According to the half-sibling production team currently at the helm of the James Bond franchise, the focus placed on the iconic British super spy’s more emotional and vulnerable sides in his last outing, No Time to Die, was less a one-off look into a seldom seen aspect of the character and more a preview of the franchise’s future to come.
Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who have served as the overseers of the cinematic incarnation of Ian Fleming’s fictional MI-6 agent ever since their shared father and co-founding franchise producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli passed in 1996, spoke to their vision for Bond’s future during a recent interview with Variety.
Asked by the entertainment trade news outlet if they had yet to make any progress on finding Daniel Craig’s successor for the franchise’s eponymous role, the pair began by briefly touching upon the potential casting of Idris Elba, noting that while they love the Hobbs & Shaw star as an actor, they understood that accepting the job was a daunting commitment for any actor.
“The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off,” said Broccoli.“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!” added Wilson.
The brother-sister duo then admitted that only does the process of rolling out of a new Bond require a phenomenal level of dedication from whichever actor is lucky enough to land the role, but that it’s also “a big investment for us, too” as “it’s not just about casting an actor for a film, it’s about a reinvention.”
“[We have to ask ourselves] ‘Where are we taking it?’” explained Broccoli. “What do we want to do with the character? And then, once we figure that out, who’s the right person for that particular reinvention?”
However, it seems this next incarnation of Bond will be far from a complete ‘reinvention’ of the character, as Variety writes that Broccoli confirmed to them that the “humanizing of the once-womanizing spy and the ensuring of more fulfilling, meatier roles for the female stars of the franchise” done during her and her brother’s handling of the franchise will “continue in the next films”.
“It’s an evolution,” asserted Broccoli, who in addition to serving as a James Bond producer is also the current director of the UK chapter of Time’s Up. “Bond is evolving just as men are evolving. I don’t know who’s evolving at a faster pace.”
“[Craig] cracked Bond open emotionally,” she said. “The films over his tenure were the first time we really connected the emotional arc.”