Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson paid tribute to the “wonderful actors” who have portrayed 007 over the years as they were honoured with BFI Fellowships.
The sister and brother duo, aged 62 and 80, own EON Productions and have produced the last nine films in the beloved spy series.
During an event at Claridge’s in London, they received the highest honour bestowed by the British Film Institute in front of an audience that included Naomie Harris, who played Miss Moneypenny in the recent Bond films, and Ralph Fiennes, who appeared as spymaster M.
Speaking about the longevity of the franchise, Broccoli told the PA news agency Bond is “a classic hero”.
“He is out not for his own personal benefit. He is out for Queen and country. He tries to do the best thing,” she said.
“He is very heroic, and I think people admire that and look up to that. He has some fun along the way, which people enjoy as well.
“We have been very, very lucky. We have had the most wonderful actors portraying Bond over the years and we have had a wonderful cast and crew and technicians.
“So I think the audiences have just appreciated all the craftsmanship that goes into the films.”
Broccoli, the daughter of original Bond producer Albert R “Cubby” Broccoli, described the franchise as “everything” to her.
She added: “We have been together working on these films for 40 years and I have grown up with them my entire life, so it is really everything.
“It is a family, it is a family business, and we consider all the people we have worked with over the years family and extended family.”
Wilson said working on the Bond films is “more than just a job”.
“It is a lifetime of involvement,” he said.
“Trying to make films that are entertaining and relevant to what is going on in the world and put Britain on the map.”
He also remained tight-lipped about the search for the next 007 after Daniel Craig delivered his final performance as the British Secret Service agent in No Time To Die last year.
He said: “We don’t know yet but certainly Daniel is fantastic and it is going to be very difficult to find someone that can replace him in the part.”
Broccoli and Wilson were recently honoured with CBEs at Buckingham Palace after being included in the 2022 New Year Honours List.
Together, they have also produced The Rhythm Section starring Blake Lively and several independent film projects including The Silent Storm with Damian Lewis and Radiator featuring Gemma Jones.