If you’re a person who spends any time reading about movies on the Internet, you’ll no doubt recall Daniel Craig‘s — perhaps comic! — claim that he’d rather slash his wrists than do another James Bond movie. We weren’t too wild about Spectre, either, but… yikes! Those are, make no mistake, words of enthusiasm, but not the kind producers typically hope their stars will throw out during the standard press tour.
The pieces for his departure are falling into place. First, Deadline have word he and Katherine Heigl are looking to board Steven Soderbergh‘s feature-filmmaking return, Logan Lucky, which increasingly looks like a very real thing. Despite the director’s initial denials, a new round of casting updates — earlier stories told of involvement from Michael Shannon, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Seth Macfarlane — comes with something a bit more substantial: NASCAR will grant the project some form of support, thus likely offering a big financial boost. “But why,” you might whisper into the wind Answer: the screenplay supposedly concerns a pair of brothers “who plan a heist during a high-profile NASCAR race.” (The originally reported title, Hillbilly Heist, might corroborate that.) With production beginning this fall, Craig is likely tied up for some time — and that’s not even to mention his involvement with Todd Field‘s two-season, Showtime-backed adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s Purity.
Then there’s this: Birth.Movies.Death. have word from “sources close to Tom Hiddleston” that the star, long a favorite choice to take on 007, is “in advanced talks,” and while no official deal is on the table, the confluence of circumstances — a long-rumored replacement, the increasingly clear lack of interest from Craig, and the need to keep a franchise churning — is something. Maybe not everything, but something. More on that as it develops.
In other news, Variety’s reporting that Colin Firth will join Matthias Schoenaerts in Thomas Vinterberg‘s submarine thriller, Kursk. Executive produced by Sean Penn enthusiast Luc Besson and scripted by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), it tells the true story of the K-141 Kursk, “the pride of the Russian Navy” that sank in August of 2000, claiming 120 lives as “their families desperately battled political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.” There’s currently no word on how or if James Bond will be involved.