James Bond: Producers ‘want someone in his 30s’ says King
It’s been a year and a half since Daniel Craig’s 007 was blown to smithereens at the end of No Time To Die. Yet at the end of the credits, the immortal promise appeared on the screen that “James Bond will return”. However, it won’t be the same actor but a total reboot set in another universe entirely. As bookies spout names like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill around, what’s really going on behind the scenes at EON Productions? Bond casting director of over 40 years Debbie McWilliams has shared how the decision is ultimately decided by producers and also a long-awaited and surprising update on where they’re at in the audition process.
The Bond casting director told Radio Times that the last time around in 2005 she met with hundreds of people from all over the world. However, Barbara Broccoli had her heart set on Craig after seeing him in Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth. Nevertheless, the producer found convincing everyone else at EON that he was the right choice.
On what McWilliams looks for in casting Bond, she said the new 007 must be “a brilliant actor” with great physical ability. Although she highlighted that there’s no “absolute mould” as each incarnation needs to be its own.
She said: “It’s the best person for the job and one year it might be one person, one year somebody else – you can’t really predict. There isn’t an algebraic thing where we say, ‘Right, we have this and we have that, and it equals that’. It just doesn’t work like that.”
McWilliams shared how Casino Royale being a contemporary take that needed Bond to be “more of a kind of menace” is what led to Craig’s casting. She explained: “You know, let’s face it, as good as Pierce was, he’s not a menace, whereas Daniel is – you feel a very strong presence in the room with him, and I think that that is incredibly important.”
On the next 007 star’s physicality, she said: “He has to look like a regular guy – you can’t be Dwayne Johnson. He has to have a great physique – it demands a high level of fitness – but he shouldn’t stand out in any situation.” The casting director also confirmed the new Bond will be “a thirty-something” as those in their twenties lack “gravitas” while the star doesn’t need to be “a well-known name”. As for where the search is up to now, she has some surprising news to share.
McWilliams, who admitted most of the rumours made her “die laughing” insisted it’s not even begun. The casting director said: “There’s no conversation being had at the moment. Barbara Broccoli has been heavily involved in other projects.
“You know, it’s not unusual for there to be quite a big gap between different Bonds, it has been known to have a five-year gap. So, no, nothing.”
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