Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are still in search of an actor to take over the role of James Bond. They say whoever it is will have to commit to the gig for 10 years.
This October will mark the 60th anniversary of England’s most iconic character. It will also be a whole year since the latest movie in the Bond series, “No Time to Die,” was released. “No Time to Die” was the 25th movie in the series and was the fifth and final movie of the latest Bond actor, Daniel Craig. Broccoli and Wilson are the children of Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, the co-founding producer behind Bond. The two have been in charge since the 1995 film “GoldenEye,” starring actor Pierce Brosnan for his first time as Bond.
The Road Ahead for Bond
The main objective for the producers is to define the next frontier for Bond movies, the next phase if you will. Before casting the next international spy, the two producers seem to be more concerned with the setting of the next set of movies. They are still deciding things like “What is the world afraid of?” and “Who’s the Bond villain?”
There was a time when the Cold War impacted the storyline of a film, with a rogue Russian as the antagonist. Then the Berlin wall came down and the franchise had to find new stories to tell, which does not seem to be much of a challenge. Wilson believes the unpredictability of global events makes the world “a rich environment for storytelling.”
The search for Craig’s successor is in its “early days,” according to Broccoli and Wilson. The one that is certain is that the next Bond will have to stay on for a decade at least. The producers also hinted that the odds of the replacement being a young actor may be small.
Most young actors will be excited to take on the role, but only for one movie. The producers feel they do not fully understand the responsibility that comes with being the face of the 60-year-old franchise. They see it as a big investment for them and for the actor, one that has to be done right. It is not about just casting a good actor, but taking the Bond franchise in the right direction. They want a “reinvention” that will keep Bond fresh and new each time they change the actor.
The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off. 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]. And he was in his early 30s at the time! A lot of people think, ‘Oh yeah, it’d be fun to do one.’ Well. That ain’t gonna work. It’s a big investment for us, too, to bring out a new Bond.
So Who Will It Be?
Idris Elba was a popular favorite for a long time but recently seemed to be disinterested in the role. He just could not see the character when he “looks in the mirror.” He did acknowledge that having a black man play Bond would help talks of diversity in casting moving forward. Elba’s decision has been taken well by the producers who commented “we love Idris” and “he’s great.” Other actors joining the list of Bond hopefuls are “Fifty Shades of Grey” actor Jamie Dornan and “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page.
Bond is not likely to be seen on the small screen as Wilson notes “we have resisted that.” However, Amazon is producing a tv show based on bond called “007’s Road to a Million.” The eight-part series will be a competition centered around a Bond-themed race around the world adventure. Contestants will travel to locations from past Bond movies and answer questions for a million-dollar prize. A documentary called “The Sound of 007” follows the history of the music from the film series. It will premiere exclusively on Amazon prime on October fifth.
Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Variety: James Bond Producers Search for a New 007 Who Will Commit for a Decade: ‘Bond Is Evolving as Men Are Evolving’; by Manori Ravindran
NPR: Fans have wanted Idris Elba to play James Bond for years, but it likely won’t happen; by Ayana Archie
The Hollywood Reporter: James Bond Producers Are Focused on Figuring Out a Villain Before Casting the Next 007; by Mia Galuppo
Variety: James Bond Competition Show Greenlit at Amazon’s Prime Video With Producers Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli (EXCLUSIVE); by Manori Ravindran