In an exclusive interview given to the UK’s newspaper The Times, the James Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, have re-confirmed that no key decisions have been made yet about Bond’s future direction. The search for Daniel Craig’s successor has yet to begin.
They also vowed to keep James Bond a hero for the Big Screen, something they have emphasised in previous comments to the media. The franchise will remain a predominantly cinematic experience first of all, and the producers firmly rejected the idea that their future 007 films would debut on home viewing platforms. Broccoli commented: ‘Platforms are fine for lots of movies, but I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no going to the cinema. That would be a tragedy’.
Speaking to The Times to mark 60 years since Bond’s debut in EON’s Dr. No, Wilson and Broccoli also squashed the idea that the 007 franchise could become an ‘extended universe’ in the same way that the Star Wars or the Marvel superhero movie franchises have become. The interview, which was published in the hard-copy version of the newspaper on March 3rd, saw Broccoli respond to such suggestions about spinoffs by saying: ‘It doesn’t make sense to us. To do a Bond film without Bond? It’s like doing Hamlet without Hamlet. It feels like Bond is the centre of our universe and we want to focus on that’.
The producers, who have been working on a new documentary about the 007 soundtracks, were clearly pleased that No Time To Die has received five prestigious BAFTA nominations, but also expressed some frustration that Daniel Craig was omitted from the acting category. Wilson observed: ‘You’re always happy to get nominated. But Daniel not getting any nods is really amazing to me’. This disappointment was echoed by Broccoli, but she also pointed out that Craig was also a producer on the latest Bond movie: ‘So it takes the sting out a little for me. He wasn’t nominated as an actor, but the film was, and so he is, because he’s in every cell of this film’.
Responding to all the inevitable speculation about what will happen to the series given Craig’s departure, Broccoli emphased that a decision about a new actor will only be taken after they decide what direction they want to take the franchise in the next decade. Broccoli said: ‘We have to decide what the films are going to be like. Are they going to be more humorous or less humorous, more gritty or not gritty? And then, when we’ve done that, we have to figure out the actor to play it. So, no, it’s not just, “Oh, who looks good in a suit?” We have to figure this out on our own’. Her 007 co-producer, Wilson, echoed this, adding: ‘And we don’t need any more suggestions’.
When the newspaper asked them whether there is any latest secret ‘scoop’ they could give on the Bond casting situation, Broccoli pointed out: ‘The franchise machine doesn’t really start up again until it’s us and writers in a room, getting into that whole thing. But right now we really want to celebrate Daniel and the 60th anniversary. And when that’s done we’ll roll up our sleeves and figure out what we’re doing. So, sorry, there is no latest’.
As many Bond fans will already know, Craig’s departure from James Bond is a not a complete goodbye to EON. Their bond with Daniel will remain strong. The EON producers are behind a forthcoming Broadway adaptation of Macbeth, which will feature Craig in the title role, opposite Ruth Negga as Lady Macbeth.