If you believe people who are paid to star in a James Bond film with Daniel Craig, then you'll know that Daniel Craig is a James Bond of such immense proportion that people will be spitting on pictures of Sean Connery when Casino Royale comes out.
And it's not just Daniel Craig's paid co-stars who say he's good. The people who produce the James Bond movies like Daniel Craig too. And they're not just saying that because they'll lose all their money if nobody goes and sees Casino Royale, oh no – they're so confident in Daniel Craig's James Bond ability that, not only are they planning a Casino Royale sequel, they've also already given it a release date. Clear a space in your diaries for May 2 2008, so that you can either queue up in advance at the cinema or dig a massive hole in your garden to live in until all the annoying James Bond 22 hype disappears.
It's not really the done thing for movie producers to start bigging up a sequel to a movie four months before the first one is released, but James Bond producers have never done things the normal way. Most people, for example, wouldn't have monged around all undecided about who'd play the new James Bond for months. And most people wouldn't start filming a James Bond film without finding a Bond villain or a Bond girl first. And most people, even in jest, wouldn't dream of letting Goldfrapp anywhere near their theme-tune. But all of that has happened in the crazy, upside down world of James Bond over the last few months.
Casino Royale won't even be released until November, but everyone loves Daniel Craig so much that people are too busy frothing about the sequel to Casino Royale to talk about Casino Royale itself. James Bond 22 was always rumoured, but this week's talk of the Notting Hill bloke directing the Casino Royale sequel has pushed an official announcement from James Bond bigwigs Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Brocoli:
"As we wrap production on Casino Royale we couldn't be more excited about the direction the franchise is heading with Daniel Craig. Daniel had taken the origins of Ian Fleming's James Bond portraying, with emotional complexity, a darker and edgier 007."
James Bond 22 is such a certainty that it already has a release date – May 2 2008. As well as giving Daniel Craig time to grow his teeth back properly, that's the same date as Marvel releases its Iron Man superhero flick. Unless we're looking at this wrong, and James Bond 22 will really be a James Bond Vs Iron Man extravaganza. Couldn't be any less ridiculous than the usual James Bond sky laser nonsense, anyway.
[story by Stuart Heritage]