James Bond movie series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have given an update on the search for the next actor to play the iconic British superspy.
Speaking to Variety, the pair said it was still “early days” in the search for the next James Bond actor. Whoever gets the role will have to sign on to numerous films over the course of a decade, Broccoli said.
“The thing is, it’s going to be off for a few years,” he said. “And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10-, 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing?’ Not everyone wanted to do it. 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 a lock to return for No Time to Die, as he headlined that he’d rather “slash my wrists” than return, but he later explained what he really meant.
One name that has come up for the role of James Bond is British actor Idris Elba. Broccoli and Wilson say they haven’t spoken to Elba, but Wilson says Elba is “great” and Broccoli praises him. He said, we love Idris.
Also in the interview, Broccoli said that the next James Bond movie would be a “reinvention” of the character and that it might take some time to find the right person. “It’s about reinvention, and, ‘Where are we taking this? What do we want to do with the character?'” he said. “And then, once we figure that out, who is the right person for that particular revision?”
“It’s a big commitment. It’s not just showing up for a few months of filming,” he said.
As for the evolution of the James Bond character, the recent films starring Daniel Craig show more of Bond’s emotions and further changes will follow in later films. Broccoli said the fictional character, known for her femininity in her previous entries, “is evolving as a man.”
Earlier, Broccoli said that the next person to play James Bond would most likely be a British person of any race or colour.
“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” he said The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe in creating characters for women and 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 about women. She should be British, so any British may be [ethnicity or race]”
This lines up closely with what Craig himself has said about the future of the series. Craig said in an interview that he wasn’t on board with the idea of a woman playing James Bond, but commented that women and people of color should get other similar roles.
“The answer is very simple,” he said Radio Times. “There should just be better parts for women and actors of color. Why would a woman play James Bond when there should be better parts for James Bond, but for a woman?”
Alongside a new actor to play James Bond in the inevitable next 007 movie, the anticipated 26th Bond movie will be produced by Amazon, which was recently acquired by MGM. Broccoli said he’s been told “things won’t change” and that the next Bond film will be an MGM film produced under the Amazon banner. People are naturally wondering if Amazon might put the next Bond film on Amazon Prime Video, but whether that happens remains to be seen.
Outside of the movies, Hitman developer IO Interactive is developing a new James Bond game that tells an origin story for the British spy. Additionally, the iconic James Bond game GoldenEye is coming to Switch and Xbox.
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