According to Barbara Broccoli — the woman who has managed the James Bond film franchise since the Pierce Brosnan era of the ’90s — James Bond will not become a woman after Daniel Craig leaves the role. In a statement to Variety, Broccoli made it clear that any future incarnation of James Bond will not be a gender anything other than male.
Here’s the statement from Broccoli:
“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.”
This clarification comes after a ton of speculation and rumors suggested that Lashana Lynch’s new character in the forthcoming film, No Time To Die, will, effectively replace agent 007. The thing is, this still might be true, but it doesn’t mean Lashana Lynch is the new James Bond. Ready to get into the semantic weeds?
007 and James Bond are not the same thing. James Bond is a person, a fictional character created by Ian Fleming for a series of novels in the 1950s, and who then became a film character in 1963 when Sean Connery first said “Bond, James Bond” in Dr. No. However, Bond’s secret agent number — zero-zero-seven — is just his special code number. If he retired or was killed, presumably the number would go to someone else. In a lot of the Bond movies, we actually heard about or saw, other double-o agents get taken out. In Octopussy, 009 is killed, and in GoldenEye, we met 006, Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) who became a supervillain after faking his own death. The point is, these were numbers assigned to these guys, they were not part of their name.
Think of it like Batman: Batman is Bruce Wayne, but then, sometimes, like in the cartoon Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne is retired and Batman is Terry McGinnis. What Barbara Broccoli is saying is that James Bond is male. This doesn’t mean a future 007 movie couldn’t star Lashana Lynch. Because if the rumors are true, in No Time To Die, Bond is retired and Lynch’s character has been given the number 007 in his absence. See, that wasn’t so hard.
Broccoli’s comments are also interesting because on some level it suggests the search is underway for a new James Bond, which means everyone will probably be talking about Idris Elba again or maybe that dude from Peaky Blinders.
In any case, the most recognizable symbol of fantasy-masculinity isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s just that after this year, he’ll no longer be played by Daniel Craig. And, if you’re smart about placing bets, it seems likely that James Bond’s number will likely still get snagged by a woman.
No Time To Die is out on April 10, 2020.