James Bond Producer Reveals When Search Starts for New 007 Actor

007 franchise producer Barbara Broccoli reveals the search for a new Bond, James Bond, won't begin until 2022. The long-delayed No Time to Die, out October 8, will first end Daniel Craig's 15-year and five-movie tenure as the often-recast British MI6 agent most famously portrayed by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan. As MGM and Eon bill No Time to Die as the "epic conclusion" to the Craig 007 era — the films Casino RoyaleQuantum of SolaceSkyfall, and Spectre — Broccoli jokes she's "in denial" about the English actor's exit from the role

"We want Daniel to have his time of celebration," Broccoli said on BBC Radio 4's Today program (via Deadline). "Next year we'll start thinking about the future." Eon's Michael G. Wilson, a 007 producer since 1979's Moonraker, added Craig's departure from the role leaves "big shoes to fill." 

In a separate interview, Wilson said Craig will be "tremendously" missed as James Bond, telling Hey U Guys, "Certainly, Barbara and I will miss him." 

"He's dearly loved. Because people respect him, they respect him as an actor, and they respect him as a person," Wilson said. "He's an essential part of the crew, and he's the leader of the cast, of course. But he takes his role very seriously and puts everything into the role of Bond, and he's a producer on this film because of that. We believe he's certainly grown into that position over the years, but he's always been a person who takes his role extremely seriously...he's an amazing actor, an amazing person. When you see that teary goodbye [from the set], the whole crew came out for that."

Broccoli confirmed the search for the next 007 is "nonexistent at the moment," telling Hey U Guys, "We're not really looking for anybody right now."

In celebrating Craig's 15 years and his five films as Bond, Broccoli said, "We really want him to have his moment and let audiences really appreciate him. So we're not planning to start our search for the next Bond for some time." 

Betting odds have named Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page as the odds-on favorite to take over the role in the 26th Bond film. In 2018, rumors claimed Bond franchise producers were eyeing Superman and The Witcher star Henry Cavill to be the next James Bond — a role that the 38-year-old actor has expressed interest in and would "jump at the opportunity" to play. 

More rumors that same year claimed Game of Thrones and Bodyguard star Richard Madden, who next plays a Marvel superhero in Marvel Studios' Eternals, was "on top" of Broccoli's list to replace Craig as the next James Bond

Starring Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Ralph Fiennes, Ana de Armas, and Christoph Waltz, No Time to Die releases September 30 in UK cinemas and October 8 in the US.