In July of last year (before we knew the name of No Time To Die), a report came out that Lashana Lynch would be taking over as 007 for the new James Bond movie. Set to be a huge shake up for the long-running franchise, a lot of fans were unexpectedly shocked by the news. How could a character that has traditionally been male suddenly change sex? As we know now, that report was off the mark a bit -Lynch is merely a Double-O agent-, but the producers behind the series have recently clarified one thing.
James Bond will always remain a man.
In a tell all interview with Variety published today, Eon Productions’ Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson firmly stated that they don’t see the Bond character as anything other than male. “He can be of any color, but he is male,” Broccoli said. The duo are stringent on that point, feeling that the film industry needs characters created specifically for women instead of retrofitting older franchises.
“I believe we should be creating new characters for women – strong female characters,” Broccoli elaborated. “I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”
This is a nice sentiment, but there is something to be said of taking a male dominated franchise and having its fan base confront women. We shouldn’t be segregating sexes in film to cater to specific crowds. The real world has people interacting from numerous backgrounds all at once, so films should be a reflection of that.
At the same time, I can’t help but agree with Broccoli here. James Bond, for better or worse, is a series about a male spy sometimes being a jackass. A certain machismo style is built into the character. Trying to subvert that just to appeal to a new audience is the wrong way to go about shaking up the character. The casting of current star Daniel Craig was a more appropriate method and it seems Eon is keen to follow that.
Whether or not Craig comes back for a sixth film (which doesn’t seem likely), Bond is going to remain a man. Maybe that’s not what some progressive types want to hear, but I’m happy that Eon is taking a stance.