Daniel Craig is reportedly getting paid $135 million to play James Bond again
I'm sure that I'm not the only one who fantasised about being a secret agent as a child.
Dressed inconspicuously yet stylishly, I envisaged my heroic - yet stoically silent - missions in some far flung exotic locale, my eyes shielded from the sun by a pair of opaque incognito sunglasses.
Leaping from buildings and hurtling through bullet infested streets, remaining not only unharmed but without so much as a speck of dust on my finely pressed suit jacket, I'd then presumably fall into the arms of some improbably beautiful woman who has been paid to extract information from me, and in all likelihood, assassinate me. Instead, after a brief encounter, we would part on friendlier terms.
Of course, a lot of my frenzied imaginings of the life of a spy are (mis)informed by the many James Bond movies. In reality, of course, the top secret world of espionage is not so fantastical and romantically rendered.
The Bond movies turned the populations of entire nations onto the concept of espionage, and their enduring appeal is a testament to Ian Fleming's concept, that shows no signs of becoming outmoded anytime soon.
In recent months, a debate has been raging over who should take up the mantle of being the next James Bond. Daniel Craig had appeared firmly out of the picture after stating, now infamously, that he would rather "slash his wrists" than reprise his role as the character.
Cue feverish speculation over the likelihood of Idris Elba, Tom Hardy or perhaps Tom Hiddleston taking up Craig's mantle, that dragged on for month after month. Now, though, it has been confirmed that Daniel Craig will, in fact, be returning for one last hurrah.
Possibly, this u-turn might have something to do with the reportedly eye watering sum of money that Craig is being paid for his time. The Daily Mail has claimed that Craig will receive an astonishing $135m for the upcoming Bond movie, well over double what he was paid for Spectre - a reported $50m.
Positively glowing during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Craig said he "couldn't be happier" to be returning to the Bond franchise, which is perhaps unsurprising; I'm sure I'd be a happier person with an extra $135m in the bank.
In a 2015 interview with Time Out, Daniel Craig seemed relatively certain that he would not be reprising his role as James Bond, noting that if he did it would "only be for the money." As he said at the time;
“I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”
Who knows if that same sentiment was the reason Craig is returning to the James Bond machine, but regardless, fans everywhere will doubtless be delighted.