James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson on the search for the new 007

Who, exactly, will the next James Bond actor turn out to be? That's the tricky question facing franchise producers and figureheads Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

The long-time Bond creatives are being forced to confront Daniel Craig's absence, after he stepped down from the role of 007 following 2021's No Time To Die

Raving tabloid headlines would have fans believe that Idris Elba is in contention for the role. However, versatile as he is, Elba is very likely too old for a role that will demand many years of servitude from the actor in question.

Broccoli told Variety: “With [Craig], when we had the conversation at this very table about, you know, [whether he was] going to do it, he said, ‘Well, I’m going to do it. I really want to be a part of it, the whole thing.’ And he lived to regret that. But it’s a big commitment. It’s not just showing up for a couple of months of filming." She adds that the role is a "10 to 12-year commitment."

Broccoli and Wilson confessed to never having spoken to Elba, although they added, "We love Idris." The actor himself has said that he doesn't see Bond "when he looks in the mirror."

Craig was critically lauded for his gritty reinvention of a role that had fallen into self-parody. Released in 2006, Craig's debut feature Casino Royale consistently tops the polls of the greatest Bond movies.

Broccoli says that the reinvention principle is key to the ongoing success of the franchise. And certainly, Craig has thrown down a formidable gauntlet.

“When people go, ‘Oh, who are you going to get?’ it’s not just about casting an actor for a film,” Broccoli explains. “It’s about a reinvention, and ‘Where are we taking it? 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?”

From the suave nature of Sean Connery to the one-time-only vulnerability of George Lazenby, the droll humour of Roger Moore to the intensity of Timothy Dalton and the slickness of Pierce Brosnan – there's no denying that Bond's success lies in his mutability.

Broccoli says that Bond is in a perpetual state of "evolution", but despite the presence of a new actor, she and Wilson will vow "to keep [the franchise] theatrical."

Has this whetted your appetite for more Bond? Don't forget as part of 007's 60th-anniversary celebrations, Spectre is showing at Cineworld on September 26. This will be followed by No Time To Die on October 3. You can also check out our list of James Bond movies in order.

Who do you think will be the next 007? Tweet us @Cineworld with your suggestions.