Daniel Craig: Blame 'Austin Powers' for the Super Serious James Bond Movies

Daniel Craig as 007

With just a day to go before the new Bond announcement, a newly- surfaced interview with Daniel Craig from 2012 may shed some light on where the series might be headed. When Craig was hired to help reboot James Bond, he knew that he wanted to make a serious film — both because he is a serious actor, and because a certain other spy spoof had made it impossible to do a goofy 007.

“We had to destroy the myth because Mike Myers f—-ed us,” the actor told Bond fan publication MI6, referring to Myers’ remarkably successful Austin Powers series. ”I am a huge Mike Myers fan, so don’t get me wrong, but he kind of f—-ed us, made it impossible to do the gags.”

Elizabeth Hurley and Mike Myers in 1997’s Austin Powers

Myers’ groovy International Man of Mystery tore apart some of the Bond world’s biggest clichés. The 1997 movie’s villain, Dr. Evil, was inspired by the famous Bond baddie Blofeld (with a dash of Dr. No), while other characters such as Random Task, Number 2, Frau Farbissina, and Basil Exposition also took inspiration from key Bond characters. The fixation on bed-hopping, women in bikinis, volcanoes, sharks, and lasers, also owe a debt to the campy Bond flicks of the ’70s and ’80s in particular.

Casino Royale, Craig’s first go-round as the secret agent in 2006, was a very Bourne-esque outing for Bond, as was 2008’s Quantum of Solace. But as Craig notes in the same interview, 2012’s Skyfall, which featured Javier Bardem as the campy (and dentally-impaired) villain Silva, was a step toward some of the older, less-serious Bond outings.

“What I love and what I really wanted to achieve with Skyfall was a level of fantasy, it’s one of the less violent ones, there’s less blood, and people aren’t dying in a horrible way, and it feels like much more of a family movie, and they should be family movies,” he said.

As for the next Bond film — the title and cast of which will be announced on Thursday — Craig said that he hopes to push the cheese even further.

"I don’t want to go ludicrous and we’ve got to keep them in reality, but Christ almighty, the world’s f—-ing weird and there’s plenty we can start mining and taking out,” he promised. “If Blofeld turned up again, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

Paging Christoph Waltz