Casting A New James Bond Is Much Tougher Than You Might Guess, And Barbara Broccoli Opens Up About The Biggest Challenge

Daniel Craig as Bond in No Time To Die
(Image credit: Danjaq, LLC and MGM)

In the gap we currently occupy between eras of James Bond movies, the uncertainty of who will be the next 007 is going to hang in the air for some time. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said as much, as she’s mentioned that since Bond 26 won’t start production until 2024, so the casting of a new Commander Bond is still on hold. As it turns out, casting a new lead for this legendary franchise is a lot tougher than you might guess, and Broccoli has recently opened up about the biggest challenge. 

Just as the rumors have suggested, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are looking for a long haul actor to inhabit 007. However, the proposed reinvention of James Bond is also a concern that plays as a part of the equation. Speaking with Variety, Broccoli discussed the complications of casting the next Bond thusly:

That’s why, when people go, ‘Oh, who are you going to get?’ it’s not just about casting an actor for a film. It’s about a reinvention, and ‘Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character?’ And then, once we figure that out, who’s the right person for that particular reinvention? With [Craig], when we had the conversation at this very table about, you know, [whether he was] going to do it, he said, ‘Well, I’m going to do it. I really want to be a part of it, the whole thing.’ And he lived to regret that. But it’s a big commitment. It’s not just showing up for a couple of months of filming.

As tempting as it is to cast an actor like Idris Elba in a one-off James Bond adventure, that’s not the sort of commitment that EON Productions is looking for. While the producers have sung Elba’s praises, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson hope to land the next face of 007 for at least a decade, if not longer. That’s a commitment that most actors might not consider when talking about their ambitions to follow the Daniel Craig era of Bond.

Continuing to explain their thoughts on casting the future Commander Bond, Broccoli and Wilson nailed down some more key concepts in the lead up to the future of Ian Fleming’s literary dynamo. Here’s what they had to say to those actors who think being James Bond is a short term walk in the park:

"Barbara Broccoli: A lot of people think, ‘Oh yeah, it’d be fun to do [a Bond movie.]’ Well. That ain’t gonna work.

Michael G. Wilson: It’s a big investment for us, too, to bring out a new Bond."

We may not know how this promised reinvention of 007 will work out, nor what it means for the next story in this cinematic juggernaut. However, knowing that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are looking for a long-term occupant in the role of James Bond is crucial, as it will almost certainly rule out a lot of perennial favorites in the running. Unless, of course, actors like Henry Cavill or Regé-Jean Page don’t mind dropping some commitments in the name of this potentially fateful tuxedo fitting.

In the meantime, we'll just have to wait until we get closer to Bond 26's scheduled 2024 production start for more information. If you have an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you can revisit some of James Bond’s iconic adventures to pass the time, and yes that includes No Time To Die. Just be sure to check the library carefully, as some of the titles have already disappeared since their recent addition. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.