With Daniel Craig set to end his 14-year run as James Bond this year with No Time to Die, there’s been a lot of speculation as to who will be the next actor to slip into 007’s tux. Many are calling for the next Bond to be a nonwhite actor, and some insist that “he” should actually be a “she” and be played by a woman. Now, longtime franchise steward Barbara Broccoli has sounded off on the subject, and you may be surprised at what she said.
Speaking to Variety about the future of Bond, Broccoli said, “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.” Frankly, Broccoli’s comments make a good deal of sense. There are really two things that are essential to Bond’s character: his Britishness, and his masculinity. Race doesn’t factor into either of those traits, but gender does, and for James Bond to be played by a woman would require a radical and fundamental change to who the character is. Plus, if the rumors about Lashana Lynch’s character in No Time to Die are to be believed, the franchise is plenty capable of creating badass original female spies — even ones sporting the iconic 007 codename — that are separate characters from Bond himself.
Broccoli’s stance somewhat echoes comments made by writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was brought in to punch up No Time to Die‘s script at the request of Craig. The creator of Killing Eve and Fleabag is known for creating strong female characters, but that doesn’t mean she thinks James Bond himself needs reinvention. “There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” she said last May, according to Deadline. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
Broccoli’s father Cubby Broccoli, who passed away in 1996, was the co-founder of Eon Productions and is the man most responsible for bringing Bond to the big screen. Since taking her father’s place at the company in 1995, Barbara has co-produced (with her half-brother Michael G. Wilson) every single Bond movie since Goldeneye. In other words, what she says goes when it comes to Bond, and if she’s putting the kibosh on “Jane Bond” then that means it’s not going to happen — at least not while she’s in charge.
As for all those who wish to see Idris Elba handed the keys to the Aston Martin, well, your day may finally be arriving at long last.