The next James Bond won’t be a woman – but intriguingly, producer Barbara Broccoli is open to the possibility of a non-binary character.
Earlier in September, nearly eighteen months later than originally planned, Daniel Craig’s final outing as Ian Fleming’s secret agent James Bond finally hit the big screen. With diverse casting, positive gender representation and a script polish from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the conventions of the 007 formula in No Time To Die were definitely shaken up for the better, leaving everyone wondering if new agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) might be taking on the famous numeric mantle.
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According to Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the Bond series, however, the new James Bond definitely won’t be a woman.
During an appearance on the Girls On Film podcast, the producer explained that Bond will stay as a man in forthcoming features, owing to the importance of writing new roles for women.
“I don’t think that we should be making films where women are playing men,” she explained. “I think we should be making more films about women.”
But while Broccoli ruled out a gender-switched Bond, she did seem open to the idea that the lead character could potentially identify as non-binary in the future; a term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’, and who usually use “they” or “them” pronouns.
When asked about the prospect of a non-binary 007 later down the line, Broccoli seemed refreshingly open to the possibility.
“Who knows, I think it’s open, you know?” she replied. “We just have to find the right actor.”
Broccoli seemed receptive to the idea of Bond being played by an actor of colour, too.
“We want the actor to be British – the only time we haven’t done that was with George Lazenby, who was Australian, but I think British is the key thing. British, as we know, can be many, many things.”
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Broccoli also reiterated her position that while the next Bond won’t be female, they could be a British man of “any ethnicity”.
“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” she explained. “I believe in making characters for women and not just having women play men’s roles.
“I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make movies for women about women. He should be British, so British can be any [ethnicity or race].”
Despite speculation mounting over the next actor to play the superspy, it seems that Craig’s successor won’t be announced any time soon.
“People always ask, ‘Oh, who’s the next James Bond?’” Broccoli continued. “It’s like asking a bride as she’s going up to the altar who’s her next husband going to be. I don’t really want to think about who is going to be the next person until I absolutely have to.”
In a BBC Radio 4 Today interview, Broccoli also confirmed that the search for Craig’s replacement will not begin until at least 2022. Whoever ends up landing the iconic role, it looks as though the franchise is finally moving with the times.
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