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Daniel Craig is the new James Bond

After months of speculation, and rumours circulating that perhaps Pierce Brosnan might come back after all, Daniel Craig was officially annointed as the new James Bond at a press conference on Friday. The fact that his mother had let the cat out of the bag on Thursday was irrelevant - Bond fans finally had the news they'd been craving for so long. Craig, fresh from critical acclaim in a number of diverse roles (including Road to Perdition, Sylvia, Enduring Love and Layer Cake), is certainly well-equipped to tackle Fleming's prized creation: he has the detachment, the coldness, the brutality and the appearance of a true Ian Fleming 007, an actor who will take the franchise back to its roots and help audiences to forget the travesty that was Die Another Day.

Casino Royale is being adapted by Paul Haggis, based on an original draft by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (who thankfully are not in control of this film anymore - I lay the blame for Die Another Day's failure solely at their feet), and it will be directed by Martin Campbell. The director's last sojourn into Bond territory, 1995's superb GoldenEye, exhibited a good deal of style and iconic moments to suggest that he might well be able to breathe life into the franchise. It's sad that Tarantino wasn't allowed to tackle the project with Pierce Brosnan, or even the visual talents of Matthew Vaughn perhaps, but Campbell is a safe yet solid choice.

Production on the twenty-first Bond film (or 22nd if you count Connery's awful, "unofficial" Never Say Never Again) starts in January and the film is slated for release in November 2006.

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