Daniel Craig as James Bond

It Turns Out There Wasn’t Any Weight to All Those ‘James Bond’ Rumors

Ever since Daniel Craig retired from the role of James Bond after portraying the iconic secret agent for over a decade, rumors have circulated about who will take up the role next. While reports of shortlists and frontrunners in the search for Bond have arisen, it appears there wasn’t any weight to those rumors.

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James Bond is one of the longest-running film franchises of all time, boasting 25 films, and is based on the book series of the same name by Ian Fleming. Despite first being introduced over 70 years ago, Bond’s popularity has not waned. Viewers are still intrigued by the charming gentleman spy and the idea of a timeless hero. However, one of the significant contributors to Bond’s staying power is his ability to change. While the Bond of Fleming’s novels is more angry and brutal and exhibits some very problematic behaviors, the movies humanize him, adding humor, charm, and realism to his story. Meanwhile, each of Bond’s seven actors has added their own unique touch to the character. There’s always been an appealing blend of newness and nostalgia in the franchise.

One of the best things the films have done is modernize Bond. In the books, Bond was extremely misogynistic, and many movies struggled to drop his character’s sexist, womanizer attitude. The films have been evolving to make him less chauvinistic or at least have characters in the franchise call out his behavior. Still, there is always more work that can be done, especially with the upcoming films. It has been over 15 years since Craig was first cast as Bond, meaning there’s a bit more progress to reflect. Many fans have been excited at the prospect of the character being reinvented. Unfortunately, though, that reinvention is still quite far off.

James Bond’s reinvention hasn’t even started yet

Daniel Craig with soot on his face as James Bond in the movie 'No Time To Die'
(Sony)

Barbara Broccoli, who heads the James Bond franchise alongside her half-brother Michael G. Wilson, told The Guardian that they have not even begun modernizing the franchise yet. The news was quite startling as countless rumors have sprung up about the franchise. Many of these rumors have jumped into speculating who the next Bond will be. Early reports alleged that Idris Elba was a shoo-in to portray the next Bond, though he later debunked those rumors, revealing he was disinterested in the role due to racial backlash. More recently, reports claimed that Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a shortlist contender for the role of Bond.

Some of the rumors were squashed in February 2023 when Broccoli revealed that the casting process had not begun for the role of Bond. Now, almost ten months later, she has given another disappointing update. Not only has casting not begun, but Broccoli implied that planning for the new film hasn’t even started. She explained, “I think these movies reflect the time they are in, and there’s a big, big road ahead reinventing it for the next chapter, and we haven’t even begun with that.” Broccoli has previously touched on all the options they have for the next Bond, revealing that she’s open to having a non-binary Bond or a Bond of any ethnicity, though some aspects, such as being male, British, and middle-aged, are factors the producers want to remain the same.

In addition to navigating the enormous task of reinventing Bond, Broccoli has also been busy with a Bond-themed reality series, 007: Road to a Million. It’s the first non-scripted show to use the Bond brand and might help hold over franchise fans during the long wait for the next film. However, viewers shouldn’t get accustomed to the idea of Bond on the small screen as Broccoli is adamant that the franchise is only interested in making feature films and not venturing into the world of TV. While Bond films do make good large-scale action films, pushing for this cinematic vision at a time when viewers are suffering blockbuster fatigue is an interesting choice for the Bond franchise.

Ultimately, fans of the franchise will need to continue taking anything they hear about Bond with a grain of salt. With confirmation that the work hasn’t begun, it seems most of what viewers thought they knew about the next Bond has been debunked. While the update is disappointing, it does illustrate that the reinvention of the franchise isn’t being taken lightly, boding well for Bond being reinvented in a way that truly resonates with the time.

(Via The Guardian, featured image: Sony)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.