James Bond Bosses On Why Potential Actors Might Be Scared Off By The Role
"It's a big commitment. It's not just showing up for a couple of months of filming."
James Bond movie series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have provided an update on the search for the next actor to play the iconic British superspy.
Speaking to Variety, the pair said it's still "early days" in the search for the next James Bond actor. Whoever gets the role will need to sign on for numerous films over a decade, Broccoli said.
"The thing is, it's going to be a couple of years off," she 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 everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting [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 come back for No Time To Die, as he made headlines saying he would rather "slash my wrists" than come back, but he later explained what he really meant to say.
One name that has popped up for the role of James Bond is British actor Idris Elba. Broccoli and Wilson said they have not spoken to Elba, but Wilson said Elba is "great" and Broccoli praised him, too. "We love Idris," she said.
Also in the interview, Broccoli said the next James Bond movie will be a "reinvention" of the character, and it could take some time to find the right person. "It's about a reinvention, and, 'Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character?'" she said. "And then, once we figure that out, who's the right person for that particular reinvention?"
"It's a big commitment. It's not just showing up for a couple of months of filming," she said.
As for the evolution of James Bond the character, recent films starring Daniel Craig have showed more of Bond's emotions, and there will be more changes coming in the next films. Broccoli said the fictional character, known for his womanizing in earlier entries, is "evolving just as men are evolving."
Before this, Broccoli said the next person to play James Bond will likely 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 having women play men's roles. I don't think there are enough great roles for women, and it's very important to me that we make movies for women about women. He 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 is not on board with the idea of a woman playing James Bond, but commented that women and people of color should get other roles of a similar stature.
"The answer to that is very simple," he told Radio Times. "There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?"
In addition to a new actor coming aboard to play James Bond in the inevitable next 007 movie, the expected 26th Bond movie will be made by Amazon, which recently acquired MGM. Broccoli said she's been told "things are not going to change" and that the next Bond movie will be an MGM film produced under the banner of Amazon. People are naturally wondering if Amazon might look to put the next Bond film on Amazon Prime Video, but whether or not that happens remains to be seen.
Outside of the films, 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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