Producers of the James Bond film series Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have released the latest information on the search for the next actor to play the legendary British superspy.
Speaking to Variety, the pair said it was still “early days” in the hunt for the next James Bond actor. Whoever gets the part will have to sign up for a number of movies over the course of a decade, Broccoli said.
“The thing is, it’s going to be a few years off,” she said. “And when we play Bond, it’s a 10, 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing?’ Not everyone wants to do that. It was hard enough to get [Daniel Craig to do it].”
Craig played James Bond in five films, ending with 2021’s No Time To Die. He wasn’t always ready to return for No Time To Die, making headlines saying he’d rather “slash my wrists” than return , but later explained what he really meant.
One name that has been floated for the role of James Bond is British actor Idris Elba. Broccoli and Wilson said they haven’t spoken to Elba, but Wilson said Elba is “great,” and Broccoli praised him as well. “We love Idris,” she said.
Also in the interview, Broccoli said that the next James Bond film will be a “reinvention” of the character and that it may take some time to find the right person. “It’s about reinvention, and, ‘Where are we going? What do we want to do with the character?'” she said. “And then, once we figure that out, who is the right person for that particular reinvention?”
“It’s a big commitment. It’s not just showing up for a few months of filming,” she said.
As for the evolution of the James Bond character, the recent films starring Daniel Craig have shown more of Bond’s emotions, and there will be more changes in the upcoming films. Broccoli said the fictional character, known for his femininity in earlier entries, “evolves just like men do.”
Before that, Broccoli said the next person to play James Bond was likely to be British of any nationality or race.
“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” she said The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe in creating characters for women, not just women playing male roles. I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make films for women about women. He should be British, so British people can be any [ethnicity or race].”
This closely matches what Craig himself has said about the future of the series. Craig said in an interview that he did not agree with the idea of a woman playing James Bond, but commented that women and people of color should be given other roles of similar stature.
“The answer to that is very simple,” he said Radio Times. “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why would a woman play James Bond when there should be a role just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
In addition to a new actor to play James Bond in the inevitable next 007 film, the anticipated 26th Bond film will be made by Amazon, which recently bought MGM. Broccoli said she was told “things aren’t going to change” and that the next Bond film will be an MGM film produced under the Amazon banner. People are naturally wondering if maybe Amazon should put the next Bond movie on Amazon Prime Video, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.
In addition to the movies, Hitman developer IO Interactive is developing a new James Bond game that tells the British spy’s origin story. In addition, the legendary James Bond game GoldenEye is coming to Switch and Xbox.
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