Continuity And Change
8th December 2021
What is on and off the table for producers for the next era of James Bond?
By MI6 Staff
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have been doing the rounds recently, loosely to promote the upcoming Bluray & DVD release of 'No Time To Die', but also to put their thoughts on the record about the success of the film that suffered so many setbacks.
First up, Broccoli was interviewed for a rare profile piece by The Hollywood Reporter. In a wide-ranging article, Broccoli shoots down any talk of spin-offs (“Sure, there are other main characters like M and Q and all that. But we haven’t really wanted to make a Bond film without Bond. It would be like making Hamlet without Hamlet”), admits that the landscape of cinema may be changing ("We make theatrical films and go to great pains to make them as cinematic as possible. We have always worked with great directors and cinematographers and production designers who do their utmost to create a visual feast for people to enjoy. I think that’s what we intend to do, but things change, so who knows? Down the road, it may be different"), said she is not afraid to shake things up ("I think one of the successes of Bond is that it hasn’t been afraid to change with the times. We’ve just had to constantly reinvent him, and we’ve had the opportunity with each new actor to recalibrate the series"), and has not any dealings with Amazon yet ("We knew that the studio would eventually be sold. Our feeling is that we do what we do and we’ve been told that things are not going to change. I’ve never spoken to Jeff Bezos. We haven’t really had any discussions, and we probably won’t until next year when the sale is approved. But as far as we know, [Bond 26] will be an MGM film under an Amazon banner").
Michael G. Wilson concurred with the red line for spinoff content. In an interview with The Wrap, also this past week, he shot down any talk of that, even though he himself headed up the James Bond Jr cartoon spinoff in the early 1990s. “From our point of view, we try to focus on making good James Bond pictures and that takes a lot of time and thought — it takes a couple of years working on the script with a director,” he explained. “If we had to make a TV series on top of that and put that same amount of energy into 10 or 20 hours of content, that’s a big commitment. So, we’d have to delegate. And we’ve been very reluctant to delegate.” Broccoli backed him up: “We’re not a factory. Our movies are all hand-made. We’ve always been a family business and it will remain a family business, so long as we keep breathing.”
Looking ahead to a future without Daniel Craig seems tough for Broccoli, who bristles at the routine question about who will play James Bond next, but she does push back on the idea of fundamentally changing the character. “I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” she said. “I believe in making characters for women and not just having women play men’s roles. I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make movies for women about women. He should be British, so British can be any [ethnicity or race].”