It looks like rumors that the torch will be passed to a new 007 in "No Time To Die" aren’t true as the franchise’s producer revealed that a search won’t begin for a new actor to play James Bond until 2022.
After many delays posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the world-famous spy character will finally debut on Oct. 8. Many speculated that the film would see Craig’s version of the character pass on the 007 moniker to a new character, possibly a woman, before the credits roll.
However, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s "Today," Bond producer Barbara Broccoli revealed that "No Time To Die" will focus less on the future and more on bidding a fond farewell to the man who has brought Bond to life since 2006.
"We’re not thinking about it at all," she said (via The Hollywood Reporter). "We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we’ll start thinking about the future."
It was roughly 15 years ago when Craig took on the role of James Bond from Piers Brosnan with his first outing as the character in "Casino Royale." He went on to play Bond in "Quantum of Solace," "Skyfall," "Spectre" and will finally take his bow in "No Time To Die." If his run is any sort of example, the determination of a new James Bond is an important one both artistically and financially. Across the past four movies, Craig’s version of the character has grossed an estimated $840 million in the U.S. alone, according to Box Office Mojo. Worldwide, the gross income for the movies is in the billions.
Broccoli notes that the decision is also a personal one for the actor. She explained how Craig was reluctant to be the new James Bond when he was initially asked for fear it would change his life too immeasurably.
"We could see he was reluctant to do it, because he knew it would change his life, which it obviously has. It’s changed his life, but it hasn’t changed him," she said. "What he’s enabled us to do with the franchise is really explore the emotional life of Bond and go into the person and complexity and conflicts that happen within the Bond character."
Now, however, Craig told the hosts of "The Graham Norton Show" earlier this week that he had trouble saying goodbye to the franchise. He even went as far as to joke that he’ll be "incredibly bitter" when a new Bond is selected.
Current front runners for the new James Bond, according to The Hollywood Reporter, include Tom Hardy, Rege-Jean Page, James Norton, Luke Evans, Idris Elba and Henry Cavill. Rumors have also circulated that "No Time To Die" will end with actress Lashana Lynch being dubbed the next 007. She has been confirmed to play an MI6 agent named Nomi who will work alongside Bond in the latest film and has played coy about where the next Bond adventure will take her.
However, given Broccoli’s comments, that seems unlikely.