Pierce Brosnan has said that he believes the next James Bond should be played by a woman.
Having enjoyed four outings as the 007 agent, Brosnan is more than familiar with the franchise, which he believes will benefit from a female lead.
“I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there," he told Hollywood Reporter. "I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
His comments come months after Cillian Murphy rejected claims he should be the next Bond, telling The Guardian: “I think [Bond] should be a woman, which rules me out.”
But Brosnan doesn’t think fans can expect a female Bond just yet, claiming the series’ producers are not as keen. “I don't think that's going to happen with the Broccolis," he said. "I don't think that is going to happen under their watch.”
Barbara Broccoli, executive producer of the series told The Guardian: “Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay a male.
“And that’s fine. We don’t have to turn male characters into women. Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”
She conceded that a female director could be possible in the future, while Fleabag writer and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has already been added to the writing team for No Time to Die in an attempt to bring James Bond into the post ‘Me Too’ era.
Oscar-winner Olivia Colman has asked Waller-Bridge for a role in the new film, telling Entertainment Weekly: “Oh, trust me, I’ve tried! I’ve asked!” Some have speculated that she may even be in the running to succeed Craig in the role.
Colman remains an outsider but growing speculation has led bookmakers to consider her chances. Current favourites are Murphy and Tom Hiddleston.
Daniel Craig will play Bond in the upcoming 25th Bond film before handing over the reins.