James Bond Producer 'Not Particularly Interested' in Female 007
By Paige Gawley
Sean Gallup/Getty Images for Sony Pictures
A female 007 is not likely to happen anytime soon.
In an interview with Variety, Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother, Michael G. Wilson, the producers who consider themselves "the custodians" of the James Bond character, discuss what kind of person they're looking for to take over the leading role.
Their thoughts come out of necessity, as Daniel Craig has said he'll step away from the franchise once his fifth and final Bond film, No Time to Die, premieres in April.
"This is going to be my last Bond, I think," he told ET last spring. "I think I've done enough, people are going to get sick of the sight of me. Someone else should have a go."
"I’m in total denial. I’ve accepted what Daniel has said, but I’m still in denial. It’s too traumatic for me," Broccoli tells Variety of Craig's exit. "He brought flesh and blood to the character. Bond in the novel 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," she adds. "He bleeds; he cries; he’s very contemporary."
Nevertheless, Craig's departure is something that's happening and Broccoli has one very specific requirement for casting.
"He can be of any color, but he is male," Broccoli says of Bond. "I believe we should be creating new characters for women -- strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
Meanwhile, keeping Bond's British roots is important to Wilson, who notes, "You think of him as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place."
Aside from calls for diverse casting in the next Bond iteration -- Idris Elba has been floated as a potential 007 -- the producers know that they have to help guide the sometimes sexist spy into the #MeToo era as well.
"Bond’s been evolving along with all the other men in the world," Broccoli acknowledges. "Some have just gotten there more quickly than others."
As for plot points surrounding No Time to Die, the siblings are tight-lipped, with Broccoli only offering, "We have come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion."