As Bond buffs prepare for the long-delayed No Time to Die, the 25th movie in the spy thriller franchise, the ongoing conversation of gender in the series is once again bubbling up. This time, though, the discussion is even more pertinent, considering Daniel Craig, who has starred as the titular Brit since 2006, will hang up his martini glass after this upcoming installment. So, will the next person to gain a license to kill be a woman? Craig apparently doesn’t think so. “The answer to that is very simple,” he recently told Radio Times. “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
It’s an interesting idea, though it ignores the fact that a female James Bond alternative would not have a 60-year film history to support her. In the past, when women have taken on similar characters outside the franchise, the result has paled in comparison. Take Atomic Blonde, a well-liked action movie starring powerhouse Charlize Theron as an M16 agent. The movie, which was released in 2017, reportedly grossed a little over $100 million worldwide. Meanwhile, the most recent Bond film, Spectre, reportedly grossed over $880 million.
Of course, Craig is saying goodbye to the franchise, so his opinion shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only one who holds it. Film producer Barbara Broccoli who, according to Variety, has “an unprecedented level of creative control, serving as the final arbiter on everything from the scripts to the casting to the promotional materials” thanks to a “highly unique deal,” agrees with Craig.
“He can be of any color, but he is male,” Broccoli said of a replacement for Craig. “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.”
Some were hoping the now vacant role would be given to Captian Marvel’s Lashana Lynch, who will be introduced in the upcoming film as the first-ever female 007, just a step away from adopting the full Bond moniker. But Lynch has insisted she’s not interested. “Nooo! You don’t want me!” she told The Guardian recently.
She continued, saying, “We are in a place in time where the industry is not just giving audiences what it thinks the audience wants. They’re actually giving the audience what they want to give the audience. With Bond, it could be a man or woman. They could be white, black, Asian, mixed race. They could be young or old. At the end of the day, even if a two-year-old was playing Bond, everyone would flock to the cinema to see what this two-year-old’s gonna do, no?”
But right now, we aren’t asking for a two-year-old Bond (though I do know one specific British baby who would look great in a tux cough cough Archie). We just want Jane, who wears Sergio Hudson suits and keeps her gun attached to the garter of her Fenty lingerie. Is that too much to ask?