As the search for the next James Bond begins, 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said they are looking for someone who will be in for the long haul.
It's still "early days," they said an interview with Variety, saying they still have to pitch prospective actors for the part. They want someone who could commit to the role for at least a decade.
For awhile, Idris Elba seemed to be that person, but the actor has repeatedly denied rumors that he would be taking over Daniel Craig as the world's most famous spy. Broccoli and Wilson hadn't recently spoken to the long-time Bond candidate but they were impressed with him.
"He's great," Wilson said.
"We love Idris," Broccoli added.
"The thing is, it's going to be a couple of years off," she noted. "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. It was hard enough getting [Daniel Craig to do it]."
Broccoli and Wilson, who have helmed the Bond franchise since 1995's "GoldenEye" (1995), which starred Pierce Brosnan, formed a strong relationship with Craig over the course of the four films in which he appeared — "Quantum of Solace" (2008), "Skyfall" (2012), "Spectre" (2015), and last year's "No Time to Die" — before Craig bowed out as 007.
Since then, Broccoli and Wilson have been faced with the question of who will take over for the next chapter.
What many younger actors may not realize, they say, is the commitment that is required to carry the franchise for many years.
"A lot of people think, Oh yeah, it'd be fun to do one," Broccoli said. "Well. That ain't gonna work."
Further, it is a "big investment" that requires resources for Eon Productions, Wilson said. With this in mind, it is not as simple as choosing someone for a role in a movie.
"That's why, when people go, Oh, who are you going to get?, it's not just about casting an actor for a film. It's about a reinvention, and 'Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character?'" said Broccoli. "And then, once we figure that out, who's the right person for that particular reinvention?
"With [Craig], when we had the conversation at this very table about, you know, [whether he was] going to do it, he said, 'Well, I'm going to do it. I really want to be a part of it, the whole thing.' And he lived to regret that," Broccoli added. "But it's a big commitment. It's not just showing up for a couple of months of filming."
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