Both Pierce Brosnan And Daniel Craig Are Ready For A Female 007
Not for many a year have there been as many rumours as those surrounding the next James Bond instalment.
Daniel Craig originally wanted no part in it, and for a while there neither did any directors. As fans incessantly offered up their pick for who should play the titular role, the rumour-mill gathered momentum, with Idris Elba and Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden short-listed.
As the saying goes, you never fully appreciate something until it's gone. And perhaps it was the prospect of losing the role to another actor that saw Craig jump onboard. With a director also confirmed, Bond's next adventure is nearing production, with a newly announced release date of April 8, 2020.
But for a while there, talk on social media argued that a woman should play the MI6 agent next. Even Elba himself said in an interview with Variety back in 2018, a future Bond "could be a woman – could be a black woman, could be a white woman. Do something different with it. Why not?"
Now, Daniel Craig himself has thrown his rather weighty opinion behind the cause. Speaking to The Mirror, the 46-year-old actor said he thinks it's time for the role to offered out to a broader range of people, saying: "I think that everybody should be considered. Also for women and for African-Americans, there should be great parts anyway, across the board." He backed this up soon after in an interview with a morning TV show in the UK, saying "I cannot see any reason why ultimately, a woman, a lady, a girl, cannot play the James Bond character."
Now, another Bond alum has entered the debate. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brosnan reflected on his time playing the highly coveted role of Bond, James Bond. But rather than sit woefully lingering on the glory days of yester-year, Brosnan was quick to look ahead to the future with an excitable energy. “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,” he said in the interview. “I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
Brosnan was known for playing Bond with a steely coolness. But at 66-years-old, the Irish actor now recognises that the franchise and its titular character need to reflect on how the times have changed. With the #MeToo Movement and numerous campaigns for female equality, it comes as no surprise that the treatment Bond subjects to the women he often encounters, isn’t exactly what you would see as a redeemable quality.
As Brosnan told the publication, “The #MeToo Movement has been relevant and significant and well needed in our society, so they’ll have to address that.”
Actresses have been quick to throw their figurative hat in the metaphorical ring. Emilia Clarke came forward, as did Priyanka Chopra, Gillian Anderson and Elizabeth Banks who were all too willing to take on a gender-swapped version of the role.
The argument against? A few prominent women in the Bond universe have some opinions against a female bond that may prove surprising. While speaking on a press tour for Disney's Dumbo in Hollywood, French actress Eva Green was adamant that Bond should remain a man.
The actress, who played Vesper Lynd, the Bond girl who broke the British super-spy's heart in 2006's Casino Royale, explained to Vanity Fair: "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," said Green.
"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 not be played by a woman."
Green is not the first woman to argue against the idea of a female 007. Daniel Craig's own wife, Rachel Weisz, said in 2018 that she would not want to see a female Bond as the original author Ian Fleming "devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women."
Instead, Weisz proposed, "Why not create your own story rather than jumping onto the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors?"
She added, "Women are really fascinating and interesting, and should get their own stories."
It makes sense, particularly when you consider Hollywood's desire to reboot a number of franchises and popular series with a female cast. While some are quick to applaud the reflection of more women on screen, it can't help but be said that the industry seems to be profiteering from contemporary feminist ideals, and are simply paying lip service to feminism by featuring more women rather than developing original stories with female leads.
Despite her stance on Bond, Green is proud to have helped change the narrative of female characters in the franchise, moving them from sexy damsels in distress to smart, assertive and powerful figures.
"I love the fact that the Bond girls have evolved," said Green. "I originally had reservations about being a Bond girl. I didn't want to be a bimbo. The women are now perceived differently. They are intelligent and sassy and fascinating. I loved playing Vesper. She's the only one to get to Bond's heart and has a big impact on his life."
For Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, there is no argument as to what gender the next Bond should be. Rather, the decision is simple: "Bond is male," she said in an interview last year. "He's a male character. He was written male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."
To that extent, it remains anyone's guess as to who will replace Craig in the future. Place your bets.