The producers behind the James Bond franchise – Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson – have provided an update on their search for the next 007, including whether Idris Elba would fit the role.
Speaking to Variety, the duo proclaimed their admiration for the actor, however, stated that Bond is a long-term commitment with whoever takes over the role expected to do so for at least a decade. As Elba recently turned 50 in September and Daniel Craig was 38 at the time of Casino Royale's launch, this seems to confirm the unlikelihood of the casting.
"We love Idris," said Broccoli. "The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off. 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].”
The pair admitted that they are in the "early days" of the casting process and will be looking to change the character once again, similar to how Craig "cracked Bond open emotionally". Broccoli explains that: “It’s an evolution. Bond is evolving just as men are evolving. I don’t know who’s evolving at a faster pace".
She continued: “That’s why, when people go, ‘Oh, who are you going to get?’ it’s not just about casting an actor for a film. It’s about a reinvention, and ‘Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character? And then, once we figure that out, who’s the right person for that particular reinvention?"
Broccoli also spoke about the dedication of playing James Bond, something Craig apparently "lived to regret" after playing the part for 15 years. "It’s a big commitment. It’s not just showing up for a couple of months of filming," she says.
Following multiple delays caused by the global pandemic, Craig's final outing as the world's most famous spy, No Time to Die, debuted in theatres on September 30th, 2021. It was the 25th entry in the series and earned over $700 million.
Since Amazon closed its acquisition of MGM for $8.5 million in March this year, big questions have been raised about the future of Bond. In the meantime, the majority of the James Bond collection has been added to Amazon Prime Video.