Former James Bond star George Lazenby thinks the producers of the spy franchise should cast their net far and wide when it comes to finding Daniel Craig's replacement as 007.
Speaking to Yahoo in response to his 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service being named the best Bond film ever by 007 alumni and experts in a recent poll, Lazenby said: "Seems Daniel’s done with Bond. You've had a Scot, a Welshman, and Irishman, a couple of Englishmen and me, an Australian. I guess anyone can play the guy from now on.
"And I figure long after we're all gone, there'll be more. But I reckon my Bond will still top lists."
The 81-year-old Aussie played Bond just once, opting not to return for Diamonds Are Forever, which prompted producers to tempt back Sean Connery for one more (official) Bond film.
Craig, whose tenure as 007 began in 2006 with Casino Royale, has made five Bond films with No Time To Die set to be his final outing as the character, and Lazenby is a fan.
"Daniel Craig is great as Bond, very physical like me.
"He’s done a good job for them [producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson]."
Whether the new film will meet its October 2021 release date – it's been delayed by the pandemic three times already – remains to be seen, but Lazenby thinks it will be worth the wait.
"James Bond truly is a worldwide phenomenon. No Time To Die - whenever the movie can get out, I hate this COVID life - is going to be fun and entertaining. Just what we're all going need after this lockdown," he bets.
Watch: The best James Bond films according to the experts
No doubt Eon, the company who make the Bond films, will be screen testing actors for the next Bond film as we speak. Although many names have been bandied about of late, including Tom Hardy and James Norton, the field is wide open for now.
Read more: Actors who could be the next James Bond
One thing we know for certain is that James Bond will always be a man. "James Bond can be of any colour, but he is male," producer Barbara Broccoli told Variety in 2020. "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."
No Time To Die is coming to cinemas on 8 October, 2021.