The next ‘007’ James Bond casting starts

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The next James Bond films will have bigger roles for women and a more sensitive 007, according to the producers, who said “Bond is evolving just as men are evolving”.

Barbara Broccoli said that the next actor to take the role will continue the work of Daniel Craig, who “cracked Bond open emotionally”.

Craig’s last film, No Time To Die, humanised Bond by making him a devoted family man. It also featured meatier roles for female characters, including Lashana Lynch as a fellow secret agent.

Asked by Variety magazine if those qualities would continue in the next film, Broccoli agreed. “It’s an evolution. Bond is evolving just as men are evolving. I don’t know who’s evolving at a faster pace,” she said.

Broccoli is director of the UK chapter of Time’s Up, which describes itself as “an independent, intersectional organisation focused on rooting out sexual harassment at its source: the power imbalance that leaves women unequal in every industry”.

She and Michael G Wilson, her fellow producer and half-sibling, said it was “early days” in the search for the next actor to play Bond.

Idris Elba long considered a frontrunner for the role, recently appeared to rule himself out of the running. Wilson said Elba was “great” but Broccoli suggested that the 50-year-old actor might be too old: “We love Idris. The thing is, [the casting decision] is 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.”

She added: “It’s not just about casting an actor for a film. It’s about a reinvention.”

Broccoli and Wilson have guided the Bond franchise since GoldenEye in 1995.

Amazon recently acquired MGM, the studio behind Bond, for £6 billion. One of the fruits of that deal is the first reality television series to be based on Bond: 007’s Road to a Million, in which contestants follow clues in a race around the world, competing for a £1 million prize.

“People have always come to us about doing a TV show, [saying], ‘Oh, you should do a Bond challenge,’ but we always stayed away from it because we didn’t want to… have them do dangerous things,” said Broccoli.

She said the eight-part series, which is currently in production, was perfectly safe for the participants and “audiences will get a big kick out of it”.

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