Our favourite secret agent 007 makes the headlines again, but not for the reasons you might think.
The new Bond film, arriving in theatres on October 8, collected a mix of opinions when it announced that Lashana Lynch, a Black actress will not only be joining the team, but also replacing Bond as Agent 007, taking over his codename after Bond left MI6 in the last movie.
Back in 2005, fans of the multibillion dollar franchise were in disarray when it was announced that we were about to get a blonde James Bond, or “James Blond” as fans dubbed.
But now the 53-year-old English actor is making statements regarding the gender of the next 007, causing some slight controversy as to why he doesn’t think Bond should be played by a female actress.
“The answer to that is very simple,” Craig said in a sit down with Radio Times.
“There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
While his explanation remains diplomatic and arguably inclusive, it’s good to reflect on the misogynistic and sexist Bond character himself, who might just be the epitome and frontman of workplace harassment.
Lashana Lynch, starring as Nomi, also had something to say about the franchise’s producers decisions in making 007 female.
“They’re actually giving the audience what they want to give the audience,” Lynch said.
“With Bond, it could be a man or woman. They could be white, black, Asian, mixed race. They could be young or old. At the end of the day, even if a two-year-old was playing Bond, everyone would flock to the cinema to see what this two-year-old’s gonna do, no?”
The debate over Bond’s gender teases out that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have a heavy task when it comes to reviving the character again for its new debut.
In terms of character arcs, Bond has become more aware of the character’s problematic and sometimes offensive opinions and prejudices, yet they remain rooted into the character itself, making it even more fun to watch him discover that a Black woman is his replacement MI6.
At the end of the day, Barbara Broccoli has already indicated she doesn’t think a woman should play Bond either.
“Bond is male,” Broccoli told the Guardian in a different 2018 interview. “He’s a male character. He was written as a male, and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.”
So whether you agree or disagree with Craig’s personal opinion, it appears to be moot right now.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that while Craig and at least one-half of Bond’s key producers think Bond should remain male, they said nothing about 007.
Lynch’s casting as Nomi only shows the title of 007 can be passed to different agents. So who’s to say the international super spy can’t be, well, anyone really?
But for now, I’ll just sit back and wait for the movie to come out, accompanied by a martini. Shaken, not stirred!