Bond Girl Eva Green Reignites the Debate Over Future James Bond’s Gender

Bond girl Eva Green may think James Bond needs to be a man, but that’s not the future of cinema.

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Collage by Alex Hodor-Lee

James Bond fans have long debated which actor made the best 007. When the new author of the James Bond books, Anthony Horowitz, called the majestic Idris Elba (whom 63 percent of Americans want to see in this role) “too street” to play the spy, race entered the equation. Now, thanks to the 38-year-old French actress and Bond girl Eva Green, who believes the role should only be played by a man, gender had been brought to the fore of the Bond debates.

At the premiere of Tim Burton’s totally not-for-kids revamp of Disney’s Dumbo, Green, who played Vesper Lynd in 2006’s Casino Royale, said, “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.” Hmm, but doesn’t it?

Early Bond films got away with some gross tropes related to gender because they had such camp appeal. Think about the Pussy Galore character in 1964’s Goldfinger; her name alone was so cheeky you had to love her. Back then, Bond was played by (arguably the best Bond) Sean Connery, who captured the goofiness of the character’s misogyny, which also served to highlight it’s grossness. He was a pig, sure, and those Bond girls usually fell for him, but many also kicked his ass. Not all women in Bond movies are sex toys, it’s true. There’s Bond’s secretary, Miss Moneypenny, and the man-killer Xenia Onatopp from Goldeneye. Since the early Bond movies, though, both the vibe of the character and the times have changed, and it only seems right to shake up the gender politics in the franchise in some way.

The current Bond, Daniel Craig, will soon wrap up his final film in that role, and producers are looking for a new face. If ever there were a perfect time for a female Bond, this is it. Not just because so many classic Bond tropes are hideous when seen through the lens of the #MeToo movement, but also because we live in a world that is slowly sinking into total disarray, with the rise white nationalism and hyper-wokeness. Filmmakers need to bring that campy fun back into this series or risk losing an audience forever.

The new female Bond can be black or bisexual or both, but putting in this role another man whose secondary goal is getting laid is a suicide mission for the British agent. Many female actors have expressed interest, like Emilia Clarke, Priyanka Chopra, Gillian Anderson, and Elizabeth Banks. The idea of Charlize Theron as Bond has been backed by Chris Hemsworth. Elba even commented in an interview with Variety that the next Bond “could be a woman—could be a black woman, could be a white woman.… Do something different with it. Why not?”

Still, Green is sticking to an old narrative, along with the Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and the actress Rachel Weisz. “Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies and be superheroes,” Green said, ”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.” And others agree, but have them catch Gillian Anderson in Sex Education, plowing through sexual suitors with well-coiffed hair and a joint in hand, and get back to us on their change of heart.

Related: Why Charlize Theron Is the James Bond We Need Now