EXCLUSIVE: James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has revealed that it will be “at least two years“ before the next 007 movie begins filming and that the task of finding an actor to replace Daniel Craig hasn’t begun “because it’s a reinvention of Bond.”
Speaking to us at a star-studded private event in central London to honor Broccoli and her brother Michael G. Wilson for their BFI Fellowships, Broccoli wouldn’t be drawn on who would play Bond next but did offer an update on the decision-making process.
“Nobody’s in the running,” she disclosed. “We’re working out where to go with him, 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. We’re reinventing who he is and that takes time. I’d say that filming is at least two years away.”
The private dinner was held at Claridge’s Hotel in central London and was hosted by British Film Institute chairman Tim Richards.
EON duo Broccoli and Wilson were presented their BFI Fellowships by Bond regulars Ralph Fiennes, who plays spy chief M, and Naomie Harris who plays no-nonsense Miss. Moneypenny.
Fiennes described Broccoli and Wilson as “exemplars of film producers and filmmakers” and praised their “transcendent tenacity.”
Noting that the two producers “killed Bond” in No Time To Die, Fiennes joked that “Naomie and I are the people to fix it. You find him and we’ll train him.”
Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive Officer, hailed Broccoli and Wilson as “two giants of cinema”, not only for keeping the Bond flame alive, but for their production of independent films outside of the franchise, and for their tireless support of organisations such as The London Film Academy, the innovative film school in north London which she and Wilson founded with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Lisa Bryer, and Harry Potter producer David Heyman.
The night was a Bond love fest, peppered with warm-hearted and witty video messages from Bond luminaries including Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek and Sam Mendes, director of Skyfall and Spectre.
Composer David Arnold played a grand piano, including the theme song from 1967 Bond picture You Only Live Twice with Nancy Sinatra’s soundtrack as accompaniment.
Billed as the Chair’s Dinner, Monday night’s occasion attracted 150 guests, a mixture of filmmakers, movie and theatre executives, and many who have been associated with Bond over many decades.
That last category included casting director Debbie McWilliams, hair and make-up designer Naomi Donne, EON publicity chief Stephanie Wenborn, scriptwriter Robert Wade, Maryam d’Abo (The Living Daylights), and Marc Forster, who directed 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace.
Others in attendance included director Paul Feig, producer Eric Fellner, filmmaker Hugh Hudson, producer and BFI trustee Elizabeth Karlsen, Fiona Lamptey, director of UK features at Netflix, Netflix awards exec Tolley Shields, Kate Mara and husband Jamie Bell (who starred in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool which was produced by Broccoli and Wilson), IMDB founder Col Needham, and director Edgar Wright (Last Night in Soho), both of whom are fonts of all knowledge concerning Bond. Actress Joely Richardson and producing legend Jeremy Thomas were also at the event along with theater producer Michael Rose and writer and filmmaker Terry Gilliam.
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