No time for a female Bond
Let’s Rewind. Daniel Craig Does Not Hate Women.
By Megan Haf Donoher
Image courtesy of Glyn Lowe
With the highly anticipated No Time to Die being released later this month, the leading role has been a disputed topic in the media once again. The iconic 007 character was first created in the early 1950s, featuring in the thriller Casino Royale, and has since been played by numerous familiar faces who have, in turn, made it their own. Therefore, it is no surprise that there has been much speculation as to who will carry the title once Daniel Craig marks his final farewell.
As with most historical fictional characters that have survived the times and changing social attitudes, audiences are expecting such roles and figures to evolve too. While Jodie Whittaker graced our screens as the 13th Doctor in 2017, many are left questioning whether this is the right time for a female Bond to take over the much loved role. The hot topic has evoked and stirred several mixed opinions, and Craig himself recently offered his thoughts on the matter.
Speaking to Radio Times print magazine, Craig states that ‘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?’
Naturally, this response caught the eye of the media and it was quickly assumed that the actor is against a woman taking the role. In reality, this alternate perspective offers a new insight in which the film industry ought to stop gender swapping existing franchises and instead should focus on producing higher quality and gender inclusive roles. While having a historic character such as Bond being attached to a leading woman would be revolutionary to some, is this really the right approach when Hollywood thrives off of existing brands and their marketability to fulfil so-called current trends?
In a 2020 interview with Variety, Barbara Broccoli agreeably expressed that ‘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’. The fact is, we are living in a time where the industry is actually giving the audience what they want, and not what they think the audience wants.
Granted, underrepresented groups of people in established roles are necessary for change. And yet, a character such as 007 cannot be successfully created from scratch overnight. Supposedly, one of the concerns is that the Bond series has only one main character, leaving everybody else, in particular the Bond women, as disposable. Perhaps instead of turning ‘male characters’ into ‘female characters’ for diversity, we should be writing and creating strong and original female leading roles to begin with.
Hollywood, are you ready for that conversation?