The director of the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die, Cary Joji Fukunaga, has revealed that discussions of who the next 007 will be have already taken place. These talks first happened when current Bond actor Daniel Craig spoke of his desire to leave the franchise, following the filming of Spectre back in 2015.
“Two years ago I took Barbara [Broccoli, Bond producer] to my favourite Japanese restaurant in New York,” said Fukunaga, speaking to Total Film. “I tried to wine and dine her. At that point Daniel said he wasn’t doing another one, so we spit-balled all the potential new Bonds – that was exciting.”
What else did they chat about? “I just told her what I loved about Bond, and what it meant to me growing up. And just that I’d be honoured if they’d consider me for the next one,” Fukunaga said. Clearly, it worked, as Fukunaga replaced original hire Danny Boyle as director.
For context, Craig sustained an injury during the Spectre shoot, tearing the meniscus of his knee. “I thought I probably was physically not capable of doing another,” Craig told Total Film. “For me, it was very cut and dried that I wasn’t coming back.”
Taking a two year break from Bond, Craig “went and did other things” and “got some separation”, before being approached for a final film by producers Broccoli and Michael Wilson, who are half-siblings and have produced every Bond movie since Golden Eye in 1995.
Craig agreed to the final mission, Total Film reports, saying “There might be a story we need to finish here – something we started in Casino [Royale]. Something to do with Vesper, and Spectre, and something that was connected, in a way.” No Time To Die, which will be released on September 30 in the UK, will be Craig’s final film as Bond, his fifth in 15 years.
So far, the rumour mill has been spinning about who might take on the role post-Craig. These include Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page, who has downplayed the rumours publicly, saying that there wasn’t any truth to them (sadly!), and Idris Elba, who has previously said that he didn’t want to be the first “Black James Bond”, because of the pressure that actors of colour face when it comes to representation.
Another name in the ring is Scottish Outlander star Sam Heughan. A fan and press favourite to take on the role, Heughan previously went up against Craig for a Bond audition. The role evidently went to Craig, but Heughan admitted on the podcast Just The Facts in June: “I think now I feel the right age for it, I feel capable enough to do it, I’d love the opportunity to throw my hat in the ring.”