James Bond producers on the future of the series and 007 working for 'King and country'
The James Bond film series celebrates its 60th anniversary on 5 October, 2022, six decades to the day that Dr No — the very first 007 movie — premiered in London.
There have been six actors to play Ian Fleming's creation on the big screen during those 60 years, but only one monarch at the head of the country he serves to protect: Queen Elizabeth II.
The next James Bond film, Bond 26 (which is at least two years away yet) will see Bond on duty for His Majesty's Secret Service, working for King Charles III. Long time Bond producer Michael G Wilson tells Yahoo that this new change of monarch will be reflected in the next 007 movie.
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"Of course, the words [for King and country] will be reflected," Wilson explained at the launch for Christies' upcoming two-part Sixty Years of James Bond charity auction.
"But I think, you know, as far as Bond goes, whether it's King or Queen, he's working for country and his loyalties are that way.
"His integrity is key to the character. So I don't think it'll change what he does well."
Much has been said of late about the next iteration of James Bond, with Wilson and his co-producing sibling Barbara Broccoli promising an evolution of the character to reflect modern expectations of masculinity, but regardless of what direction they take 007 in next, fans should expect the unexpected.
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"We have very loyal fans," admits associate producer Gregg Wilson. "We're always endeavouring to deliver the highest quality entertainment experience we can. And we don't take that lightly. We know we have a high bar to hit. And there's expectations of what you've got to do, but you've also got to surprise people.
"So it's a balancing act between keeping it different each time, but also managing to continue with this character that is so well loved."
Keeping the fans happy is harder than it sounds. Some prefer the grittier, darker Ian Fleming style Bond of the Daniel Craig, Timothy Dalton and early Sean Connery films, while others yearn for the more light-hearted family-friendly Bond of the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan eras. While they wouldn't be drawn on revealing what to expect from the seventh Bond actor's tenure, the father-son team say they're focussed on striking the right balance for both sides of the fanbase.
"It's always a mixture of entertainment and drama and storytelling," says Wilson Sr. "So it's about getting that mixture right. We have a lot of great writers to help us, and we have our directors and, of course, a lot of great filmmakers to help us out."
"Also whoever the actor playing the role is brings a lot to whatever the tone of the film is going to be," adds Wilson Jr. "And I think that has very much defined each era. People think of them in terms of who's played the role, because that's very much dictated by the type of actor they are."
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Whoever the producers choose to take on the '10-12 year' commitment of being the 007th actor to play Bond on the big screen, longtime Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould has complete faith in their instincts to find the right man, and to move the series forward.
"Daniel Craig's shoes are big shoes to fill," Corbould tells Yahoo about keeping the 60-year-old franchise fresh. "I'm sure they will come up with an exciting new actor. There'll be new things, [they'll think about] what it is threatening the world in this day and age. They've got to put all those pieces of the jigsaw together and come up with a great story and I'm sure they will."
"I think the secret is to keep evolving it, and don't stick to the same format, all the time," Corbould adds.
Read more: Chris Corbould shares dream Bond stunt
"And that's what they've managed to do over the years — keep changing it with new actors, new styles of filming, and it's kept it fresh in people's minds."
The charity sale, which is raising money for 45 different causes, offers Bond fans the chance to bid on 60 unique lots over two auctions. The live auction, taking place at Christies London on 28 September, is comprised of vehicles, watches, costumes and props associated with the 25th film No Time To Die, and six lots offered celebrating each of the six James Bond actors.
The online sale has been open for bidding from 15 September until James Bond Day on 5 October presenting 35 lots spanning the 25 Bond films with posters, props, costumes, memorabilia and experiences.
This is the fourth James Bond auction hosted by Christies, with previous sales raising £4.8m for charitable causes so far.
Adrian Hume-Sayer, director of the private and iconic collections department at Christies, tells Yahoo they hope to add another £3m to that total with the 60th anniversary auctions, and that they expect interest from all over the world.
"With something like this, the appeal is truly global," Hume-Sayer explains. "Who hasn't heard of James Bond? Who hasn't got a moment in their life, that they remember seeing their first Bond film?
"So in terms of who will be buying, [it will be] obviously the mega Bond fans that you would expect, but also interest will come from every corner, every unexpected place. With this type of sale, it's always astonishing where interest comes from and where some of the objects end up."
The auctioneer admits to having his eye on the Faberge-style egg from Octopussy, due to its appearance in an auction during Roger Moore's 1983 Bond adventure.
"It is not only a jewel-like prop, but it's actually a jewel-like object in and of itself. It's so beautifully made. The craftsmanship is fantastic. And it's just it's just such a magical, tangible connection with that moment."
Details for how to bid at the 60 Years of James Bond auction can be found on Christies' website.
Watch a trailer for 60 Years of James Bond