Daniel Craig confirms James Bond return

Daniel Craig has confirmed that he will return to the role of James Bond

The next Bond film, the 25th in the series, is due out in November 2019
The next Bond film, the 25th in the series, is due out in November 2019

Actor Daniel Craig has confirmed during an interview on US chat show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the mounting reports that he will return to the role of James Bond.

Putting an end to months of speculation, Craig gave an unequivocal answer to the host's point-blank question about whether he has signed on for another installment: "Yes," Craig sid before standing up to shake his hand.

The actor, who has played 007 in the past four Bond films, has until now refused to say whether he will do it again.

But on the show he revealed he's known for a "couple of months".

"We've been discussing it, we've just been trying to figure things out," he said. "I always wanted to, I needed a break."

The next Bond film, the 25th in the series, is due out in November 2019.

Craig, however, was quick to shoot down the possibility of him doing a sixth Bond film.

"I think this is it. I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait."

Craig’s renewed enthusiasm for the role marks a change of mind after comments he made in 2015, following the release of Spectre.

The film garnered rave reviews but Craig said he would rather “slit my wrists” than reprise the role. “I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on,” he had said, adding: “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”

As Colbert questioned him on the infamous quote, Craig squirmed in his seat.

"Look, there's no point in making excuses about it, but it was two days after I'd finished shooting the last movie. I went straight into an interview and someone said would you do another one and I went 'No!'

"And instead of saying something with style and grace I gave a really stupid answer."

Daniel Craig is the seventh actor to play James Bond on film, succeeding Pierce Brosnan and making his debut in Casino Royale in 2006. He has since played the spy in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

While initially seen as a divisive choice, he was soon praised for his darker, more brooding take on the martini-sipping spy, which proved a massive hit at the box office.

Skyfall was one of the highest grossing films of all time when it was released in 2012, and was the first Bond film to gross over $1 billion at the box office.

2015’s Spectre, which was described by the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw as “terrifically exciting, spectacular, almost operatically delirious 007 adventure” cost $245 million to make – the most expensive Bond film to date – but was also box office gold, taking in $880 million worldwide.

Scottish star Sean Connery first took on the role in 1962 and played him seven times, ending with Never Say Never Again in 1983.

Roger Moore matched that total, between 1973 and 1985.

David Niven and George Lazenby each played him once during the 1960s, while two films were released with Timothy Dalton in the lead role, The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).