Before you catch SPECTRE, take a look back with our Daniel Craig movies spotlight
The name’s Craig, Daniel Craig. And for the last nine years, he’s been James Bond. Craig landed the iconic role for Casino Royale and he’ll be making his fourth appearance as Bond in the upcoming film, SPECTRE. Despite some initial resistance from the 007 fans, the Daniel Craig movies have proven to be some of the most popular Bond films of all-time. The last entry, Skyfall, is the highest-grossing film in the franchise’s 53-year history.
Outside of the Bond films, Daniel Craig movies have had some mixed results at the box office. Before his three-year hiatus between Skyfall and SPECTRE, Craig appeared in several films and he was even cast in at least three movies that were designed to become franchises of their own.
Craig has hinted that SPECTRE could be his final Bond movie, which would close a nearly ten-year chapter in his life. Given Craig’s history, it’s likely that a post-Bond Craig will be as busy as he chooses to be. Whether audiences will ever embrace him in another franchise role remains to be seen. For better or worse, Craig will always be identified with James Bond, and the legacy of that role will remain with him forever.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Nine years into his professional career, Craig was cast in Tomb Raider as Alex West, a rival tomb raider and love interest to Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft. Make no mistake, the future James Bond was only a supporting player to Lara Croft, and she even saves his life in the film’s climactic sequence.
But there are worse fates than playing second fiddle to Lara Croft! And the film helped raise Craig’s profile in America.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Road to Perdition (2002)
The next entry on our Daniel Craig movies list was the actor’s villainous turn in Road to Perdition, the adaptation of Max Allan Collins’ comic of the same name. While Craig’s Connor Rooney has a relatively small role in the film, his actions kick off the story when he tries to have Michael Sullivan, Sr. (Tom Hanks) and his family killed after Michael’s son, Michael, Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) witnessed Connor and Michael Sr. commit murder.
Michael Sullivan’s quest for the rest of the movie was to find Connor and avenge the deaths of his wife and his other son. Rounding out the cast were Paul Newman and Jude Law. Road to Perdition was also the first time that Craig worked with director Sam Mendes, who went on to helm Skyfall and SPECTRE.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Layer Cake (2004)
Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut, Layer Cake featured Craig in the leading role as XXXX, an unnamed business man in London’s criminal underworld whose dreams of escaping into the world of legitimate business keep slipping from his grasp.
Layer Cake was a major step forward for Craig’s career, and it reportedly played a large role in getting him cast as James Bond.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Munich (2005)
Steven Spielberg’s Munich was the loosely adapted true story of a team of Israeli assassins who were sent to kill the men who helped plan and carry out the Black September massacre of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany.
In the film, Craig played Steve, a member of the team led by Eric Bana’s Avner Kaufman. Steve and Avner were two of the last men standing, as the team of assassins became targets themselves.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Casino Royale (2006)
Based solely on his physical appearance, many fans immediately declared that Daniel Craig wasn’t right for James Bond when he was cast in 2005. Craig quickly changed that perception in Casino Royale, which served as a hard reboot of the 007 films and featured a much younger and less-experienced Bond.
Unlike the most recent Bond films that came before it, Casino Royale placed an emphasis on more realistic action sequences and the story even gave James Bond a heart as he fell hard for Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), the original Bond girl from Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel.
Audiences reacted strongly to Craig’s emotionally vulnerable James Bond and Casino Royale became the highest-grossing film of the series… at least until Skyfall came along.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Quantum of Solace (2008)
Because Casino Royale was a huge blockbuster, expectations were even higher for Quantum of Solace, Craig’s second Bond movie and the first time that the franchise ever had a direct sequel. Taking place immediately after Casino Royale, Craig’s Bond goes on a mission of revenge to bring down the organization known as Quantum.
Even though Quantum of Solace was not as fondly embraced by critics as its predecessor, the film still became the third-highest grossing Bond movie.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
The Cowboys & Aliens comic book that was released in 2006 was actually created in 1997 as a concept that was designed to be made into a movie. Amazingly, it finally came together in 2011 with Craig in the leading role as Jake Lonergan, with Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, and Clancy Brown rounding out the cast.
This was also Jon Favreau’s first film after Iron Man 2 and it was clearly meant to lead to a franchise. But Cowboys & Aliens was nearly outdueled by The Smurfs in its opening weekend, on its way to $100 million by the end of its domestic run. Because of its high budget, Cowboys & Aliens was considered to be a flop and no sequels were made.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Dream House (2011)
In one of his last films before taking an extended hiatus, Craig starred in Dream House as Will Atenton, a man who comes to believe that he and his family are being stalked by the previous owner of his house…who happens to be a man accused of murdering his own family. Of course, there are a few twists in the story, and even the hint of the supernatural as Will’s world crumbles around him. However, Dream House was not well received by critics or audiences and it flopped at the box office.
Craig’s longtime friend, Rachel Weisz, played Will’s wife, Libby in the film. Shortly before Dream House was released, Craig and Weisz were married in a private ceremony.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Later that year, Craig was also one the headlining stars of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an adaptation of the late Stieg Larsson’s novel of the same name. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the first of three novels about an enigmatic hacker named Lisbeth Salander, which became international best sellers. The three novels were also adapted as Swedish films starring Noomi Rapace as Salander.
For the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Craig was cast as Mikael Blomkvist (a role originated by Michael Nyqvist), a disgraced investigative journalist who is given a chance to reclaim his reputation by exposing a killer. Michael then hired Salander (Rooney Mara) to help him investigate the case.
While Salander is the title character, most of the film’s story focuses on Craig’s character. Despite receiving good reviews, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was considered a disappointment because it “only” grossed $102 million domestically, which led Sony and MGM to put the planned sequels on indefinite hold.
Daniel Craig Movies Spotlight: Skyfall (2012)
Craig’s third movie as James Bond was widely hailed as one of the best in the series. Skyfall featured Javier Bardem’s memorable villain, Raoul Silva and it reintroduced Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to the Bond series while giving M (Judi Dench) her biggest role in the 007 films. Skyfall also had a more deeply-wounded Bond who was forced to stage his last stand at Skyfall, the ancestral home of the family that he lost when he was a child.
Skyfall was wildly successful, and it even won an Academy Award for Best Song for Adele’s “Skyfall” theme. This film proved to be so popular that MGM and Sony kept director Sam Mendes and screenwriter John Logan onboard to create the upcoming Bond movie, SPECTRE.