London: British star Daniel Craig is reportedly being paid 31 million pounds to reprise his role as 007 in two more movies, making him the highest paid James Bond ever. The deal makes Craig, 44, the best-paid Bond to date, even taking into account the effects of inflation on his predecessors' pay packets. Craig, who features in the latest film 'Skyfall', will star in a film that could be ready for release by 2014, the Daily Mail reported.
The global box office success of 'Skyfall' has also led to a huge jump in Craig's salary, which is way bigger than his 1.9 million pounds for 2006 'Casino Royale' and 4.4 million pounds for 'Quantum of Solace' in 2008.
Craig was paid 10.7 million pounds for 'Skyfall', which is more than the 7.5 million pounds paid to his predecessor Pierce Brosnan for 'The World Is Not Enough' in 1999 and the 10.3 million pounds for 'Die Another Day' in 2002.
The financial deal will see him placed near the top of Hollywood's leading men - vying for position just below Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Craig is widely believed to be the best Bond since Sean Connery but his appointment as 007 was met with criticism initially.
The payments to Bond stars have risen massively over the past half-century. When Connery was plucked from relative obscurity in 1962, he earned 10,000 pounds for the first Bond film 'Dr No'.
Connery's pay rose to 157,000 pounds for 'From Russia With Love'. When he returned to star in 'Diamonds are Forever' in 1971, he earned a basic 620,000 pounds. Film-makers were so keen to sign him up that he also took 12.5 per cent of the profits made from the film in America.
Connery starred in six official Bond films, earning an average of 218,000 pounds - about 3 million pounds in today's prices. Roger Moore's average pay per film in today's prices was 6.3 million pounds, Timothy Dalton got 5.4 million pounds and Brosnan 8.7 million pounds. Craig will earn more than all
his predecessors, with an average of 9.6 million pounds.
The next two Bond movies are expected to release in 2014 and 2016.