Daniel Craig


  1. Rufus Sewell, A Knight’s Tale, 2000.   When testing him for Geoffreyu Chaucer, auteur Brian Helgeland said Paul Bettany he would be the next James Bond .”When he’d walk on the set, we’d all start singing the theme to James Bond, the “dun-dun-dun-dun.” And he’d say; Oh, stop!”  By a huge coincidence, the pre-Bond Craig turned up next to test as Count Adhemar. “He was just amazing. But I had already taken Rufus Sewel.” He nearly changed his mind, but the problem was Daniel was blond and the hero, Heath Ledger, was blond – so  the contrast in looks with Heath and Rufus was better for his a medieval piece with a rock soundtrack . So why not  A Hard Day’s Knight?   
  2. Clove Owen, King Arthur, 2003.     Three Aussies Crowe, Mel Gibson  and Hugh Jackman refused the head seat at the Round Table during the five years director Michael Bay spent prepping his take. Antoine Fuqua took over. He wanted Daniel Craig. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer insisted on Owen – “he’s going to be the new James Bond” and that would add extra life to the royal DVD.  Except, the next 007 was… Craig.
  3. Tony Maudsley, Vanity Fair, 2003.       They  battled it out to be Rawdon Crawley. (You can never go wrong with a Crawley).   They also battled (but not against each other) to be James Bond.  Purefoy lost GoldenEye, 1994;  Craig won Casino Royale, 2005. 
  4.  Robert Downey Jr. Zodiac,  2006.        Who should play the ace journo hunting the serial killer – James Bond or Iron Man? Craig was director  David Fincher’s D first choice for reporter Paul Avery in  what Chicago critic Roger Ebert called “there All The President’s Men of serial killer movies, with Woodward and Bernstein played by a cop and a cartoonist. It’s not merely ‘based’ on California’s infamous Zodiac killings, but seems to exude the very stench and provocation of the case.”
  5. Mark Ruffalo, Blindness, Canada-Brazil-Japan, 2007.    Too busy to play the  Doctor fighting a “white blindness” epidemic.
  6. Simon Pegg, Star Trek, 2008.        Starting all over with the 11th Trek… Producer-directorrebooter JJ Abrams talked with Craig about becoming the new Scotty. No thanks, one franchise is enough. Next? Ricky Gervais and Paul McGillon also beamed out.
  7. Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen, 2008.      Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Juvenal; asked, but who them playeth?  And in the 20 years it took for Alan Moore’s  DComic-book to be filmed,  directors came and went – Darren Aronofsky, Michael Bay, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam and  Paul  Greengrass to, ultimately, the lesser  Zack Snyder. So did their choices for Walter Kovacs aka Rorschach, the masked vigilante: Craig, John Hurt, Doug Hutchinson, Simon Pegg, Sean Penn, Robin Williams  – and the prerequisite outsider, Glen Hansard, more known for music than acting (three credits, The Simpsons included  in 18 years).
  8. Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer, 2009.       At first, two Brits  only (Craig and Hugh Grant) were up for the British writer of a UK Prime Minister’s memoirs. Craig had a Broadway date and passed on Roman Polanski’s tired, vapid thriller.
  9. Nicolas Cage, Kick-Ass, 2009.          Dan and Mark Wahlberg were also invited to be  Big Daddy.
  10. Chris Hemsworth, Thor, 2010.       Hey, one super hero was enough! Playing the Marvel comicbook hero and James Bond, Craig told director Kenneth Branagh, would be “too much of a power-trip.” Also in contention were the future Loki, RoboCop, Tarzan and Magic Mike: Tom Hiddleston, Joel Kinnaman, Alexander Skarsgård, Channing Tatum. Plus baby brother Liam Hemsworth, Charlie Hunnam, Paul Levesque, Tyler Mane, Brad Pitt.
  11. Ben Drew, The Sweeney, 2011.      Damien Lewis, Ewan McGregor were  far too expensive  for Detective Constable George Carter in the totally unnecessary re-hash of the 1975-1978 Thames TV series about the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad.  (Or, Sweeney Todd in Cockney rhyming slang).   Drew, aka rapper Plan  B, was also  a director.

  12. Josh Brolin, Oldboy, 2012.      During the chequered history of re-making Chan-Woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi – as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee – Craig passed an the ad man kidnapped for 20  years in solitary confinement. As did Spielberg’s intended star, Will Smith.
  13. George Clooney, Gravity, 2013.        When Robert Downey Jr ejected from the science fiction marvel (“technology and Robert are incompatible,” explained Alfonso Cuaron), the Mexican auteur talked “with a bunch of people” for astronaut Matt Kowalski – Kevin Costner, Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks (he loves astronauts, right?), John Travolta, Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis. Most backed off, annoyed that the woman astronaut, Sandra Bullock, had most of the film entirely to herself. In Craig’s case, she might have been his wife, Rachel Weisz.
  14. Matt Damon, The Monuments Men, 2013.       James Bond was  succeeded by  Jason Bourne…  Craig’s diary was always too full (and empty in places expecting the next Bond dates).  And so the writer-director-star George Clooney called Damon.  That’s what friends are for, right ?
  15. Keanu Reeves, The Whole Truth, 2014.      If your star splits a week week before Action! and that start was Craig, who do you get to take over the courtroom thriller. Why Reeves, of course. What a stupido question.  Really, Keanu Reeves?!!   
  16. Pierce Brosnan, The November Man, 2013.      The man in question was a retired CIAgent. Crusty but not rusty … The Aussie-born New Zealand director Roger Donaldson knew exactly what he wanted for Devereaux A Bond…! He struck a deal with Craig, until his stage commitments got in the way. OK, then, why not The Guv’nor? Oh no, said Sean Connery, far to old to be running around. Dissolve. Brosnan heard about it and offered his services as actor (“I can do dark. I’ll even start drinking again”) and co-producer and he brought along his 007 stuntichian Mark Mottram and Craig’s Bond Girl from Quantum of Solace, Olga Kurylenko. Perfect!
  17. Will Smith, Suicide Squad, 2015.     After seeing 14 possible Harley Quinns, director David Ayer shuffled through 19 Deadshots. None hit the target. Not Craig, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba,  Colin Farrell, Michael Fassbender, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jon Hamm.  Nor Oscar Isaac, Joel Kinnaman (he became Rick Flag), Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Statham.  Another Warner/DC flop  because Warner wasn’t Marvel and Smith was way  too top-heavy for a team effort.

  18. Idris Elba, The Dark Tower, 2016.  
    The 220th of King’s staggering 313 screen credits is the worst.  Since Carrie in 1976, King’s filmed books come along in good/bad patches. Depending, not on the stories, usually supernatural, but how they’re made – film or series – and  by who. . Frank Darabont, Rob Reiner made classics; Stanley Kubrick and King, himself, did not. As this tale is one of eight exhilarating books, it merits a series, not this middling mess  (stuffed with King references) from director Nikolaj Arcel – a not so great Dane who by 2020 hasn’t helmed (or harmed)  another movie. (Back when there were only seven  books, JJ Abrams planned to film ‘em all).  Christian Bale, Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen, plus  the 2006 Casino Royale good and bad guys, Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen,  were up for Roland, The Gunslinger (“I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart”), trying to save the vital tower from Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black  (or is he really The Stand’s walkin’ dude, Randall Flagg?). When such strong (on-the-page) characters are upstaged by young Brit Tom Taylor, 14, as a typical King kid, you know something’s very wrong

  19. Adam Driver, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, 2017.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  18