“We are just starting our relationship with Amazon”, which bought the rights to the franchise from the MGM studio, Barbara Broccoli, the historical producer of the adventures of the legendary spy, told AFP. “We haven’t started discussing the next movie yet.”
Ms. Broccoli and her half-brother, Michael Wilson, were honored on Wednesday for their contribution to Hollywood, during a ceremony where they left their footprints in cement in front of the illustrious Chinese Theater.
The opportunity for them to maintain the mystery of the future of James Bond: since “Dying can wait” in 2021, the final act of Daniel Craig, which has considerably shaken up the character, speculation has been rife about his succession .
“We are not going to rest on our laurels and keep the same formula,” assured Ms. Broccoli, heiress to the franchise of her father Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, the producer who began adapting Ian Fleming’s novels to the screen 60 years ago.
The choice of Daniel Craig, to embody a blonde 007 and much rougher than his predecessors, had initially created controversy. But the five films made during his mission set box office records: the opus “Skyfall” in particular generated more than a billion dollars in 2012.
To replace it, everything seems possible. Could James Bond be played by the franchise’s first black actor, as some fans would like? Or could a woman put on her costume, as Ms. Broccoli has already hinted?
The producer maintains the suspense: “there are certain immutable elements” in this spy saga, she underlined. “The main character of James Bond is the most important element of the films and we believe he is incorruptible, serving the Queen, and now King and country.”
– “Stay innovative” –
The character “has nothing to gain from a personal standpoint. He’s in it because he’s trying to make the world safer,” she added. “I think that’s something we won’t change.”
But her father, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who created the franchise 60 years ago, always pushed the producer “to take risks so that Bond could change over time.” As heirs, “we like to try things, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it keeps us innovative”.
Eon, the Broccoli family company, has managed to retain significant control over the adventures of the secret agent, star of 25 films so far.
Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have presided over 007’s cinematic destiny since “GoldenEye”, released in 1995, a year before their father’s death.
Historically, Eon shared the profits of the franchise with the MGM studio, which had signed a complex agreement to have the right to finance and distribute the films.
But MGM was acquired by Amazon in March for $8.5 billion. And concerning James Bond, it is no longer the legendary studio that is in control, but the tech giant, which has launched its own streaming platform.
Amazon Prime Video has already announced plans to produce a reality TV show with Her Majesty’s Most Faithful Servant as its theme, titled “007’s Road to a Million.”
“The public has certain expectations. But they also like to be surprised. So it’s fully part of our effort,” said Michael Wilson, hoping that Bond adapts to the challenges of today’s world.
“What will be the worries of the world in two or three years? How can we stay up to date?” he wondered. “We can’t come up with the same thing over and over again.”