- No Time To Die will be the final movie featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond.
- Producer Barbara Broccoli says the next Bond could be "of any color," but is refusing to consider a female for the role.
- "I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it," she told Variety.
When No Time To Die hits theaters in April, it will be Daniel Craig's fifth—and final—time playing James Bond. In a new interview with Variety, the producers behind the long-running espionage franchise revealed that they're already on the prowl for his replacement, and are open to a wider range of candidates than some might expect. But they have one major caveat, and it goes against what former Bond Pierce Brosnan expressed a desire for not long ago: James Bond is male. Period.
In the Variety interview, producer Barbara Broccoli explained reasoning by advocating for original female characters rather than retreaded ground. “He can be of any color, but he is male,” she said in the interview. “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.”
It's quite welcomed to hear that the 007 team is open to considering casting options outside of the traditional mold—cough cough Idris Elba and Henry Golding, cough cough—but the rationale for refusing to consider a female to lead the franchise is a bit inconsistent. She's absolutely correct that we should be creating new characters for women, but that's easier said than done. The idea of vocally advocating that "we should be creating new characters for women" rings a bit hollow when it's being said simultaneously with a refusal to even consider casting a woman in a role that hasn't even been written yet.
Broccoli is in control of a timeless, legacy franchise, and holds an incredible amount of power in making the decisions; just saying that we should be creating new characters for women rings hollow when she's the one in position to potentially change the game. We've had 58 years of James Bond movies with the movies never continuing continuity after an actor change. So why cut off any possibility?
That said, the Bond franchise has already been ahead of much of the pack when it comes to including new voices and introducing new characters. While not James Bond himself, No Time To Die does include a female 00 agent, played in the film by Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch, a black woman. And the movie is co-written by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who already proved her mastery of the spy genre when she wrote the sublime first season of Killing Eve.
The story goes on to note the fact that Craig's casting—with his blonde hair and generally different look from other actors to play the part (the Variety story says Craig "wasn't conventionally handsome," which is not particularly accurate)—was a controversial choice at the time. But the undeniable success with which he's played the role, and the quality of the movies that he's starred in, have made the producers more willing to take risks when casting their next 007.
Obviously, the clock is ticking for No Time To Die to come out. And when it does, we'll surely all be talking about it for a few weeks. But after that, the discussion is going to be the same for a while: who will be that next Bond? And when the answer finally comes down, we'll see just how much of a risk the 007 team is willing to take.
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