With No Time to Die serving as Daniel Craig’s swan song, the debate over who should be the next 007 has grown intense. Multiple names have been thrown out there from a Bridgerton alum to Snake Eyes actor Henry Golding. But the search has become less about finding Craig’s replacement and more about the legacy of James Bond. That legacy has been built over decades with many actors taking up the mantle. Of course, being 007 has been about more than looking suave and gaining new conquests. There’s a certain about of physicality that comes with playing the world’s top spy. That’s why James Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams chose to break down the rigorous process Craig’s 007 replacement will experience.
Most fans have watched the Bond films envying James Bond’s gadgets and amazing stunts. But Daniel Craig brought a darker and more action-oriented take on 007. That will affect the search for the new Bond, according to Debbie McWilliams. When speaking on the audition process that Craig and others went through, McWilliams told Entertainment Weekly:
Yes. It’s a pretty rigorous process, I have to say, it goes on for quite a considerable time. Lots of people are considered and then rejected for one reason or another. Then it comes down to two or three choices and those people usually have to do a screen test, they have to do a stunt assessment, and they have to have meet everybody. It’s a committee decision between the producers, the studio, and the director, but it’s usually very much down to the Broccoli family. They’re pretty much in control. But I don’t think they’ve ever cast someone who the studio absolutely didn’t want them to cast. It’s not something that happens overnight, shall we say.
Knowing the full audition process may lead you to appreciate Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan and previous 007’s even more. So the actors suggested as Craig’s replacement may be in for a hell of a process. Auditioning for the director and producers is one thing, but getting the Broccoli family’s approval sounds nerve-wracking. As Debbie McWilliams pointed out, picking James Bond doesn’t just happen overnight. But facing the committee and different tests is just part of the 007 equation.
But as excepted with choosing a new 007, Debbie McWilliams opens up about there being more to James Bond than taking down the bad guys. The casting director calls filling the iconic role “a tall order.” McWilliams said Eon Productions will be looking for someone who “can hold their own” while being attractive and handling all the extras associated with the legendary mantle. So, mastering the James Bond persona will be just as important as the intense audition for any actor.
Having this knowledge from the legendary casting director may be helpful for all the names in the mix to replace Daniel Craig. It seems like every day a new actor is being thrown into the search. Of course, fans can put those thoughts on the backburner for now. Their focus should be on seeing Craig play 007 one last time when No Time to Die arrives in theaters on Oct. 8.