Daniel Craig once asserted that he could not "see any reason why ultimately a woman cannot play the James Bond character”.
However, the actor has since U-turned on his comments, shared during a 2019 TV appearance, instead arguing in a new interview that female actresses deserve their own roles.
The star, who will portray the famous spy for the fifth and final time in No Time to Die, this week shared his belief that "there should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour".
"Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” Craig told Radio Times.
Her casting led to much speculation about the likelihood of a female actress replacing Craig in the popular franchise.
However, long-time James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli shot down such rumours last year.
“James Bond can be of any colour, but he is male,” she told Variety in a 2020 interview.
"I believe we should be creating new characters for women – strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
In his Radio Times interview, Craig also addressed previous comments, given in 2015, when the actor stated he would "rather slash my wrists" than reprise his role as Bond after filming Spectre.
"To be completely honest, I was thinking, 'I don't know if I can do another one of these.' I finished filming Spectre with a broken leg," Craig clarified.
"To your point about being in my fifties now, I thought, 'Do I have this in me? Do I want to go through all of this?' I needed a break. But a little more skill in the answer might have been better. I was joking, but it came across as ungrateful."
No Time to Die, which has been much delayed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, will form Craig's last outing as the world-famous spy.
The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, also features Oscar-winner Rami Malek as villain Lyutsifer Safin, Ana de Armas, Lea Seydoux and Naomie Harris.
No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond film in the franchise, will be released on Thursday, October 7, in the UAE.