007 and counting. As we eagerly await the 25th entry in the iconic franchise, No Time To Die, the James Bond producers have given some thoughts on the Daniel Craig five-film 007 era.

The leading U.S. showbiz entertainment journal Variety recently published a rare in-depth interview with the EON producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, conducted by Brent Lang in a Brooklyn studio in America last December.

The interview also combined some coverage of the EON pair’s ‘iron grip’ on the Bond franchise, noting how they manage the family firm and how EON Productions splits the profits generated by the hugely successful movies with MGM/UA, the studio that finances and distributes all the 007 films.

The sense of duty both to their late father Cubby and to the character of James Bond that he so lovingly cultivated and shaped on our cinema screens was very apparent: ‘For better or worse, we are the custodians of this character’, said Barbara Broccoli. ‘We take that responsibility seriously’.

As Variety observed, it is an arrangement Barbara and Michael took on from Cubby in 1995 with Goldeneye, shortly before he passed away in 1996, and they have continued to carefully nurture the franchise over the years. Now, with Daniel Craig confirming that he has decided to step aside from his tenure as 007, the franchise appears to be facing another watershed moment in its history. Barbara Broccoli told Variety: ‘I’m in total denial. I’ve accepted what Daniel has said, but I’m still in denial. It’s too traumatic for me’.

According to Variety, although both Barbara and Michael were very careful not to reveal any plot details for No Time To Die, the EON producers promised the journal that the new film will tie up loose narrative threads left over from the previous Craig Bond films: ‘We have come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion’, said Broccoli.

Indeed, looking back on Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, Broccoli said: ‘He brought flesh and blood to the character. Bond in the novels is a silhouette. Daniel has given him depth and an inner life. We were looking for a 21st-century hero, and that’s what he delivered. He bleeds; he cries; he’s very contemporary’.

After a premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in central London in late March, the new James Bond film hits our screens in April. Watch this space for more news as it develops. You know the name, and you know the number.