have them show up and be a part of our world. When you bring in a classic Disney princess like Cinderella, who makes a cameo appearance to give some princess advise to Sofia, which is really…just an honor.

MG: Tell us about the amazing voice cast including Ariel Winter, Wayne Brady and Tim Gunn?
CG: The voice cast is not only supremely talented but they are genuinely excited to be working on this show. It is partially because they love the characters, the world and the legacy of Disney storytelling. Ariel Winter is a wonderful young actress from “Modern Family” and she breathes life into Sofia. She captured the character immediately. Wayne Brady is hilarious. He has brought a lot of humor both written and unwritten [laughs] to the character of Clover the Rabbit. Tim Gunn, who I believe has had limited if any voice over experience, has really embodied the character of Baileywick, the kings right-hand man. We also have Sara Ramirez from “Grey’s Anatomy”, who is a talent actress and singer. Overall, we just have such a wonderful cast who have come in and brought so much creativity and enthusiasm to the show. It has really elevated everything we done.

MG: This TV movie is set as the pilot to the upcoming animated series, when/what can we expect?
CG: The TV movie follows Sofia’s first two days in the castle, her debut ball and also getting along we her new step-sister Amber. Then in the series, which will launch early next year, will follow her continued adventures being a princess in this royal world. The show at its essence is about Sofia learning that being truly royal is about how you behave and the person you are inside. A lot of the episodes show Sofia learning these lessons or showing others how to learn these as well, especially her step-sister Amber. There are also a bunch of fun adventures that Sofia goes on and a lot of new fun characters we meet. So there are a lot of great things in store for her.

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