Producer Michael G. Wilson explains the decision to cast Daniel Craig as the sixth James Bond, whilst Pierce Brosnan goes on the offensive...

James Bond #6 Casting Explained
16th October 2005

Following Friday's press conference in London, Producer Michael G. Wilson spoke to the New York Times to explain the situation surrounding the casting of Daniel Craig as the sixth James Bond 007.

The search for Pierce Brosnan's successor took in over 200 actors from three continents.

"I was desperately afraid, and Barbara was desperately afraid, we would go downhill," said Michael G. Wilson. The NY Times reported that he even told that to Pierce Brosnan.

"We are running out of energy, mental energy," Mr. Wilson recalled saying. "We need to generate something new, for ourselves."

According to several executives involved in the project, Ms. Broccoli had already settled on Mr. Craig by April.

But by the summer, Amy Pascal (Sony motion picture group's chief executive) wanted to begin a more exhaustive search that would include other, younger actors. Eventually, some 200 actors from throughout the British Commonwealth came up for discussion, Mr. Wilson said.

Above: Michael G. Wilson

Above: Daniel Craig with the producers.

It was only after all these ruminations that the producers and Sony finally settled on Mr. Craig. "I think that he has a kind of intensity, and a sexuality, and a roguishness," Ms. Pascal said. "And he seems like he could be a spy."

In the late 1990's, market research showed Bond movies to have the oldest demographic of any action-adventure series. Lately, however, the booming success of Bond video games has driven a younger audience to the movies, Mr. Wilson said - which Sony and the producers do not want to disappoint.

For both Ms. Broccoli and Sony, executives said, the model was Jason Bourne, the character Matt Damon successfully incarnated in two gritty spy movies for Universal Pictures, "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy."

But was the reason to drop Brosnan anything to do with the rumoured pay demands? Wilson said the decision did not have to do with money. "If we wanted to make a deal, we would've made a deal with Pierce at some financially viable level," he said. "This was about us trying to find new inspiration for the series."

Meanwhile, Pierce Brosnan has hit back at the producers and their decision to drop him.

He told the British tabloid The Sun, "It sucks, completely! I was just getting the hang of it, you know?"

"But they wanted to go younger. They wanted to reinvigorate the part. Whether they made the right choice, who knows? They're probably scared shitless, thinking, ‘What have we done?’"

Right: Pierce Brosnan as 007 in "Die Another Day" (2002)


"Casino Royale", the 21st James Bond film, will be directed by Martin Campbell and shooting is scheduled to commence on January 17th 2006 for release on November 17th 2006, distributed by Columbia Pictures. British actor Daniel Craig will James Bond, the sixth actor cast as 007. Stay tuned to MI6 for the latest and most accurate coverage of Casino Royale.

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