Daniel Craig‘s fourteen year run as James Bond has delivered two of the best films in the franchise with CASINO ROYALE and SKYFALL. However, just like all actors who’ve previously portrayed the eponymous character, there’s ultimately a shelf life for 007. The end of Daniel Craig‘s tenure as James Bond is fast approaching. April’s release of NO TIME TO DIE will mark the fifth and final outing for Craig as the titular MI-6 spy. Craig’s return was in doubt at one point, with his previous Bond film SPECTRE being so rigorous Craig stated he’d rather “slash his wrists” than do another Bond movie. One of the reasons Craig came back however was due to longtime producer Barbara Broccoli. “Barbara doesn’t take no for an answer, Craig said. “It’s not in her wheelhouse. I had a nice long break, which I really needed. And then she was just persistent and came to me with some ideas, which we started formulating, and I got excited again.”
My love for Daniel Craig‘s James Bond not withstanding, Barbara Broccoli and fellow producer Michael G. Wilson will soon be searching for a new 007. Both Broccoli and Wilson insist that the search has not begun yet as both are focused on post production for NO TIME TO DIE. However, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from throwing out a variety of names, everyone from Idris Elba to Richard Madden. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Broccoli and Wilson should do a gender swap and cast a female in the lead. Lashana Lynch who plays Nomi, a 00 agent in the upcoming film, is the name currently being bandied about the most.
However, any of you who were hoping that the next Bond might be a female, prepare to be disappointed. While Broccoli acknowledged in a recent interview that the next James Bond could be of any color, she categorically stated the character will be male saying, “He can be of any color, but he is male. I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. 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.”
CASINO ROYALE star Eva Green mirrored Broccoli’s comments last year when asked a similar question at the premiere of DUMBO:
“I’m for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn’t make sense for him to be a woman. Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies, and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man.”
Personally I have to agree with both Broccoli and Green here. James Bond has always been a man. In fact I’d go so far as to say that his gender is fundamentally intrinsic to his character. If you make James Bond a female, to me he ceases to be James Bond. If you’re going to make a drastic change like this, it has to make some type of logical sense. Otherwise, you’re doing it just to do it and it comes off as a gimmick or an instance of forced diversity. The focus should be on creating strong new characters for women as Broccoli states.
Moreover, I think the move would alienate the fan base – both men and women – and consequently the franchise would suffer. Broccoli and Wilson aren’t going to make a move like this if it’s going to cost them millions of dollars at the box office. The commercial failure and lukewarm reception of both RED SPARROW and ATOMIC BLONDE suggest switching to a female Bond could cause a similar box office blunder. However, I recognize that not everyone feels the way I do and it’s very possible a female James Bond could be critically and commercially successful.
So what are your guys’ thoughts? Would you be down for a female James Bond? Are you disappointed by Barbara Broccoli’s comments? Who would you cast as the next 007? Let us know in the comments below!