Why James Bond Has Endured For So Long, According To The Franchise Producer

As a movie character, James Bond is coming up on his diamond anniversary next year. 2022 will mark 60 years since "Dr. No," the first of 25 Bond films from Eon Productions. Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman co-founded Eon in 1962, and now it's overseen by Broccoli's daughter and stepson, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. /Film's own Jack Giroux interviewed both producers for "No Time to Die" back in October, and this week, the movie became available for purchase on digital platforms like iTunes.

Keeping the Bond franchise all in the family may be one secret to its longevity. Another may be Bond's ability to tap into the zeitgeist. "No Time to Die" marks an end to Daniel Craig's tenure as agent 007, and Barbara Broccoli personally chose Craig for the role. She's the subject of a new profile in The Hollywood Reporter this week, and though she acknowledged that Bond can get "a little stuck in time," Broccoli also sought to highlight his adaptability. She told THR:

"I think one of the successes of Bond is that it hasn't been afraid to change with the times. Sometimes it got a little stuck in the time, but the books were written in the '50s, the films started in '60s. I mean, the world has changed dramatically since then. We've just had to constantly reinvent him, and we've had the opportunity with each new actor to recalibrate the series."

Weathering Regime Changes

Movie studios are often a revolving door of executives, and a regime change or transition of ownership (like when Disney bought Fox) can spell doom for certain projects, putting them dead in the water after months or even years of development. Another adverse effect they can have is to tear a movie in different directions as new execs come in with their own new ideas about how best to steer a particular project.

Until "No Time to Die," every one of Craig's Bond films had been distributed by Sony. The series is co-produced by MGM, but Eon has worked with various other studio partners over the years, and this year, Amazon bought MGM.

Through it all, Broccoli, Wilson, and Eon have acted as Bond's stewards, shepherding the character from one actor and studio era to another. This has helped the franchise endure well into the new millennium. Broccoli continued:

"Michael and I are very protective of [Bond]. My father used to say, 'Don't have temporary people make permanent decisions,' and I think that's always been at the forefront of our minds. Studios can have tremendous turnover, and over the years we've had lots and lots of different people. So we've had to kind of maintain a consistency of leadership in order to keep an eye on the longevity of the franchise."

"No Time to Die" comes to Blu-ray on December 21, 2021.