James Bond casting director reacts to next 007 rumours
Debbie McWilliams says that Bond casting rumours make her "die laughing, most of the time".
The rumour mill might have you believe that the search for Daniel Craig's successor as James Bond is well under way – or, indeed, that the next 007 has already been found – but Debbie McWilliams, casting director on the Bond series, has insisted that "no conversation [is] being had at the moment".
Speaking to RadioTimes.com as part of our Bond at 70 season, McWilliams claimed that most of the casting rumours make her "die laughing".
"I don't listen to any of it," she said. "It makes me die laughing, actually, most of the time.
"When I hear about who the bookies' favourites are, and who's number 15 and all this kind of thing... I mean, it's just hilarious – and the fact that people are remotely interested is even funnier, I think. It's a curious phenomenon, is all I can say!"
McWilliams has worked as casting director on the Bond films since 1981's For Your Eyes Only and was instrumental in the casting of Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and most recently Daniel Craig as 007.
Reflecting on previous Bond castings, she suggested that the conversation and speculation around who'll play Ian Fleming's super spy next have amplified over the years.
"It's become a bigger deal through modern press and social media and all that business, and the fact that there now seems to be these kind of fanbases that I didn't even know existed, really – but that seems to generate a lot more [discussion].
"And also, I have a theory, which I've trotted out many times, is that when there's a gap in a newspaper, they fill it with a James Bond story, because they haven't got anything else to write about. Why people can't just wait and see, I don't know."
As for who'll replace Craig after the actor bowed out of the franchise with 2021's No Time to Die, McWilliams insisted that the search is yet to begin in earnest. "There's no conversation being had at the moment.
"[Series producer] Barbara Broccoli has been heavily involved in other projects. You know, it's not unusual for there to be quite a big gap between different Bonds, it has been known to have a five-year gap. So, no, nothing."
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