Currently, the most important question about Bond 25 is: “Who will play the iconic role in the next film”. Fans around the world are thirsty for any morsel of information they can get their hands on. So it’s no surprise that online news agencies are continuously spewing out clickbait articles concerning anonymous insider info about who might replace Craig if he leaves. It started after joking about slashing his wrists, but he has since clarified himself by confirming that he hasn’t abandoned the role just yet. However, for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the news agencies are on to something… Daniel Craig retires his Walther PPK once and for all.
It’s mid-2017 and Craig makes an official announcement through a respected and verified source. The long-time producers of the franchise step forward and diplomatically acknowledge his final decision. There’s no discussion about whether it’s true or not, because we all know it is. Our focus would then shift to his potential replacement. Could the producers have previously lead private talks with Craig and mutually agreed that their new choice should take the throne? Probably. They would preferably wait about 6 months before they make the new reveal. Similar to the transition between Brosnan and Craig in 2005…
Although, the producers would want to kick-start Bond 25 right after announcing the actor. Otherwise the hype and media attention would die down to a quiet whimper. So assuming Craig retires later this month, the Broccolis would then tactically announce the new actor during late October/November (2-2.5 months prior to shooting). Technically though, whenever Craig does makes his decision, it’ll be at the right time. Mainly because – as previously mentioned above – the producers would’ve planned this all out with him. Since they always like to release JB films late in the year, the filming also begins late autumn/ early winter. So at the very latest, Craig would be given permission to make a public statement around mid-August. Otherwise they need to wait almost one full year before announcing the next Bond, because they wouldn’t hire a new actor within one month of Craig leaving (out of respect) … nor would they immediately recast and then have to sit on their hands for a while.
So whenever Craig eventually does announce his retirement, there’s a good chance that it’d be anywhere from February 20xx – August 20xx. This allows the producers to either wait a few months before recasting, or begin production with no time wasted – depending exactly on when Craig leaves of course.
The decision of whom to choose as a replacement is anyone’s guess. We’ve heard it all. From the less controversial: Fassbender, Hiddleston, Hardy, Turner, Cavill or Bell…. To the more controversial: Elba, Bradley Cooper or Gillian Anderson. The producers are known for taking risks, but casting a female as JB simply wouldn’t go down well and that’s looking at it objectively. Though fear not, because they wouldn’t shake things up to that extent. At least not while Barbara and M.G. Wilson are at the helm of the films.