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Auds grow fond of ‘short, blond’ Bond

Pic's B.O. perf, reviews have changed some minds

It wasn’t all that long ago that disgruntled James Bond fans were asking why “a short, blond actor with the rough face of a professional boxer and a penchant for playing villains, killers, cranks and cads” — i.e., Daniel Craig — had been cast as the new 007.

One reason may be $82.8 million — which is what “Casino Royale” made worldwide in its opening weekend.

Another could be the largely positive reviews for the film and for Craig. The gushing is almost as loud as the grumbling was when Craig was first announced, particularly on the Internet and in tabloids. Loyalists of erstwhile 007 Pierce Brosnan erected sites such as craignotbond.com and danielcraigisnotbond.com, lambasting Craig as a “terrible choice” and anointing their site “home of the ‘Casino Royale’ boycott.”

A perusal of the Web shows that since the release of “Casino Royale,” most of those sites are curiously “under construction.” (The exception is danielcraigisnotbond.com, which remains dedicated to the cause — recent headlines proclaimed “New Bond Is a Dud” and “Penguins Take Bond Over the Weekend.”)

The tabs, too, have changed their tune. While the New York Post was quick to nip Craig for his inability to drive a stick-shift during filming (“Nonstick 007”), the Post now is declaring: “Platinum Bond — Craig Smolders in Thrilling Reboot of 007 Franchise.”

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