Daniel Craig said goodbye to playing James Bond after “No Time to Die,” which was released in 2021. But the producers aren’t even close to making their pick for his replacement because of one big reason — the role is a decadelong commitment.
“The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off,” producers Barbara Broccoli said in an interview with Variety. “And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10-, 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing? Not everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting (Daniel Craig to do it).” Even Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, had a replacement lined up the same day. Presidents and Supreme Court justices are replaced faster than the pace Broccoli is staying on. So, why is there a delay to bring on the next James Bond?
Yes, it’s understandable that many actors don’t want to stay committed to a role for that long. It may be why Idris Elba, a 007 contender, told The Wall Street Journal: “When I look in the mirror, I don’t see James Bond.” What if the bar wasn’t that high, though? What if the franchise changed it up and let actors play Bond once? It could be a phase instead of a lifestyle. In the past, all the actors have starred in multiple movies for the role, at least under producers Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. It began with Pierce Brosnan, who starred in “GoldenEye” (1995), “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) and “Die Another Day” (2002).
Then Craig was hired for “Casino Royale” (2006) and worked on another four films. The last installment featuring him was “No Time to Die” (2021), totaling 15 years in the role. The Ringer noted that the 21st century may be the perfect time reduce the contract to one movie, which will open doors to great actors. “(The producers) reaffirmed their allegiance to theatrical releases, but who knows what the box office will look like in 10–12 years? Maybe it’s best not to sign any long-term deals,” reported Ben Lindbergh. “This is also an era of extremely old acting stars, which means many of the headliners who might move the needle as Bond have the same strike against them that Grant did 60 years ago: They won’t want to play the part for a decade.”
Another reason why actors might steer away from this role is because of the fear of being typecasted and cornered into solely existing as 007.
Elba talked about this in 2019: “Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it. You’re that character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”