James Bond takes his martinis shaken, but Daniel Craig stirs up more conversation about Agent 007’s gender as the franchise moves forward past No Time to Die. The debate over representation in the iconic espionage film franchise causes public rumblings as the current Bond is preparing to depart from the series, and the actor himself weighs in on whether a woman should take on the role of the titular agent.
Radio Times sat down with Daniel Craig to discuss his last and final appearance as James Bond, prompting him to comment on the idea of the 007 mantle being passed on to a female agent. The actor offered up his opinion, stating that “there should simply be better parts for women and actors of color.” He then countered the question that was pitched to him, asking, “Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”
This is an update on his previous statements, wherein he told The Mirror in 2019, “I think that everybody should be considered,” after being asked about women auditioning for the role. He quickly added, “Also for women and for African-Americans, there should be great parts anyway, across the board.”
Daniel Craig was not the only one who was faced with questions regarding James Bond and gender in future films. Franchise producer Barbara Broccoli spoke on the matter with Variety in 2020 where she said that James Bond can be “of any color,” but “he is male.” There was the claim of not being interested in having a woman play a “male character” in the James Bond universe. She then defended her own standpoint, saying that she believes that new characters should be created for women – strong female characters, who she finds far more interesting than just being James Bond.
Lashana Lynch has been confirmed to play another 007 in No Time to Die alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond. She won’t take on the namesake of James Bond himself, but trailers have implied that Nomi (Lynch) will be an all-new character who is expected to share the 007 standing. Lynch will be the first Black woman to hold an incredibly prominent standing in the franchise. It’s been determined that Lynch’s Nomi is already an M16 agent, but could see herself take on an even more prestigious position through the events of the movie.
As for who is to replace James Bond after Daniel Craig has left, it hasn’t been decided yet. Fans of 007 have been wanting to see Idris Elba take over, which would satisfy Broccoli’s comments about Bond being a man, but from any background. Henry Cavill is determined to prove himself worthy through a two-pronged approach, though it was been said that Cavill is “too famous” to don the tux. Tom Holland teased that he would also be interested in taking on the coveted part of the M16 agent, and the Spider-Man star noted that he has two roles that he’s unable to disclose to the public just yet. Holland is known for his youthful look and stature, which supports his casting as Peter “Spider-Man” Parker, though the Spider-Man star stands by his statement that he looks good in a suit.
No Time to Die is Daniel Craig’s fifth James Bond movie in the ongoing franchise and was initially delayed out of concern for the health of moviegoers as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. After the decision to keep the movie release within 2021 was made, the concluding chapter of Daniel Craig’s time as the globetrotting spy was firmly set for a release in theaters on October 8, 2021.