The producers of the James Bond film series, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, have provided an update on the search for the next actor to play the iconic British super-spy.
Speaking to Variety, the couple said it’s still “beginning” in the search for the next James Bond actor. Whoever gets the role will have to sign numerous movies over a decade, Broccoli said.
“The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years out,” he said. “And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10- or 12-year commitment. So you’re 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 movies, ending with 2021’s No Time To Die. It wasn’t always a lock to return for No Time To Die, as he made headlines saying he’d rather “cut my wrists” than return, but then he 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 said they haven’t talked to Elba, but Wilson said Elba is “great” and Broccoli praised him as well. “We love Idris,” he said.
Also in the interview, Broccoli said that the next James Bond movie will be a “reimagining” of the character, and that it could take some time to find the right person. “It’s about reinvention and, ‘Where do we take it? What do we want to do with the character?'” he said. “And then once we figure that out, who’s the right person for that particular reinvention?”
“It’s a huge commitment. It’s not just showing up for a couple of months of filming,” he said.
As for the evolution of the James Bond character, recent movies starring Daniel Craig have shown more of Bond’s emotions, and there will be more changes in the upcoming movies. Broccoli said the fictional character, known for being a ladies’ man in previous entries, is “evolving just as men evolve.”
Before this, Broccoli said that the next person to play James Bond is likely to be a British man of any ethnicity or race.
“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe in making characters for women and not just making women play men. I don’t think there are enough good roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make women’s films about women. It should be British, so British.” can be any [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 doesn’t agree with the idea of a woman playing James Bond, but he said that women and people of color should get other roles of similar stature.
“The answer to that is very simple,” he told the Radio Times. “There simply should be better roles for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a role as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
As well as the addition of a new actor to play James Bond in the inevitable next 007 movie, the long-awaited 26th Bond movie will be made by Amazon, which recently acquired MGM. Broccoli said he 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 Amazon might look into putting the next Bond movie on Amazon Prime Video, but whether or not that will happen 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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