James Bond producer on next Bond, EONs involvement in new 007 TV show and more

007: Road to a Million – Official teaser trailer

Last night Express.co.uk attended the glitzy premiere of the first-ever non-scripted James Bond TV series, held at the newly refurbished Battersea Power Station.

Prime’s 007 Road to a Million pitches teams of two on an adventure around the world answering trivia questions to win up to £1 million, all the while surrounded by Bond-esque locations, stunts and challenges.

Brian Cox hosts the reality show as his very own Bond villain The Controller, putting contestants through trials that wouldn’t look out of place in a 007 movie.

At a screening of the first episode attended by the Succession star and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Gregg Wilson, we were treated to such comic highlights as a duo being forced to measure a live Boa Constrictor in a Venetian villa, while one couple broke down a door before it dawned up them that they’d have to weight a Tarantula. Yes, it’s something of a mash-up of Who Wants to Be a Million and I’m a Celeb, but without any of the trashiness. Instead, the competition fits snuggly into the classy, globetrotting ambience of Bond’s world.

But just how involved were EON Productions in 007 Road to a Million really? We decided to find out by asking one of the franchise’s producers in person.

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Bond fans will be familiar with Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, the daughter and stepson of 007 film franchise creator ‘Cubby’ Albert R Broccoli, who head up EON Productions and the James Bond movies today. Also working closely with them is Michael’s son, Associate Producer Gregg Wilson, who some suspect will one day be running the entire company.

His first job on the 007 franchise was assisting composer David Arnold on the score for 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, before having development, production assistance and sound design responsibilities on 2002’s Die Another Day. When Pierce Brosnan was replaced by Daniel Craig in 2006’s Casino Royale, Gregg joined EON Productions full time and has worked on all five of the outgoing star’s Bond movies – plus the company’s other features Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool and The Rhythm Section.

In between 2019’s No Time To Die and the upcoming Bond 26, his focus has been on the 2022 60th anniversary celebrations and now 007 Road to a Million, which he’s been particularly involved in.

How does your involvement in the Bond films differ from when working on 007 Road to a Million?

Gregg Wilson: “On the films, I’m extremely hands-on and I’m involved at all stages from development up until beyond release. But on this project, because we’re not the actual production making it (72 Films is), I’m more involved in development, the casting and setting everything up. But I’m not on set when they’re shooting it, that would probably be the major difference. And also the way that this was shot, they had a very small nimble crew, so it’s only really a dozen people following around these contestants sometimes.

“And then you wait to see the rushes come back, so it’s different in some ways but the whole planning is very much similar. But of course, I’m very much just one voice in a room of many thrashing this out. Amazon is very involved too and MGM too.”

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How involved were your father Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli in 007 Road to Million alongside yourself?

Gregg Wilson: “We’re always working as a team and we delegate. Barbara wanted to be involved in all the important stages, particularly the casting was really important to her. Dad and Barbara both approved [the final contestants having watched] the videos of all the potential candidates, whittled down, gave our notes on who we thought was good, who we thought was maybe not. And also approving all the major locations and that kind of stuff.

“I was a little more in the weekly meetings more than they were, but I would brief them on whatever the important decisions were that had to be made. It’s a team effort, we kind of just decide who’s going to be more involved in certain projects. From the beginning, when we talked about it, it was just decided that this one, because I felt it was going to be a very interesting, new, exciting journey for us, was one that I wanted to be involved with. So I said, ‘I’m happy to run this and bring you guys in when it’s necessary for all the important bits.’ Their creative fingerprints are on everything we’ve done on this show, but 72 Films deserves the credit as the company that made it.”

Does your father Michael G Wilson learn from the way Cubby Broccoli mentored him in how he mentors you and gives you responsibility in the 007 franchise?

Gregg Wilson: “Definitely. The spirit of Cubby lives on in everything we do and I wasn’t working yet in my career when he passed away. So I just knew him as a grandfather, but I feel very much the lessons that he taught Dad and Barbara have been imbued in me in some way with that connection. And it’s a special thing to be part of this incredible family business.”

Is the plan one day to hand over the reins of EON Productions and the James Bond films to you?

“I’m happy to be a part of it as long as people keep going to the cinemas and watching these films.”

Lastly, where are EON Productions at now with the next Bond?

“No plans on making the next Bond at this stage. There will be another Bond someday, but we’re not actively developing it.”

Barbara Broccoli has made similar comments on Bond 26 in recent weeks. However, an expert with insider knowledge of the franchise, who knows her personally and was in attendance at the premiere, has shared his thoughts on what’s really going on with the next Bond process.

007 Road to a Million is streaming on Prime from November 10, 2023.

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