Daniel Craig leaves James Bond behind as he signs up to US drama Purity


Daniel Craig now looks almost certain to give up the role of James Bond - as he heads to the small screen.

The 007 actor has signed on to lead an adaptation of the Jonathan Franzen novel Purity, according to Collider.

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

With 20 episodes to film next year, Daniel seems unlikely to find time in his busy schedule for a fifth outing as the secret agent.

Purity will mark the 48-year-old's first major television series since he starred in BBC epic Our Friends In The North in 1996. It will also be his first US show.

The actor has yet to confirm whether he will return to play James Bond.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
James Bond (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc)

Initially there seemed to be no chance, as while promoting Spectre he told Time Out he would "rather slash my wrists" than do Bond again. "If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money," he said.

But he later told The Sun: "I have the right to change my mind any time I want to, and sometimes I say things like I did two days after finishing shooting for eight months. I said what was on my mind. That's the way I've always spoken."

However, Daniel is said to have turned down a £68 million offer from MGM Studios to return as 007 for two more films after 2015´s Spectre, according to the Daily Mail.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc)

Instead, he will take the lead in Purity, a complex story of youthful idealism, extreme loyalty and cold-blooded murder.

The 2015 novel tells intersecting stories of different people of different ages and backgrounds ranging from east Berlin to the Bolivian jungle, east Harlem walk-ups and the California Redwoods.

Purity will air in the US on Showtime. The author himself will serve as an executive producer and a writer.

As Daniel backs away from Bond, speculation intensifies over who will be the next 007 - with Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Damian Lewis among the favourites.

Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston (Jonathan Brady/PA)