The publicity is really rolling on No Time To Die this week, with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson giving a rare interview to Variety as part of the magazine’s cover story on the film. The half-siblings have produced every Bond film since 1990 when Cubby Broccoli stepped back in the wake of Licence To Kill underwhelming at the box office, and as such have plenty to say about exactly how to run a long-running franchise.
Predictably, the pair don’t spill anything new about No Time To Die beyond promising, “We have come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion,’ and reiterating Broccoli’s state of denial about Daniel Craig leaving the franchise, and that leads to some fascinating speculation about the next actor to play James Bond.
This isn’t at the level of names just yet, and the duo insist they haven’t got a plan in place for the post-Craig era, but what they have to say about the options is interesting. “You think of [Bond] as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place,” says Wilson, while Broccoli adds, “He can be of any color, but he is male. I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.’
We’ll get a chance to see what that looks like when the Broccoli-produced The Rhythm Section finally hits screens at the end of the month, but it’s clear she wants to put the Jane Bond idea to bed while being completely open to the idea of expanding the diversity of Bond.
It’s a great interview with some cool timeline details about the comings and goings behind the scenes on No Time To Die and insight into the Jinx spin-off from Die Another Day that never happened, while Broccoli also addresses the new film’s position in the #MeToo era, saying, “Bond’s been evolving along with all the other men in the world. Some have just gotten there more quickly than others.”
Meanwhile, the business of Bond continues with the release of an advert for long-time Bond partner Heineken, blurring the lines between Daniel Craig and James Bond as a tribute to Craig’s 14-year tenure in the role and the inevitability that it will follow him for the rest of his days even as he indulges some of those comic chops we’ve seen recently in his non-Bond roles and rejects the familiar cocktail.
The access we’re seeing to the inner workings of No Time To Die is unusual and clearly part of a push to get past the image of a troubled production, and getting this kind of insight into the thinking of the brains behind the franchise is priceless. Hopefully it’ll keep coming as the film heads for release.
Over to you: thoughts on Broccoli’s position about the future? Got some more diverse picks for the next James Bond? Ideas for female-led spin-offs you’d like to see? Sound off in the comments below.
As of this writing, No Time To Die will be released globally from April 2nd 2020 in the UK and April 10th 2020 in the USA.
Correction: in yesterday’s item about Billie Eilish singing the title song for No Time To Die I failed to use Sam Smith’s correct pronouns. This was an oversight on my part for which I apologise to them unreservedly.