Michael G. Wilson, who controls the James Bond film franchise with his half-sister Barbara Broccoli and has produced the long-running spy series since 1979’s “Moonraker,” officially laid speculation to rest that the next 007 would be portrayed by an actor in his 20s.
“We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past,” Wilson said during an “In Conversation” event at the British Film Institute on Saturday, Deadline reported. “But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience.”
“He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something,” he added, referring to Britain’s special forces unit. “He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a 30-something.”
Ever since Daniel Craig’s final outing in “No Time To Die” in 2021, rumors have swirled on social media that Eon Productions would cast a younger man in the role, with fan sites and Twitter users suggesting 25-year-old Jacob Elordi or 26-year-old Tom Holland.
Pierce Brosnan, who was 42 when his first Bond film “GoldenEye” hit theaters in 1995, recently told IndieWire he didn’t care who was cast in the upcoming film — which is still at least two years away from production.
“Nobody’s in the running,” Broccoli said in June, Deadline reported. “We’re working out where to go with [Bond], we’re talking that through. There isn’t a script and we can’t come up with one until we decide how we’re going to approach the next film because, really, it’s a reinvention of Bond.”
Bond fans have also feverishly lobbied online for Tom Hardy, 45, or Idris Elba, 50, who are more traditional choices. Racist campaigns against Elba dampened his hopes, however, with the Brit recently telling IndieWire that playing 007 wasn’t “a goal for my career.”
Wilson said those vying for the role will have to act out a scene from “From Russia With Love” that’s been used in Bond auditions for decades. He said it was the scene “where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe.”
“Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed,” said Wilson. “That was the test we use. Anyone who can bring that scene off is right for Bond. It’s tough to do.”