On April 8, No Time to Die will finally arrive in theaters after a tumultuous development process saw Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle depart the production and the release date delayed by six months. If that didn’t already place an enormous amount of pressure on the film, No Time to Die will also be the 25th entry in the franchise, the first film in 14 years distributed by a studio other than Sony, and the final outing for star Daniel Craig. Clearly, the 007 series find itself in a state of great fluctuation.
Speculation regarding Craig’s eventual replacement has run rampant for years with names such as Idris Elba and Richard Madden often mentioned as potential successors. One alternative that has also been mentioned in the greater pop culture conversation is a female version of James Bond. While franchise producer Barbara Broccoli didn’t completely dismiss the notion back in 2018, she’s now firmly stated that such a move isn’t in the cards.
“He can be of any color, but he is male,” Broccoli told Variety in a recent interview. “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.”
In the early 2000s, Broccoli attempted to develop a spinoff focused on Jinx, played by Halle Berry in Die Another Day. However, the project stalled amid budget concerns at the studio level.
Who plays the title role isn’t the only forward-thinking consideration facing 007. The very nature of entertainment is changing with streaming posing a very real threat to the theatrical marketplace. That reality has already briefly intersected with the franchise as both Apple and Amazon were reportedly pursuing the James Bond series rights when they hit the open market following Spectre. Broccoli is not about to upend cinema’s longest-running series, but she is cognizant of the future of the medium.
“We make these films for the audiences,” she told the outlet. “We like to think that they’re going to be seen primarily on the big screen. But having said that, we have to look to the future. Our fans are the ones who dictate how they want to consume their entertainment. I don’t think we can rule anything out, because it’s the audience that will make those decisions. Not us.”