The next actor to play James Bond could identify as non-binary. That’s the latest word from producer Barbara Broccoli. According to Broccoli, who owns the rights to James Bond, the next 007 could go by the pronouns they/them.
The word comes from the Girls on Film podcast (via ScreenRant) who, while talking to Broccoli about who might replace Daniel Craig in the iconic role of James Bond, asked if it’s possible a future Bond could identify as non-binary. Broccoli answered, “Who knows? I think it’s open, you know? We just need to find the right actor.”
While Broccoli is far from saying the next James Bond definitively will be non-binary, it’s still an interesting shift from what the producer has said in the past. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter posted just last week, for example, Broccoli said she thinks James Bond should be played by a man, though at the time she seemed to say this in the context of “as opposed to a woman.” Broccoli said that rather than gender-swapping characters, she believes filmmakers should create new roles for women.
During her discussions with both THR and Girls on Film, Broccoli also made it clear she believes an actor of “any ethnicity or race” could play James Bond. There is, however, one big caveat — the next James Bond actor must be British. This may come as a big disappointment to Dwayne Johnson, who recently threw his hat in the ring to be the next 007. Johnson’s late grandfather Peter Maivia actually played a villain in 1967’s You Only Live Twice, and the Rock said he was hoping to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps (just not as a bad guy).
After six decades of James Bond films, an American actor has never played the hero. According to the BBC, the closest an American ever came to playing Bond was when the late Burt Reynolds was approached about replacing Sean Connery in the role. In 2015, Reynolds told USA Today he passed on the role because he thought the public would never accept an American James Bond. Reynolds apparently regretted the decision, however, telling USA Today, “It was a stupid thing to say. I could’ve done it and I could’ve done it well.”
There’s no firm word on who the next James Bond could be, and Broccoli says her team won’t even start officially searching for an actor to replace Daniel Craig until 2022. However, that hasn’t stopped fans from voting for their picks. One of the top choices is Henry Cavill and between various artists’ renditions and deepfakes, it’s not at all unreasonable to see the Witcher actor assume the role. While promoting Eternals, Richard Madden recently gave a very talk-to-the-hand response to an interviewer asking about his own chances at playing Bond. Other noteworthy fan-castings include Idris Elba, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy.
Another hopeful who may be disappointed by Broccoli’s adamant stance that the next James Bond actor be British is Chris Hemsworth. The Thor actor has been considered another likely candidate to play Bond, but his home country of Australia left Britain behind in 1949. So, unless Broccoli and co. decide Australian is somehow “close enough,” he may have to settle on playing Thor, Tyler Rake of the Extraction films, Captain Kirk’s dad in Star Trek, and whatever other multi-million dollar franchises he gets attached to in the near future.