Any hopes of having a female 007 have been dashed by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
In a rare in-depth interview with Variety, Broccoli and half-brother Wilson, explain the end of the Daniel Craig era and the search for the next actor to step into the superspy’s shoes. While fans have been clamouring to shake up the long-running franchise with a female Bond, the producers say it’s not going to happen.
“He can be of any colour, but he is male,” Broccoli says. “I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”
After Craig said he’d rather “slash my wrists” than return to the franchise after 2015’s “Spectre”, Broccoli convinced the star, 51, to return for one last outing with “No Time To Die”.
“I had a nice long break, which I really needed. And then she was just persistent and came to me with some ideas, which we started formulating, and I got excited again,” Craig tells Variety.
Now Craig and Broccoli are both prepared to move on, even if it hasn’t been easy.
“I’m in total denial,” says Broccoli. “I’ve accepted what Daniel has said, but I’m still in denial. It’s too traumatic for me.”
Just about every actor from the U.K., from Idria Elba and James Norton to Henry Golding and Richard Madden, has had his name linked to the iconic role.
“You think of him as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place,” Broccoli says of the wide casting net.
While Craig seems like a no-brainer casting choice now, his selection shook up the idea of Bond as portrayed by dark-haired and more conventionally handsome actors Sean Connery, Roger Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. The casting even shocked Craig.
“I thought I was just on a conveyor belt of actors who go through their door,” Craig muses. “I assumed they were just casting their net very wide. I thought I’d go and meet them and then have a story to tell friends about that time I was considered for Bond. When they suggested they were serious about me doing it, I was completely flattered but perplexed.”
“He brought flesh and blood to the character,” Broccoli says of Craig. “Bond in the novel is a silhouette. Daniel has given him depth and an inner life. We were looking for a 21st-century hero, and that’s what he delivered. He bleeds; he cries; he’s very contemporary.”
Broccoli and Wilson are tight-lipped when it comes to how Craig’s 007 saga concludes, but they do promise loose ends will be tied up in “No Time To Die”.
“We have come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion,” she adds.