James Bond producers: The next 007 will be a Millennial, not a Gen Zer

No Times to Die came out this year, after it was filmed in 2019. It was Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, after they roped him back in post-Spectre. Craig was, overall, a good 007. He was more of a surly street-fighter version of Bond, as opposed to dapper, elegant, man-of-the-world spy. I’m mildly curious about what direction producers will go in for the next Bond. Apparently, they’re not actively looking at the moment – they want to get some distance from Daniel Craig’s version, I suppose – but they have an idea of the qualities the next Bond will have. And it’s not going to be a Gen Z twenty-something 007. It probably will be an Elder Millennial.

James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson, who runs Eon Productions with Barbara Broccoli, has revealed that a seduction scene from the 1963 thriller From Russia With Love is always used to test those aspiring to play Ian Fleming’s ruthless spy.

During an ‘In Conversation’ event at London’s British Film Institute to celebrate 60 years of James Bond, Wilson noted that they always need a good actress to play opposite the actor participating in the audition.

“We always use the same scene … and that’s the one in From Russia With Love ,where Bond comes back to his room after the assassination, and he starts taking off his shirt, goes into the room to bathe. Then he hears something, takes his gun, goes in and the girl’s in the bed,” he told the audience at the BFI on Friday night. He is referring to the moment where Sean Connery’s Bond finds Soviet military clerk Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi, in the middle of his bed, wearing only a black velvet choker.

Later, Wilson spoke to Deadline and reiterated a point he made to us several months ago: ”It’s a whole new world. We’ve got to see what happens with Amazon. But there’ll always be a Bond.”

He also stressed that casting has not started for the new 007, ”No matter what others tell you.”

However, he did reveal that younger actors are out of the running. ”We’ve tried looking at younger people in the past. But trying to visualize it doesn’t work. Remember, Bond’s already a veteran. He’s had some experience. He’s a person who has been through the wars, so to speak. He’s probably been in the SAS or something. He isn’t some kid out of high school that you can bring in and start off. That’s why it works for a thirty-something.”

[From Deadline]

It literally just occurred to me that Daniel Craig was the Generation X James Bond. He was born in 1968, and the internet says the Gen X birth years are 1965-1980. So he’s an Elder Gen Xer and a surly one at that. He had to count on Xennial Q (Ben Whishaw is 41) and Boomer M, Ralph Fiennes? And now they’ll get someone in their 30s? It will probably be someone in their 40s, I’m just saying. The evolution of this character – or lack of evolution – is pretty fascinating. They’re going to have a hell of a time finding the next guy.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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84 Responses to “James Bond producers: The next 007 will be a Millennial, not a Gen Zer”

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  1. Emmi says:

    Said it before, I’ll say it again – Dev Patel. But I guess he’s too young then. Which I don’t get. Write it into the story? Just make it work. I don’t know that many younger actors will want to play old-school Bond anymore. Creatively it’s a black hole and a huge committment.

    • Lucy says:

      OMG YES. He would make an incredible Bond!

    • Kaiser says:

      I agree, Dev would be amazing.

    • The Old Chick says:

      Emmi I rarely agree with you mostly about royals, really but Dev is brilliant. I’m clearly old and I love BW as Q. I’ve read all the books, I own all the movies, I’ve got issues with original bond. There’s not a, current stand out. An Asian bond actually would be genius

    • Jane says:

      Dev Patel would be so interesting – there’s so much they could do with India, Pakistan, South East Asian countries, the collapse of the British Empire and reckoning over imperialism and colonialism, if they felt so inclined. It could be more in the vein of a Bourne film or an intelligent, John le Carre espionage thriller.

    • FhMom says:

      I love this idea.

    • MF says:

      YES. Dev would be brilliant. He’s actually the right age (32) because by the time they make the next movie, he’ll be 35 or 36–that’s the perfect to start a run as Bond.

    • ElleV says:

      YES! he’d be a breath of fresh air after years of craig’s super grim and gritty bond – he’d bring levity and charm back to the role a la pierce brosnan, and when the real world is so grim that would be a welcome escape

    • Aviva says:

      I’m here for Dev as Bond. Who do we need to tweet? Lol.

    • Mei says:

      Omg totally here for this casting! He is a sublime actor, and what a fresh feeling that would bring to the series.

    • Carrie says:

      OMG Yes please.

  2. Lolo86lf says:

    I thought Idris Elba was going to be cast but he is already past the age bracket the producers are looking for as he was born in 1972 which makes a middle generation X guy. Also I heard that Rege Jean Page was also being considered for the part. Page is 34 years old and I think he would be a very nice debonair young (but not too young) Agent 007. If he gets the role, Page could be looking at probably 15 years worth of James Bond movies.

    • The Old Chick says:

      Idris was perfect but he’s been too old for years, that was sadly always fanciful. Page! Wow he’s an inspired choice

    • Jane says:

      It would be odd casting someone like Idris or R-J because the film would have to pretend that Britain and London, not to mention other parts of the world, aren’t hugely racist. In real life, if a black James Bond was on surveillance, he’d be stopped and searched constantly, if he was driving an Aston Martin he’d get pulled over constantly, if he was chasing someone down, he’d be the one tackled by members of the public etc.

      • Lolo86lf says:

        Sadly you are right on every count. I am Latin and I know what being discriminated against is like. James Bond movies are not the real world so the producers can cast a biracial looking dude like Page and still make plenty of profit, which is what they are looking for most of all.

      • FhMom says:

        This is true in real life. However, Bond exists in a fantasy version of the world. I think casting a person of color is long over due.

      • Coco says:


        I disagree if they can cast black peoples and other POC in a period drama like Bridgerton, then they can do it in Bond movie.

        Funny how you are so gang ho about Dev Patel, but say that no black man can play Bond.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        They should write that in the script lol. Find a black Bond, and have him deal with real shit. In a debonair way of course…shaken and not stirred.

      • goofpuff says:

        That actually would make it a better Bond film if he had to deal with the racists. Give it some depth.

      • Deering24 says:

        Agreed—it would be cool to see Bond’s ingenuity up against racist crap. 😈

    • original penguin says:

      I never felt the love for Idris as Bond. Chiwetel Ejiofor now, he would have been amazing. But I am totally on board for Rege Jean Page. He has that hotter on movement than in stills that Daniel Craig has which I think would make a really successful Bond.

    • sparrow says:

      Agree. Rege-Jean Page would be good. I thought Tom Hardy was in the running once. I suppose he’s pushing it, age wise, but I think his rawness could take it in another direction. Perhaps he could be the villain for one of them. I loved that brilliant one-hander film he was in – Locke – where it’s basically him in a car, on the phone, talking about concrete and affairs.

      • vertes says:

        No for Tom Hardy. His terrible teeth. Hard to be convincing as the posh school suave spy with such a crooked, snaggly mouthful.

        I could see Charlie Hunnam, Aidan Turner, Tom Bateman Maybe Matthew Goode..

      • Michelle says:

        I would watch Page read a menu and think it was hot. Charlie Hunan too.

    • MissMarirose says:

      Page is really nice to look at, but he’s not that much of an actor. I don’t think he has the presence to pull off what is a complicated role. To be 007, you have to have physicality, arrogance, humor, gravitas, intelligence, and charm. James Bond, when you get down to it, is an unlikable character, a “misogynistic dinosaur” as Judi Dench’s M once put it. To make people want to see him multiple times in a theater and root for him takes incredible skill.

      (I don’t have a particular actor I’m rooting for, but I can see Dev Patel in the role. That’s an interesting suggestion.)

      • Chantal says:

        Page got a lot of accolades for his portrayal of Chicken George in the latest Roots movie. I think he could pull it off. If not him, then maybe Lucifer’s Tom Ellis. His portrayal of twins Lucifer and Michael was very impressive and so effective that there were actual hashtags about Michael’s awfulness. The #Michael IsAD*ck one was pretty funny.

      • Plaidsheets says:

        I have agree with Jean. He’s fun to look at but he’s not the best actor. After seeing him in Gray Man, I don’t think he could pull it off. You don’t believe him as someone with experience. He was really miscast and would be miscast with Bond.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I really wanted Elba or no one. But they waited too long and now they’ll say he’s too old. And I agree with the posts above that Page is nice to look at, but after seeing The Gray Man, I don’t think he can pull of James Bond.

      I also think they should re-set what Bond is. The Craig series was very obviously adapted to be a Jason Bourne type. But Bourne was an assassin and Bond was a spy, which isn’t the same thing. They should go back to the spy spirit of the character. I think Richard Madden would do a good job with that, and he’s a millennial.

  3. sparrow says:

    Daniel Craig’s mouth gets me every time – it’s pouty. That’s all I’ve got really! He did do a really funny skit with Catherine Tate over here for a UK charity, where she can’t understand why others find him attractive. I like people who can take the piss out of themselves; it’s a good character trait.

    • Genevieve says:

      I LOVE that skit. She’s always hilarious, but he’s so surprisingly sweet and funny in that skit! Although he’s no John Nettles. lol

      • sparrow says:

        “So you’re looking for someone like John Nettles…No, I’m looking for John Nettles!” Have you seen the one with David Tennant as her (Lauren’s) teacher?

      • Louisa says:

        The Daniel Craig and David Tennant skits with Catherine Tate are hilarious. She is a comic genius. I recommend anyone go and look them up if they need a laugh.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      He’s done a few skits like that over the years – apparently he has a wicked sense of humour. He does comedy quite well and I cannot wait for the new Knives Out movie.

      I loved the SNL skits he did with Rami Malik.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Omg, his little mouth. Pouty lips all tied up in a wee bow.

  4. Normades says:

    None of Craig’s Bond movies interested me in the slightest. I hope they go with a sly dapper Bond who can wear the hell out of a suit instead of another surly one. Make it fun and glamorous.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I’m pulling for Rege-Jean Page, I think he would be a very different kind of Bond from Craig, he would take us back to the more debonair Bonds, but he wouldn’t be “soft.”

    Also, that’s the scene they use to audition Bonds? That scene from From Russia With Love? Where he finds the naked woman in his bed? The first time I saw that scene I was torn between dying with laughter at how cheesy it was and thinking “yikes.”

    • Normades says:

      He would be excellent with a very different vibe.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Oh yes he would def make a good Bond – he has that smooth debonair vibe.

      Am actually rooting for Daniel Kaluuya – he would be Bond with an edge.

  6. Layla says:

    My original choice was Aidan Turner, especially after seeing him in the 2015 ‘And then there were none’ series. His mannerisms are all Bond in the show.
    But I’m also rooting for Rege-Jean page aswell

    • Keekey says:

      Aidan Turner made an excellent case for himself as Bond in And Then There Were None!! I think he’s faded from the Bond conversation at this point, but he would’ve been very good. Dev Patel would be a great choice now.

      • Deering24 says:

        Yep, Turner was terrific in ATTWN—charm and the ice of a stone killer down deep. That is one of the best Christie adaptations ever in general…

    • NMB says:

      Oooooh he’d be GREAT. He is so hot. Rege-Jean too. Yes to everything.

    • Matilde says:

      Oh yes, I saw him in The Lieutenant of Inishmore and he’d be perfect. And Regé-Jean is just so beautiful. I would actually watch Bond for either of them.

  7. Flowerlake says:

    I understand. James Bond was always a more mature man (in age, not necessarily in behavior 😉 ).

    But then the Bond ‘girl’ should also not be a Gen Z 😀

    • Smart&Messy says:

      Pfft come on! You can’t expect them to cast someone OLD, like a 40 yo. (With sarcasm of course)

    • SusieQ says:

      As a 36 year old elder millennial woman, I too hope they find an elder millennial to be Bond’s love interest!

    • DK says:

      Excellent point about the Bond girl NOT being Gen Z!

      I’m confused, though: [SPOILER ALERT?!]: In the last Bond movie, Lashana Lynch played 007.
      So…why is Lynch not playing the “next James Bond”?

      (And since “James” has become a popular name for girls, the needs-to-be-a-man argument falls flat. If the same character can be played by different actors who look nothing alike, there’s no reason – other than misogyny and whiny fanboys, of course – that Bond has to be male?)

      I assumed that’s what No Time to Die was setting up (otherwise why make a big deal of passing the 007 mantle to Lynch’s character?)? Or at the very least, that it was establishing someone other than a cis-male could be Bond. So I’m kind of bummed that seemed to be just a performative nod to diversity, after all.

  8. Lurker says:

    Not british but Ismael Cruz Cordova gives me Bond vibes

  9. Fineskylark says:

    I just really want the next film to be On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

  10. littlegossipboy says:

    I would love Nicholas Hoult to be the next bond.

  11. The Hench says:

    Bond died at the end of the last film and it’s my opinion he should stay that way. Even Daniel Craig called him a misogynistic dinosaur. Not to mention that the basic plot is always predicated on not only the greatness of James Bond but the greatness of Britain, which, when contrasted with the sorry reality, is looking increasingly delusional and embarrassing with the passing of every year.

    And I say this as a Brit myself. Enough already. Stop flogging the dead, jingoistic horse.

    • Dutch says:

      The problem is that hundreds of millions of dollars fall out of the horse every time it’s flogged so they are going to keep doing it as long as that happens.

    • Jais says:

      Lol, I did not know he died at the end of the last movie! I saw casino royale and liked it but mostly bc of Eva green and Daniel Craig together. Mostly though I’m just eh on Bond in general. But I would watch Dev Patel as Bond. He’s just mesmerizing and watchable. But I’d also love to see who would be the director. I’d love to see a POC as Bond but also some diversity on the writing team and behind the lens at the same time.

  12. BabySwans says:

    Wait didn’t the last movie’s ending insinuate that the next Bond would be a female? Am I making this up?

    • MissMarirose says:

      No, you’re not making it up. In the last movie, Bond had quit. So they gave the 007 moniker to a female agent played by Lashana Lynch. So, there’s a female 007 but not a female Bond.

  13. Kaykay says:

    Hellooo Henry GOO7ding.

  14. Lili says:

    I havent watched a bond movie in ages, i think the last one i watched had Halle berry in it. I saw on twitter Patricia arquette wants Prince Harry , now that would be an interesting twist LOl

  15. sparrow says:

    At one point Tom Hiddleston was a contender, perhaps he still is. I did however hear it was basically over for his chances because of the Taylor Swift relationship, which was years ago and indicates he must have been in the running for some time. Please don’t ask me where I read it! Regardless, I’m not overly fond of the idea; there’s no Bond electricity there for me. I know he’s loved by many c/bers, so I’m ducking down…

  16. Tulipworthy says:

    I think Henry Golding would be a suave Bond. He could explore the Asian world.

  17. NMB says:

    Yes to a Millennial. What does someone in their 20s know about the world? Sorry not sorry. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I get that Sex and the City episode about the 20 something woman. Before everyone comes at me, I’m fully comfortable saying I still have a lot to learn about the world, and I know when I’m in my 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. I’ll look back at myself and cringe at myself for saying this the way I cringe at any memory of myself in my 20s. My point if it’s lost – our society and certainly Hollywood is incredibly ageist. I’m here for an older James Bond. Also +1 to the commenter who mentioned the Bond girls should ALSO be older.

  18. phaedra7 says:

    IMPHO: REGE’-JEAN PAGE (“Brigerton”) would make an excellent choice for 007. He embodies all of the characteristics of the character, although I’m sure that he would make the role his own. Just. My. Opinion/Observation. 👏🏽

  19. sophie says:

    Sorry…it’s Idris for me. Don’t care how old he is as he’s got it all….and more!

  20. Miss Owlsyn says:

    His statement is a bit odd because when Daniel Craig was cast and when Casino Royale came out, they very much hyped that this was supposed to be a younger, rougher and less experienced Bond. Granted, it wasn’t supposed to be a 20-year old Bond or anything but they did want to tell more of a origin story. I guess they’ve done that and don’t want to go back again or too far.

    But there’s also a lot of years between 29 and 45 (count em, lol).

    Also, Ben Whishaw was great as Q. That’s all. Have a good day.

    • Ameerah says:

      Craig was in his late 30’s when to took over Bond. He was younger than Brosnan. Which gave them a hood decade of Bond films with him. So his comment isn’t odd at all.

  21. Concern Fae says:

    Honestly, they should do a run of one off Bonds. Do a trio with Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, and Tom Hardy. It would give the movies that shiny energy of when they have a new Bond. I can see that each of these actors would be hard to do multiple films with, but each of them has one amazing Bond movie in them.

  22. sparrow says:

    Bond is a bit of a poisoned chalice for any actor, but especially a younger one. It’s the chance of a lifetime and so tempting – money and inhabiting an international role – but with that goes the difficulty of moving out of the character and into different projects. It’s a tough decision to make when your career is at its most fluid and there are opportunities of all sorts.

    • Colby says:

      I think its possible, but the actor has to make some really intentional, off-beat choices pretty quickly. Daniel Radcliff and Robert Pattinson have done well in that respect, IMO. They take on some really weird, indy projects or Broadway plays to get as far away from the characters as they can, then they can come back to, in RP’s case, play something like Batman.

      • Deering24 says:

        But Bond gives you the leverage to do offbeat projects. Craig did a batch of dramas, weird thrillers and the like that were very non-Bond—as well as Macbeth on Broadway. And the gap between Bonds is long enough to rack up other roles. The role is only limiting if the actor wants it to be.

  23. Ladiabla says:

    Ooooh Henry Golding or Dev Patel..I can see either be an excellent 007 😍

  24. schmootc says:

    I am interested to see who they go with – but that’s mainly because when they picked Daniel Craig, I was horrified. A blonde Bond? WTH? But then the movie came out and I got it. So I do have some trust in the producers.

  25. Aviva says:

    Without even reading it, seeing as the youngest Millennials turn 30 this year, it makes sense. No one is a master secret agent at 29.

  26. HeyKay says:

    Aidan Turner for Bond.
    Tom Hardy for the Bond villain.

    Mmm, Aidan Turner needs to work more, so hot!

  27. Trish says:

    I could say this is racist and ageist, but all I know is I won’t watch it without Idris Elba in it. Idc, he IS James Bond. Women all over the world agree, but because of some age thing he’s been disqualified? Something smells fishy.

    • vertes says:

      Idris is handsome, suave, and has a bit of cheek but at 50, he’s just too old for the physical agility that Bond needs. The Bond movies always have at least 1 real fight scene. Even carefully choreographed, it’d be hard for a 50 year old to pull off those scenes convincingly.
      Besides, since Bond died in the last one, will future films be timed as past “inserts” from between earlier adventures?

  28. AnneL says:

    While I agree RJP wasn’t great in “Gray Men,” he was very good as Chicken George in “Roots” and I think he’d be a good Bond too. The former just wasn’t well directed in general and the actors didn’t have much chance to develop their characters.

    I could also see Matthew Goode. How old is he though? He’d bring back the sauve, debonair, classically handsome Bond.

  29. Squints says:

    Jensen Ackles

  30. ShoppeGirl says:

    Dev Patel! What about Aaron Taylor-Johnson (see Godzilla), or Callum Turner (OMG!!)?

  31. ZeeEnnui says:

    Did anyone watch Bodyguard on Netflix a few years ago? It’s an excellent action series starring Richard Madden. While watching it, I was like, he should be the next James Bond.

  32. The Recluse says:

    This is bugbear of mine: the determination of the time period for Gen-X.
    The original definition from Douglas Coupland, the guy who WROTE THE BOOK called Generation X was 1961 – 1980-ish, with 1960 being a kind of cusp year. Both Craig and Fiennes are Gen-X actually: 1968 and 1961. So are Keanu, Sandra Bullock, Eddie Vedder, Stephen Colbert and so forth. Someone somewhere decided to move the goalposts so that Boomers could sprawl out even more than they already do. As someone who was born in 64 and grew up living life as all Gen-Xers experienced it, it frustrates me to see people quote 1965 as the beginning of my generation. Coupland had the correct definition way back in the 90’s.

  33. lushapusha says:

    Henry Cavill. He’s a bit too pretty and too buff but he nailed his role as a spy / con man in The Man from U.N.C.L.E, and he did the whole suave charming-con-artist-with-an-agenda exquisitely.