Last year, we were privileged to interview longtime James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli for the release of No Time To Die. Broccoli is now established as one of the gatekeepers of the franchise, along with Michael G. Wilson, ever since her father, the legendary Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli, passed away in 1995.
The latter helped initiate the Bond franchise with 1962's Doctor No, working with fellow producer Harry Saltzmann. Now, his daughter Barbara is carrying on the mantle, having overseen the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig eras. So, after the highly emotional and shocking conclusion of Craig's tenure in No Time To Die, where does the series go from here?
The key to the success of the James Bond franchise has been its mutability and malleability. Following the glossy and CG-heavy Brosnan years, things came down to Earth with a bump with the retooled, gritty Daniel Craig vehicle Casino Royale, released in 2006. And Broccoli says she and her team are hard at work to reinvent 007 for the seventh time (the other actors having encompassed Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton).
"Nobody’s in the running," Broccoli told Deadline of the saga to find a new 007 actor. "We’re working out where to go with him, we’re talking that through. There isn’t a script and we can’t come up with one until we decide how we’re going to approach the next film because, really, it’s a reinvention of Bond."
Craig himself has explicitly stated that 007 should not be played by a woman, despite initial speculation that No Time To Die's Lashana Lynch would take over the role. (At least, until that mid-film switcheroo blew the idea out of the water.) Speculation has been raging for years as to who would replace the acclaimed Craig with many pundits backing the likes of Idris Elba and Tom Hardy.
Regardless, we've got a while to wait yet with Broccoli adding: "We’re reinventing who he is and that takes time. I’d say that filming is at least two years away."
James Bond will return... just not right now. If you need to scratch that Bond movie itch, don't forget about the James Bond 60th anniversary screenings at Cineworld. All the movies are screening in order of release up until October, so dust off that dinner jacket and get your Vodka Martini ready.
The next movie screening in Cineworld is For Your Eyes Only on 4 July.