Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” is finally due to have its world premiere in the U.K. later this week, but Craig’s replacement won’t be announced anytime soon. Producer Barbara Broccoli, who steers the 007 franchise alongside producer Michael G. Wilson, told BBC Radio 4 (via Daily Mail) that the search for the next James Bond won’t begin until 2022.
“Oh, God no,” Broccoli said on the program when asked if they’ve already decided who’s playing Bond after Craig. “We’re not thinking about it at all. We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we’ll start thinking about the future.”
Broccoli added that it’s hard for her to say goodbye to Craig, who has filled the franchise’s leading role for the last 15 years. “I’m sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever,” she added. “So I’m not thinking about [his replacement]. That’s something Michael and I will discuss next year.”
Betting sites have pegged everyone from Tom Hardy to Henry Cavill to “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page as the likeliest candidates to take over after Craig, but one type we can definitely rule out is a female James Bond.
Echoing comments she’s made before, Broccoli said during the same interview that Bond will remain a male hero. “I don’t think we have to take a male character and have a woman portray him,” Broccoli said. “So yes, I see him as male.”
Craig revitalized the Bond franchise with his first outing “Casino Royale,” as the Martin Campbell-directed 2006 film introduced a vulnerable and more emotionally complex iteration of the suave spy. That film stands as one of the best Bond movies ever made in the eyes of franchise diehards, and Craig’s 2012 film “Skyfall” was similarly acclaimed while also soaring to new box office heights to the tune of $1.1 billion.
“No Time to Die” was crafted as Craig’s final Bond film, with Cary Joji Fukunaga at the helm and earning a co-writer credit on the screenplay alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge and franchise stalwarts Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The film had its offscreen challenges, as Danny Boyle was originally attached to direct based on an original idea, but that iteration of the project was scrapped in preproduction and filming was pushed back while producers searched for a new director and screenplay direction.
After originally being scheduled for release in April 2020, “No Time to Die” suffered numerous delays owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. At long last, the world premiere is set for this week with a domestic release scheduled for October 8 as audiences get one last look at Craig’s Bond before he holsters the PPK for good.