The future of Bond — James Bond — grew a bit more clouded with Wednesday’s announcement that Daniel Craig will star in Showtime’s adaptation of “Purity,” the 2015 novel by Jonathan Franzen.
For those keeping track, Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers,” and most recently, “The Night Manager”) has been rumored/reported to be in talks to replace him as Bond.
Craig, who has played Bond, since 2006’s “Casino Royale,” hasn’t appeared in series television in nearly two decades. Showtime didn’t specify his role in “Purity,” but he is presumably the mysterious East German Andreas Wolf, described in reviews of the book as a “Julian Assange” figure who pulls the novel’s protagonist, Purity — or Pip — into his orbit. (There were no other casting announcements.)
The network said the series will have a 20-episode/two year run, and has secured commitments from Franzen, David Hare and Todd Field (“Little Children”) to write and produce, with Field to direct each episode. (Scott Rudin was also named an executive producer). Production begins in 2017.
Meanwhile, Showtime also announced that the sixth season of “Homeland” will move up from its regular fall start to a January 2017 launch. Following the fifth season’s base of operations in Berlin, the sixth returns to familiar turf and uncertain terrain: Set in New York (where filming starts soon), the drama “picks up several months later and finds Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) back on American soil, living in Brooklyn,” according to Showtime.
The network also said the sixth season will take place “between election day and the inauguration. It’s a strange, transitional time in the halls of government filled with anxiety and different competing interests.”
Separately, start dates were announced for other major Showtime series: “Masters of Sex” (Sept. 11); “Shameless” (Oct. 2); and “The Affair” (Nov. 20).