The Next James Bond Will Be a British Man of 'Any Ethnicity,' Says Producer
The question of who should become the next James Bond is one that fans and filmmakers alike have been pondering for years, ever since it was first rumoured that Daniel Craig would be stepping down from the role. Idris Elba has long been among the bookies' favourites for the gig, which would make him the first black Bond, while some corners of the internet believe it's time to see a woman pick up the gun and martini.
In a recent profile in The Hollywood Reporter, producer Barbara Broccoli spoke about the post-Craig future of the long-running franchise, and said that any actor who next takes on the iconic role will have to stay true to his Britishness—but does not necessarily need to be white.
"He should be British, so British can be any [ethnicity or race]," she said. "I think one of the successes of Bond is that it isn't afraid to change with the times. Sometimes it got a little stuck in the time, but the books were written in the '50s, the films started in the '60s. I mean, the world has changed dramatically since then. We've just had to constantly reinvent him, and we've had the opportunity with each new actor to recalibrate the series."
She added, however, that she does believe Bond should remain a man, rather than gender-swapping the character: "I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond. 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."
Broccoli has been credited with improving the Bond franchise's track record with female characters over the last several movies, including Eva Green as Vesper Lynd, Naomi Harris as Eve Moneypenny and Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, as well as building on Dame Judi Dench's legacy character M in Skyfall. Most recently, Lashana Lynch technically became the first female 007, playing a next-generation spy who takes on the famous code name following Bond's retirement in the beginning of No Time to Die.
In fact, the series has become so proliferated with standout one-off characters (fans already want more of Ana de Armas' gun-toting super-spy Paloma) that you'd understand a producer feeling tempted to build out that world into an expanded universe with spinoffs. Broccoli, however, remains committed to keeping the focus on our leading man.
"Sure, there are other main characters like M and Q and all that," she said. "But we haven't really wanted to make a Bond film without Bond. It would be like Hamlet without Hamlet."
From: Men's Health US