The 60th Anniversary of James Bond celebrations official kicked-off around the world on Wednesday, 21 September 2022, commencing with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli partaking in the 95-year-old Hollywood tradition of imprinting their hands and feet at the forefront of the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX®.
Following the ceremony Wilson and Broccoli were honoured as the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation 2022 Pioneers of the Year.
The acclaimed producers were presented the prestigious award by Daniel Craig (No Time To Die) and Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) at the Foundation’s Pioneer of the Year dinner, presented by MGM/United Artists Releasing and Amazon Studios.
Craig said that, Broccoli and Wilson are “my family. Their impact is so great, so widespread, it reaches far beyond the industry.”
“They just give and give, quietly and generously,” said Craig of Broccoli and Wilson’s philanthropic work. “They are like giving first responders. They see a problem and march right in.”
Talking about their stewardship of the James Bond franchise, Craig said, “They never shy away from taking that risky decision that will lift the film from mediocrity.”
After poking fun at his own past complaints on the role of James Bond, Craig said “I wouldn’t change a second of it“.
Michelle Yeoh mused that she had spent the whole night wondering why she agreed to do this. “I can’t sing, I can’t tell jokes, and Barbara would say I can’t act,” she laughed, saying that she was their to celebrate six decades of the franchise, “Me and Bond know it is cool to be 60 and still hot.”
Despite making some changes to the franchise since taking over from their father Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, such as casting Judi Dench as ‘M’ and giving “Bond girls” more depth, Yeoh said that “Michael and Barbara are old school in one aspect, they believe in the cinematic experience.”
Jonathan Glickman, screenwriter Bruce Feirstein and Erik Lomis were also among those who praised Broccoli and Wilson with on-stage appearances while video tributes came from Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Hans Zimmer, Jeffrey Wright, Benicio Del Toro, Adele, Lashana Lynch, Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, Judi Dench, Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.
Sam Smith also performed three songs, including the award-wining “Writing’s On The Wall” from SPECTRE (2015).
This year’s event raised $1.5 million for the benefit of the Pioneers Assistance Fund which provides financial assistance to individuals in the motion picture distribution and exhibition community who are encountering an illness, injury, or a life-changing event.