As Daniel Craig officially retires his James Bond tuxedo in No Time to Die, conversation has turned to the future of the franchise and, more specifically, who could lead it.
The actor taking over from Craig, 53, is yet to be announced, but scriptwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge has hinted that she's not in favour of a female Bond.
"I think Bond is James Bond. We just need to cook up someone to rival him," she said at the London premiere of the film on Tuesday.
When asked if creating the character will be down to her, she said: “I have to be careful what I say.”
Waller-Bridge was called in to work on the No Time To Die script in 2019, and worked closely with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and director Cary Joji Fukunaga.
New Bond casting won't begin until 2022
Although it's been a topic of conversation since Craig suggested he was retiring from the role after the release of Spectre in 2015, Broccoli insists the search for a new James Bond won't begin until next year.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, she said the hunt for a new 007 will only start in 2022.
"We’re not thinking about it at all," Broccoli said. "We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we’ll start thinking about the future."
Broccoli is the daughter of original Bond producer Cubby Broccoli; she has 44 years of experience working with the film franchise. She started out working in the publicity department of The Spy Who Loved Me aged 17 in 1977, when Roger Moore played the title character.
In 1983 she worked as an assistant director on Octopussy and became an associate producer of the The Living Daylights in 1987, which was the first of two to star Timothy Dalton as 007.