"It Makes Me Die Laughing": James Bond Casting Director Rebuffs 007 Rumors

Casting director Debbie McWilliams recently shot down speculation about who would play James Bond in the future. Ian Fleming's first Bond novel was published in 1953, and the first Bond picture, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as the MI6 spy, captivated audiences across the world. Bond has appeared in 25 EON films over the past 60 years, with six actors taking up the role. With the release of No Time to Die, the fifth and final film of Daniel Craig's five-picture stint as 007.

    I tune out all of it. Most of the time I just about pass out from laughter. I find it ridiculous that people are even mildly interested in knowing which horses are the bookies' favorites and who is ranked number 15 in such matters. I can only describe it as a "curious phenomenon." The current press, social media, and all that nonsense have made it more noticeable, and there appear to be fanbases for it that I was previously unaware of, but which seem to create a great deal more [debate].

    Also, I have a notion that I've mentioned many times before: that when newspapers are short on content, they fill the void with a James Bond story. I don't see why folks can't sit tight and see what happens.

    There is a pause in dialogue right now. [Creator of the show] Barbara Broccoli has been quite busy with other endeavors. It's not out of the ordinary for there to be a significant time lapse between successive Bonds; in fact, gaps of up to five years have been documented. That being the case, there is no need to worry.

Critics at the time said the Bond franchise had run its course after Pierce Brosnan's tenure as Bond ended with The World Is Not Enough. Craig's subtle reinvention of the character in Casino Royale (2006) injected much-needed life into the film franchise. However, because his Bond died at the end of No Time to Die, the door is open for a fresh interpretation of the character in the Bond franchise.

Characters like Nomi (Lashana Lynch), the in-universe substitute for 007, and Paloma (Ana de Armas), the scene-stealing rookie CIA agent, introduced in Craig's flicks, allow the brand to continue its most recent Bond tales. Recent statements made by producers Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, however, suggest that a total relaunch of the franchise is in the works. Speculation about who would play James Bond in the years after No Time to Die is rising.

Richard Madden, who stars in Game of Thrones and Eternals, frequently appears at the top of such polls. His performance as a spy in Amazon's upcoming action-thriller series The Citadel, though, may rule him out of contention. Henry Cavill, the original Superman, has also been considered for the part. Producers considering a revival of The Witcher could be put off by his age, though. Broccoli and Wilson may have a plethora of alternatives for a new James Bond, including Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton), Tom Ellis (Lucifer), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kickass).