The Daily Telegraph

No smoothie, just softie: it’s ‘evolving’ Bond


‘He’ s a woke 007, who gets into the shower in his tuxedo to comfort a woman’

THE next James Bond films will have a more sensitive 007 and bigger roles for women, according to the producers, who said “Bond is evolving just as men are evolving”.

Barbara Broccoli said the next actor to take the role will continue the work of Daniel Craig, who “cracked Bond open emotionall­y”.

Craig’s last 007 film, No Time to Die, humanised Bond by making him a devoted family man with a young daughter. It also featured meatier roles for female characters, including Lashana Lynch as a fellow secret agent.

Asked by Variety magazine if those qualities would continue in the next film, Broccoli indicated they would go a step further. “It’s an evolution. Bond is evolving just as men are evolving. I don’t know who’s evolving at a faster pace,” she said.

Broccoli is director of the UK chapter of Time’s Up, “an independen­t, intersecti­onal organisati­on focused on rooting out sexual harassment at its source: the power imbalance that leaves women unequal in every industry”.

She and Michael G Wilson, her fellow producer and halfbrothe­r, said it was “early days” in the search for the next actor to play Bond.

Idris Elba, long considered a frontrunne­r, recently appeared to rule himself out of the running. Wilson said Elba was “great”, but Broccoli suggested the 50-year-old actor might be too old. “We love Idris. The thing is, [the casting decision] is going to be a couple of years off. And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10 to 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing?’ Not everybody wants to do that.”

She added: “It’s not just about casting an actor for a film. It’s about a reinventio­n.”

Craig made it his mission to drag Bond into the 21st century, and then adapt to the post-me Too era.

In an interview ahead of the release of No Time to Die last year, he said: “There are certain things attached to Bond of which we would say, ‘No, you can’t do that any more.’ His attitude towards women, and how the women are treated in the films.”

Craig said he also ensured that Bond occasional­ly dressed as skimpily as the female characters.

“He’s more naked than the women. I’ve designed it that way. I mean, look at Casino Royale,” he said, referring to the scene in which Bond emerged from the sea wearing tight swimming trunks.

Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond novels, said Craig had changed Bond into “a woke 007, who’s tender, cries and gets into the shower in his tuxedo to comfort a woman”.

Amazon has acquired MGM, the studio behind Bond, for £6billion. One outcome of that deal is the first reality TV series based on Bond: 007’s Road to a Million. Broccoli said the eight-part series, now in production, was perfectly safe for participan­ts and “audiences will get a big kick out of it”.

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