Daniel Craig is saying goodbye to James Bond after No Time To Die, but at least one of his co-stars is hoping that Craig’s exit doesn’t mean they’ll be replaced. Ralph Fiennes took over as M, 007’s superior at M16, following Judi Dench’s character’s death in Skyfall, continuing the role in both Spectre and the still-unreleased NTTD. And he’s hoping to get the chance to boss the next incarnation of the super spy around, too.
While speaking with Games Radar to promote his new Netflix period drama The Dig, Fiennes revealed that he’s “very keen” to keep playing M, and he wants the people at EON to know it.
“If anyone from Eon Films is listening, I’m very keen to continue training the new Bond. I love playing M, and I love being part of that franchise. But who knows? Things have to change. But I love working with Daniel. He’s a terrific Bond. I will treasure that experience.”
We have no idea how the producers are planning to relaunch Bond following Craig’s farewell, but Fiennes stands a good chance of being welcomed back as most versions of M have crossed over into the next era of the franchise. Bernard Lee played M opposite Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore, and Robert Llewelyn then took over for the remainder of Moore’s run and Timothy Dalton’s. Judi Dench, meanwhile, portrayed the only female M opposite Pierce Brosnan and proved so popular that she returned opposite Craig, despite those films being a reboot of the canon.
As for who the next James Bond could be that Fiennes gets to train up, the favorite changes all the time, but names that persistently crop up include Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill. If Craig’s casting back in 2005 is anything to go by, however, then it’ll end up being someone completely off the radar.
For the moment, though, we’re happy to wait to find out who the next 007 is. We just want to actually get to see Craig’s swansong in No Time To Die, which is currently scheduled to hit cinemas this October.