While rumors that Idris Elba could be the first black man to play James Bond have yet to pan out, the iconic secret agent could be getting a different sort of update. British actress Lashana Lynch’s casting in 2020’s No Time to Die — Daniel Craig’s last stint as 007 — has set off whispers that she may become the first female Bond. Pierce Brosnan, for one, is here for it.
“Yes!” the former 007 told The Hollywood Reporter said of having a woman take on the Bond role. "I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years. Get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
Exciting, but perhaps not realistic, he added, noting that the film franchise’s current producers, Barbara Broccoli and half-brother Michael G. Wilson, may resist such change.
“I don't think that's going to happen with the Broccolis,” Brosnan added. “I don't think that is going to happen under their watch.”
Producers aren’t the only ones pushing back against a female 007. Brosnan’s support for a woman to take over the outgoing Craig’s license to kill fired up the franchise’s (mostly male) fans. To make Bond a woman, they argued, would go against writer Ian Fleming’s original vision.
No no no we don't want tokenism! Character is a man! Smooth sexy seductive! Don't let us spoil everything!— Jackie P (@Jackie___P) September 8, 2019
Ian Fleming wrote the character as a male. End of.— Nick Bailey (@nickbailey73) September 8, 2019
Er..Ghostbusters 2016??????....not even an option....James Bond is a male ...end of.— Art Areola (@ArtAreola63) September 8, 2019
There’s no need. Bond is a man because thats the source material. If you want a woman spy just bloody create one.— Spoonyspoonson (@spoonyspoonson) September 8, 2019
Maybe create another movie and name it Jane Doe or something, played by a woman.— Emmanuel Adigwe (@e_adigwe) September 8, 2019
It's titled "James Bond" for a reason.
The next Wonder Woman should be a man ✊🏼— Gareth Littlefield (@Littlefield_173) September 8, 2019
Oh Pierce. If you change everything about the character, it isn't the character anymore. It's literally someone else. So just write a female spy character!— Michael W (@Mikewsomething) September 8, 2019
Many critics echoed the outrage over the female-led cast of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. While that film’s reviews were generally positive, it underdelivered at the box office in the face of complaints about its gender-reversed leads.
Despite any push-back and potential backlash, the next James Bond film will at the very least have a more feminist influence. Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been tapped to beef up the No Time to Die script and make Bond more respectful of women in light of the #MeToo movement.
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