James Bond producers want the new 007 on board for at least a decade.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson explained what kind of commitment they want from the next James Bond.
“We’re not just casting someone for one film,” said Broccoli. “We’re casting someone, hopefully for a decade, at least. It’s a big decision to make, and we’re nowhere near making that decision.”
That’s right – the new 007 hasn’t been chosen. At least, not yet.
“When we get to a point, like we are now, we have to think about the trajectory of the Bond films and the storylines and where we want to take them,” she added. “So, that’s really the main focus at the beginning. Once we have a sense of where we want to go, then we’ll start thinking about casting.”
Ever since Daniel Craig stepped down as 007 following No Time to Die, fans have been busy speculating who will take up the mantle next. We’ve seen the likes of Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, and even Tom Hiddleston.
But Broccoli went on to explain why taking the role is a huge decision.
“Any actor that would be thinking about this has got to think about how it would change their life,” she explained. “Daniel certainly was reluctant when we first approached him and as I say about him, his life changed, but he did not change. He’s always been the same amazingly wonderful human being at the beginning as he is now.”
Craig first suited up for the 2006 Bond film, Casino Royale, and spent the next 16 years as the infamous British secret agent.
“You become an ambassador for the cinema and people recognize you as being associated with the character,” added Broccoli. “It’s got a lot of different elements to it. But the time commitment is certainly a long-term commitment, and not everyone is willing to do that — multiple pictures over many years. Daniel’s done 16 years time.”
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Who will end up taking on the role remains to be seen. But it sounds as though the next Bond film will start by working out its villain.
“We always sit down with our writers, and we start by thinking about what is the world afraid of?” Broccoli said. “We start by thinking about, ‘Who’s the Bond villain?’ We try to focus on that as the sort of uber story, and then we also want to look at Bond’s emotional life, and what he’ll be facing personally that he hasn’t had to deal with before. So, he has two big issues in the films — one is the geopolitical one and the other is the personal one.”
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Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.