AotG TKF License to do what again?

007 will return.

And Daniel Craig will apparently continue to play him. A surprising turn of events considering the actor famously said he'd rather slash his own wrists than don 007's tuxedo again. And judging from his performance in 2015's "Spectre," I believed him.

Each actor to portray James Bond has brought their own twist on the character. Craig's defining trait has been that his Bond wants to be anywhere else than where he is at any given moment, which I can't help but assume isn't entirely a performance on Craig's part.

Not that I haven't enjoyed the Daniel Craig movies, but his last movie, "Spectre," was as perfect a jumping off point as we're likely to get and I legitimately hoped he would take it.

The Daniel Craig era of the James Bond franchise has been a rough road. Facing obsolescence under the shadow of the Jason Bourne trilogy, MGM did a hard reboot of the franchise, grounding their freshly minted Bond in a world without pen grenades and super villains out to rule the world with space lasers.

The fresh new perspective won audiences over for exactly one movie before MGM dropped the ball on the mostly forgettable "Quantum of Solace."

Seemingly suffering from a bit of identity crisis, the next two movies, "Skyfall" and "Spectre," reversed course on the idea of re-defining Bond. Over the course of "Skyfall" you can practically see the transformation take place as the movie brings the franchise back to the familiar ground of the globe-trotting secret agent. By the end of the movie the status quo has been restored so hard that you could go from "Skyfall" to "Dr. No" without missing a beat.

I've enjoyed all of these films, but with a lot of reservations. Between the indecisiveness about what kind of spy movie they want to be and Craig's obvious disdain for the character it's hard to get excited for another entry. I don't know what MGM has planned for the 25th Bond movie, but they've got an uphill battle to climb.

Especially considering the competition they face.

I love 007, but there's no getting around the fact that he's not at the top of the spy game anymore. The best James Bond movies since the turn of the century haven't even been James Bond movies. Numerous challengers have appeared in recent years, doing all the things James Bond is known for, but better.

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a bit more juvenile than traditional Bond fare, but it fully embraces the outlandish gadgets and gimmicks that defined the Roger Moore era.

For those clamoring that the next James Bond should be recast as a woman, perhaps they should instead look towards the recently released "Atomic Blonde," which might just be my favorite movie of the year so far. Charlize Theron's spy thriller features the gritty realism that MGM has been chasing since the Daniel Craig reboot without sacrificing the spectacle of espionage adventures.

In fact, James Bond isn't even the most interesting spy created by Ian Fleming in movies today. That honor goes to Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo from 2015's under-appreciated "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

I'm certainly not complaining about a resurgence of great spy movies, but it is a little sad that James Bond ranks fourth on my list of most anticipated spy franchises these days.

Sure, the 007 franchise has a history of ups and downs and always comes back eventually, but for now it's hard to see what James Bond brings to the table in the current landscape. Re-defining Bond resulted in only temporary success and re-inventing him has so far received a middling response at best. In a world where Gary "Eggsy" Unwin is the funniest spy, Lorraine Broughton is the deadliest spy, and Napoleon Solo is the most charming spy, what is left for James Bond to do?

Fischer, Travis Fischer is a news writer for Mid-America Publishing and has no preference regarding how his martinis are mixed.