The Search For The Next James Bond Begins Next Year, 007 Producer Says

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today" is generally good advice, but an exception can understandably be made when it comes to figuring out the next steps of the "James Bond" franchise. Although he hasn't starred in the most 007 films (that would be a tie between Sean Connery and Roger Moore, though Moore gets the edge in "canonical" films), Daniel Craig will end up as the longest tenured Bond actor in the decades-old franchise when "No Time to Die" finally releases in theaters and officially concludes his impressive stint. With that display of commitment to the role, it's no surprise the James Bond producers aren't exactly rushing the actor out the door to usher the next replacement in. By all accounts, the search for the next James Bond won't commence until 2022.

Taking a Victory Lap

Let's just say that if I were in charge of finding the next actor to fill Daniel Craig's shoes as James Bond, I'd be putting off the decision for as long as humanly possible, too. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the longtime shepherds and caretakers of the Bond movies, made a recent appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today show and revealed just how eager they were to get started on the hunt for the next Bond ... which is to say, not at all. According to Variety, Broccoli put it in no uncertain terms whatsoever:

"Oh God no. We're not thinking about it at all. We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we'll start thinking about the future."

It's hard to argue with the fact that Craig deserves a proper swan song with no other distractions, especially after putting his body on the line in these movies for as long as he has. When he was first cast in the life-changing role for 2006's "Casino Royale" (with no small amount of hair color-related controversy, as silly as that is to look back on now), the British actor could've been forgiven for maybe not quite grasping how everything would be different from that point onwards. Instead, as Broccoli recalls, Craig was appropriately cautious about accepting the part and has handled the fame as well as could be expected:

"We're very, very lucky to get him to play this role. We could see he was reluctant to do it, because he knew it would change his life, which it obviously has. It's changed his life, but it hasn't changed him. What he's enabled us to do with the franchise is really explore the emotional life of Bond and go into the person and complexity and conflicts that happen within the Bond character."

Looking Ahead

Of course, the future can't be put off indefinitely. Once audiences finally get their chance to see "No Time to Die" and Craig is given the farewell he has most certainly earned, the producers will have to figure out the franchise's next steps. As Broccoli puts it, "We'll keep going. Next year it'll be the 60th anniversary of the Bond films, so we're looking forward to the new chapter, whatever it brings. We're not quite sure at the moment. Right now, we just want to celebrate 'No Time to Die' and Daniel's extraordinary achievement."

With Amazon's acquisition of MGM Studios coinciding with the upcoming change in actors, the franchise could be in for quite a bit of change in the coming years. Broccoli and Wilson have been outspoken about maintaining a sense of exclusivity and prestige with James Bond and Craig himself has weighed in about what kind of actor should succeed him.

"No Time to Die" will be coming to theaters on October 8, 2021.