The character M has been an important staple in the James Bond franchise since its inception with many actors taking on the role as the head of MI6. When Daniel Craig first took up the Bond mantle in 2006's Casino Royale, Judi Dench played his M. The iconic star went on to play the head of the Secret Intelligence Service in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall before being killed off. The mantle then went to Ralph Fiennes, who played Gareth Mallory in Skyfall before becoming the new M in Spectre and No Time to Die. Fiennes is known for an array of roles and even earned two Oscar nominations in the past. However, many will know him best as Voldemort in the Harry Potter film series. During a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Fiennes revealed that director Sam Mendes wanted to make his M a bad guy in Spectre, but the actor fought against it.
"I think I can say now that I had to fight off an attempt by Sam in Spectre to make M – I said 'I don't want to play M and then you turn around and make him the bad guy. M is never the bad guy.' So I had to have some pretty intense discussions with Sam saying, 'This is not flying with me,'" Fiennes shared.
Now that Craig is done with the Bond films, it's likely all of the roles will once again be recast. As for the search for the next Bond, producer Barbara Broccoli recently shared that they are not currently conducting their search, but the process will likely begin sometime in 2022. Craig recently shared that he's not interested in making any suggestions for the next Bond, but the actor did tell Radio Times that he doesn't think the character should be played by a woman.
"The answer to that is very simple," Craig explained. "There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, for a woman?"
"He can be of any color, but he is male," Broccoli previously stated. "I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
Earlier this year, there was a lot of speculation about who could play the next 007 with names being suggested like Tom Hardy, James Norton, Idris Elba, Sam Heughan, Richard Madden, Jack Lowden, Cillian Murphy, and Regé-Jean Page.
Who would you like to see cast as the next Bond, M, and the rest? Tell us in the comments!