As the buzz continues to hum around who will inherit the license to kill from the outgoing 007 agent Daniel Craig, James Bond producer, Michael G. Wilson has revealed key details about who the next spy will be. Speaking to the audience at a British Film Institute panel held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the spy franchise, Wilson explained, via Deadline why they were not looking to cast a young actor in the iconic role of James Bond and why an older industry veteran will be more fitting.
“We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past,” said Wilson “But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a 30-something.” This new update ultimately quells speculations that casting a younger actor was part of the franchise’s reinvention plan and also crosses off names like Jacob Elordi and Tom Holland from fan-casting lists but leaves on Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, and Henry Cavill. Interestingly, this also rules out 40-something old actors fans had hoped to take the mantle such as Tom Hardy, Sam Heughan, and Jamie Dornan.
Speculations that the next Bond could be a younger actor were fueled by producer Barbara Broccoli‘s revelation that whoever would be cast in the role will be in for the long haul, at least for a minimum of 10 years. However, it seems the franchise will be sticking to its conventional approach of going for not-so-young actors. Previous actors who have taken on the iconic role from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan were in their 30s and 40s when they appeared in their first Bond movie. Aussie actor George Lazenby, the second actor to play the iconic British Secret Service agent remains the youngest at 29 years.
The hunt for the next Bond is yet to officially begin as recently revealed by Broccoli, however, it would seem that the producers already have their criteria set for the next auditioning process when it does kick off. At this stage, the producers have revealed that they are consulting with writers about what trajectory the franchise should take before beginning the casting process.
Interestingly, Wilson did give some sort of homework to actors who might be eyeing the role by revealing the iconic scene that is used to audion for every Bond since Connery. “We always use the same scene, and that’s the one in From Russia With Love where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe,” revealed Wilson. The 1963 film had Connery as Bond and Wilson is of the opinion that “anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond” because “It’s tough to do.”
While we continue to anticipate the unveiling of the next Bond who will continue the franchise with Bond 26, producers have sought to keep fans engaged by making all 25 Bond films available for streaming on Prime Video starting from October 5 in what will be a limited release.