Casting Director Thinks James Bond Can’t Be a Young Actor


No Time to Die wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things (even though its delays made you feel like it). With Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond now come to an end with that movie, the question has naturally shifted to “who’s next?”. Not unlike with the next Doctor, figuring out who’s going to play Bond next has become something of an event unto itself, at least until MGM goes ahead and reveals the guy in question to the world’s excitement (or annoyance, confusion, etc.).

Rumors about the next Bond have been swirling around for months now, with the most popular of the bunch being that the role would be inhabited by a younger actor. Producer Michael G. Wilson said this past October that an actor in their 20s couldn’t fit the character, and casting director Debbie McWilliams recently explained why. McWilliams has been casting the franchise for decades, and she bluntly told the Radio Times that younger actors lack the “gravitas” required to play the superspy for multiple films. And to drive her point home, she used the pre-Craig casting search as her prime example of this.

They didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it on,” said McWilliams of those actors. (At the time, this would’ve included Henry Cavill and Outlander’s Sam Heughan, who would’ve respectively been 22 and 26 years old.) “Because it’s not just the part they’re taking on, it’s a massive responsibility.” The idea of a younger Bond was scrapped, and everyone eventually settled on Craig.

With that said, McWilliams also told the Times that the next Bond would ultimately come down to whoever was best for the part. Each actor has had their own level of fame prepackaged when they signed on for the role, and it stands to reason that’ll happen again with our next iteration of James Bond, whenever that announcement gets made.

It’s hard to argue against her initial point, though. Some characters just have something about them that makes you mentally lock them into a particular age no matter what. And in general, action movies don’t always do right by characters in their 20s (or their actors, for that matter), even though there’s been exceptions like Taron Egerton in Kingsman. Then again, with the way MGM is looking at expanding and continuing the various franchises it owns, it wouldn’t be surprising if the studio got around this with James Bond Jr. in a couple of years.

Let us know in the comments below who you’d think make for a good Bond, no matter their age.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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