Bond 26 timeline

An early logo for Bond 26

In the fall of 2021, with the release of No Time to Die, there already is talk about Bond 26 — the first James Bond film following Daniel Craig’s finale as Bond.

At this point, things are way, way too early for discussion. But that doesn’t talk such discussion from occurring.

Note: This timeline (especially right now) is NOT going to do every twist of the screw. For example, no entries about British bookies changing odds for potential Bond actors.

Dec. 2, 2021: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson YET AGAIN say to The Wrap entertainment-news site they are not interested in James Bond-related streaming shows. While not their first such pronouncement, the half-siblings seem determined to draw a line in the sand.

Weekend of Dec. 3, 2021: A Henry Cavill fan Twitter account hypes Cavill’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show.

Dec. 4, 2021: Barbara Broccoli of Eon Productions at an event sponsored by Deadline: Hollywood says despite the ending of No Time to Die that, “You can rest assured James Bond will be back.”

Dec. 9, 2021: The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. tabloid, runs a story claiming that Amazon (which has agreed to buy MGM but doesn’t own it yet) and Eon Productions are “at loggerheads” about the future of James Bond. Supposedly, Amazon *wants* spinoffs (including possibly based on the “Young Bond” novels). Eon has made clear it isn’t interested. The Sun often is crap but it sometimes has at least a nugget of truth. Expect more of this in the future.

Dec. 18, 2021: Naomie Harris, in an interview with Radio Times, figuratively raises her hand to continue playing Moneypenny. “I would love to come back, because the franchise means so much to me.” She said “the franchise needs to go where it needs to go” and she doesn’t know what the future holds.

Jan. 10, 2022: Barbara Broccoli, boss of Eon Productions, tells The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast that the search for the next James Bond still hasn’t started. “Right now I want to live in the present and that’s a very happy place to be right now.” For now, she’s still celebrating Daniel Craig.

Jan. 19, 2022: Deadline: Hollywood gives Eon Productions chief Barbara Broccoli a big, wet kiss as she lobbies, AGAIN, that Bond will never do streaming first amid Amazon’s pending acquisition of MGM.

“We believe in the power of the theatrical release and the cinema, and that’s what we’ve always done, and that’s what Bond has always done, and we cannot agree to go PVOD, not only just for the health of our brand and our movie but we can’t do that to the cinema industry,” No Time to Die and Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli told us about having Bond 25 stick to its theatrical guns, “We can’t do it to the exhibitors.”

I can hardly wait for Amazon’s deal to acquire MGM to become final.

Jan. 26, 2022: Justin Kroll, an entertainment reporter for Deadline: Hollywood puts out a tweet (not a story) suggesting a decision on the next film James Bond may come sooner than later. (Kroll misspells “hear” as “here.”)

Jan. 27, 2022: Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail gets into the act. At the end of a column, he says Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson “want their new Bond to be young enough to make a series of films — a quintet, like (Daniel) Craig — with a storyline that carries through.” Like Kroll (see entry above) he makes it sound like he knows more than he actually demonstrates. As an aside, if that’s the plan, Wilson (who just turned 80) may not see how it turns out.

Feb. 11, 2022: Deadline announces that Baz Bamigboye is joining the entertainment-news website and departing the Daily Mail. So any future Baz scoops about Bond will be on Deadline, starting in April.

March 2, 2022: Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson give an interview to The Times of London.

An excerpt about Bond 26:

Not so fast, Broccoli says. “The thing is, when you cast James Bond you’re not just casting one movie,” she says. “You’re making a decision that you’re going to have to live with for at least a decade. Everybody has their own idea about what that person should be, so it’s a tough decision. With Casino Royale, by deciding to do that film and follow that trajectory [five interconnected films, beginning with a reboot] it made it much easier to then identify the actor to play that role. And so now we have to decide what the films are going to be like. Are they going to be more humorous or less humorous, more gritty or not gritty? And then, when we’ve done that, we have to figure out the actor to play it. So, no, it’s not just ‘Oh, who looks good in a suit?’ We have to figure this out on our own.” Wilson then pipes up with: “And we don’t need any more suggestions.”

It should be noted that Broccoli, in other interviews, said she knew Craig was her James Bond from the get-go. But Eon has a habit of changing the narrative.

March 15, 2022: The European Commission announces it has approved Amazon’s $8.45 billion acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio. The deal was announced in May 2021.

March 17, 2022: Amazon announces it has completed the MGM acquisition. The matter had been before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Amazon had set a deadline for the FTC to act. Having heard no objection, Amazon finished the deal. MGM becoming part of Amazon will likely have some effect on Bond 26.

April 27, 2022: Variety reports that the top two MGM film executives, Michae De Luca and Pamela Abdy are leaving the studio. In July 2021, Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson issued a statement to The New York Times that De Luca and Abdy should be retained. Presumably, there will be some kind of impact on Bond 26.

April 29, 2022: Amazon makes a quarterly regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It includes some information on MGM, including it values MGM’s film and TV library, including the Bond film series at $3.4 billion. Here’s the text:

Acquisition Activity

On March 17, 2022, we acquired MGM Holdings Inc. (“MGM”), for cash consideration of approximately $6.1 billion, net of cash acquired, to provide more digital media content options for customers. We also assumed $2.5 billion of debt, which we repaid immediately after closing. The acquired assets primarily consist of $3.4 billion of video content and $4.9 billion of goodwill, the majority of which is allocated to our North America segment. Due to the limited amount of time since the MGM acquisition, the valuation of certain assets and liabilities is preliminary and subject to change.

Pro forma results of operations have not been presented because the effects of the MGM acquisition were not material to our consolidated results of operations. Acquisition-related costs were expensed as incurred and were not significant.

April 30, 2022: Variety publishes an interview with Eon’s Barbara Broccoli will “take some time…It’s not just casting a role. It’s about a whole rethink about where we’re going.”

June 12, 2022: The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid, claims that Idis Elba “s now being considered to be the next 007 after ranking highly in market research tests.” Elba’s name has come up many times in the past. He also turns 50 in September. Then again, Daniel Craig went well past 50 and Tom Cruise will turn 60 before the next Mission: Impossible movie comes out next year.

June 29, 2022: Baz Bamigboye, now with Deadline: Hollywood, reports on comments from Barbara Broccoli at a London event. Bond 26 will be “a reinvention of Bond.” No script can be done until that reinvention is figured out. No actor. It will be at least two years before Bond 26 starts filming.

June 30, 2022: Some fan videos emerge in reaction to Barbara Broccoli’s comments.

The Bond Experience:

Dutch Bond Fan:

Calvin Dyson:

Aug. 20, 2022: The Mirror claims that Eon has signed a deal with Warner Bros. “to take the spy franchise past its 27th film and 75th birthday in 2037.” In mid-August, Deadline: Hollywood reported that Warner Bros. would distribute MGM films internationally but the deal, in terms of Bond films, wouldn’t kick in until Bond 27.

Sept. 21, 2022: Variety publishes an interview with Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. They say they’re looking for a 10-12 year commitment from any new Bond actor. They say Bond 26 won’t go into production soon.

Sept. 22, 2022: The Hollywood Reporter publishes its own interview with Broccoli and Wilson. It’s similar to the Variety interview. There’s this additional tidbit from Broccoli: “We start by thinking about, ‘Who’s the Bond villain?’ We try to focus on that as the sort of uber story, and then we want to also look at Bond’s emotional life, and what he’ll be facing personally that he hasn’t had to deal with before.”

Sept. 30, 2022: Broccoli and Wilson are interviewed for an Empire magazine podcast. Forty-nine minutes into the 51-minute podcast, Broccoli says writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will probably work on Bond 26. “That’s something we’ll do probably with Rob (Wade) and Neal (Purvis),” she says.

Oct. 1, 2022: Michael G. Wilson, as part of an article in Deadline, says the new Bond actor will likely be older than 30. “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.”

Nov. 27, 2022: The Sun weighs in with a story Saying Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 32, “is a surprise frontrunner” to become the 007th actor to play James Bond in the Eon film series. An excerpt:

But sources say Aaron, who starred in the Kick-Ass films, Avengers: Age of Ultron and 2014’s Godzilla, impressed Bond franchise boss Barbara Broccoli in his trial at Pinewood Studios.

One insider said: “Aaron went for a screen test to be the next Bond in September and producers and Barbara loved him.

“He is now one of the front-runners.”

Dec. 10, 2022: The Sun is back with another story about Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This time, the tabloid is saying the actor has filmed a gunbarrel sequence. The story quotes a “movie insider” as saying Taylor-Johnson is “a step closer to signing a deal” to play Bond.

Dec. 14, 2022: James Gunn, co-head of Warner Bros.’s DC movie operation, says on Twitter that Henry Cavill won’t return as Superman. The actor confirms the development in a separate post on Instagram. Some fans raise the question of whether Cavill could be cast as James Bond. (Personally, I’m skeptical).

Dec. 16, 2022: The Bond Experience produces a video summarizing the recent Bond actor developments (such as they are).

Dec. 26, 2022: Well, it’s a slow news period, so I’ll pass this along. The YouTube channel The Bond Geek puts out a video saying he has a contact saying Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson really, really want to put out a Bond movie every three years. But what about all those statements that nothing much is happening? “I’ve been they’re just saying that to cover themselves up.” Translation: They’ve been lying. You can judge for yourself.

Dec. 28, 2022: Archivo 007 puts out a gag post saying it had confirmed Aaron Taylor-Johnson was “confirmed” as the next Bond actor. Dec. 28 is the Day of the Innocents, the Spanish equivalent of April Fool. Keep that in mind for any future Archivo 007 posts about Bond 26.

Dec. 31, 2022: The Daily Mail enters the Next Bond sweepstakes with a story saying actor Lucien Laviscount has “caught the eye of James Bond boss Barbara Broccoli and is being lined up to become the new 007.” The article adds this note: “It is also thought that Ms Broccoli and her team are keen to have an ethnic-minority star to play 007 so the franchise is reflective of modern society.” The story also says stunt performers are being tested for Bond 26. h/t @Bond_26 on Twitter.

Jan. 2, 2023: Matthew Belloni Puck News, a former Hollywood Reporter editor, puts out a post with various entertainment observations. In one, he says the “rumors” (you know, the ones The Sun has been reporting) that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is being seriously considered to play Bond in Bond 26 are true. The full post is behind a paywall. Here is what Belloni said about Bond 26:

The Aaron Taylor-Johnson rumors are true—he sat with producer Barbara Broccoli, and the meeting went well, per sources. But while Taylor-Johnson fits the bill—great actor, British, fits the younger direction the Broccolis want to go, accomplished but not particularly famous—he’s about to be a much bigger star. If Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff Kraven the Hunter or Universal’s Ryan Gosling two-hander The Fall Guy works, Taylor-Johnson might end up, ironically, too famous to take on Bond.    

Update Jan. 3, 2023: The Puck News report has begat stories from Yahoo Entertainment, Collider, and the New York Post and who knows how many others.

Jan. 10, 2023: The Giant Freakin Robot website, citing its “trusted and proven sources,” says in a story that Aaron Taylor-Johnson “is close” to securing the Bond role. The site says Taylor-Johnson had “three intense meetings and a successful screen test” for the part. OK, we’ll see.

Jan. 31, 2023: The Hot Mic with Jeff Schneider and John Rocha podcast includes “an unconfirmed rumor” about Eon and Bond 26 — that Michael G. Wilson, 81, will remain active while the search is underway for a new James Bond actor. According to this rumor, Wilson will be around for Bond 26 and then yield his responsibilities to his son, Gregg Wilson. (Nothing is happening to Barbara Broccoli.) The Bond segment starts around the 49:50-minute mark. A tweet from @Stringray_Travel has the clip.

The Bond 26 timeline will return