James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the long-time custodians of the iconic spy, have said the prospect of replacing Daniel Craig isn’t something they’re entertaining until 2022.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s popular Today program on Monday morning, the half-siblings and heads of Bond outfit Eon Productions were asked if they have decided who might replace Craig’s 007.
“Oh, God no,” said Broccoli. “We’re not thinking about it at all. We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we’ll start thinking about the future.”
As for whether Craig, who has played Bond for 15 years, might have a say about the next iteration of the British spy, Wilson said, “He’s been such a great Bond. Those are big shoes to fill. I can’t even [think if it’s] possible.”
Betting company William Hill’s top favorites to play Bond are currently Tom Hardy, Regé-Jean Page, James Norton, Luke Evans, Idris Elba and Henry Cavill.
“Gentleman Jack” and “Doctor Foster” star Suranne Jones and new 00 agent Lashana Lynch are also high up on the William Hill list, but Bond won’t be getting a gender twist anytime soon. Broccoli told the U.K.’s Press Association news agency that Bond would not be played by a woman.
“James Bond is a male character. I hope that there will be many, many films made with women, for women, by women, about women,” said Broccoli. “I don’t think we have to take a male character and have a woman portray him. So yes, I see him as male. And I’m sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever.”
In their Radio 4 interview, Wilson added that Craig has “changed” the series and would always be a “big part” of its history, and Broccoli was similarly complimentary of Craig, calling him a “tremendous actor.”
“We’re very, very lucky to get him to play this role,” she said. “We could see he was reluctant to do it, because he knew it would change his life, which it obviously has. It’s changed his life, but it hasn’t changed him. What he’s enabled us to do with the franchise is really explore the emotional life of Bond and go into the person and complexity and conflicts that happen within the Bond character.”
Discussing Amazon’s takeover of MGM, the parent company of Eon, and how it might impact Bond, Broccoli and Wilson didn’t reveal any doubts about the franchise, but details are still sparse.
“We’ll keep going,” said Broccoli. “Next year it’ll be the 60th anniversary of the Bond films, so we’re looking forward to the new chapter, whatever it brings. We’re not quite sure at the moment. Right now, we just want to celebrate ‘No Time to Die’ and Daniel’s extraordinary achievement.”
Earlier this year, Eon told Variety that it’s “committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience” despite Amazon’s $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM.
Wilson described “No Time to Die,” which has its world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday (Sept. 28) as a “great film, plenty of action, plenty of stunts, exotic locations and a very emotional, underlying love story.”