Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has said she believes 007 will always be a male character.
The head of Eon Productions, who signs off on every key hiring and firing in the franchise, said she will be discussing who will take over the role from Daniel Craig next year.
Craig will hang up his tuxedo after the release of his fifth film in the franchise, No Time To Die.
Asked if she believes a woman will ever take the role, she told the PA news agency: “James Bond is a male character.
“I hope that there will be many, many films made with women, for women, by women, about women.
“I don’t think we have to take a male character and have a woman portray him.
“So yes, I see him as male. And I’m sort of in denial, I would love for Daniel to continue forever.
“So I’m not thinking about it, that’s something Michael (G Wilson, her half-brother and fellow producer) and I will discuss next year.”
Asked if conversations about Craig’s successor are imminent, she replied: “No. We want to celebrate the fantastic tenure of Daniel Craig, who’s given everything to this character into this franchise for 15 years and it is really time to celebrate him.”
No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga, the first American to direct a Bond film, said whoever replaces Craig will have a tough act to follow.
Asked if he would like to see more diversity in the character, he said: “That’s a tough one. I don’t actually have a strong opinion either way on that.
“I think it’s going to be hard for anyone to follow in Daniel’s footsteps because, for me, as much as I liked Pierce Brosnan, I was in my early 20s, and kind of checking out of the films a bit.
“When Daniel came in, it was such a different version of the character that I hadn’t seen before, it made me lean back in as an adult.
“Whoever plays it just needs to have that charisma, needs to have those layers.
“So, I think the most important thing is that that there’s attrition to the character, obviously, in terms of who they are and what they’re made up of, but I don’t really have an opinion beyond that.”
The franchise has taken a significant step forward in with the casting of Captain Marvel actress Lashana Lynch as a new 00 agent, who she says is “standing up for black women”.
Lynch told PA: “It’s completely significant, it’s a reflection of where we are right now where I personally would like the world to go.
“It’s a real reminder that we need to keep having conversations about all communities around the world so that we can keep including everyone in our cinema, in our TV, theatre, radio, across the board, so that we’re not one note.
“I never want to be one note with anything, and I would hope that the industry never wants to be one note.
“We want everything to be as colourful and as as open and inclusive as possible.
“That’s partly what I think she represents, but also she’s bold and fierce and standing up for women, black women.
“We shoot in Jamaica and that is a massive deal for me.
“I’m Jamaican and there’s just so many things that she’s ticked off alone that I actually think that a lot of filmmakers, if they’re going to create someone like Nomi in the future, they’ve got a great example in her as the bold female that she is.”
No Time To Die is released in UK cinemas on September 30.