The name’s Bond. James Bond. It’s a mantle actor Daniel Craig has held since 2006, when he starred as the British intelligence officer in “Casino Royale.”
Four films later with “No Time to Die” coming out in October, Craig is ready to hang up the suit. His successor is different from 007s of the past in that she’ll be the first woman to take up the role.
It’s been a topic of much debate over whether a woman should take over the iconic franchise. Craig spoke about his feelings on the matter earlier this week and fanned the fires of a new, broader debate.
“Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” Craig told the Radio Times.
Craig has a point, as there’s a lack of strong and complex female-lead action franchises. This has changed in the last few years with “Wonder Woman,” “Captain Marvel” and even further back to “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
Even Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said, “Bond can be of any color, but he is male.”
Lashana Lynch did get casted, though, and she will play Naomi, an MI6 agent who many expect to take over 007 by the end of the film. Some think if Lynch does take over the role, the character and franchise overall will shift in a whole new direction, but this isn’t necessarily a guarantee.
Lynch can embody the defining qualities of Bond, including being cunning, intelligent, emotionally detached and even-keeled. Leaving the series if Lynch does take over will be the misogynistic aspects of the character, which have been on their way out for years — but her casting will finally eliminate them.
Lynch’s casting will be a breath of fresh air for a franchise on cultural life support after the revered successes of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. Craig hasn’t done a bad job with the character, but the franchise has grown stale and resembles a comfort food where you know what you’re going to get and won’t have many surprises.
This is the way for many action franchises such as “Mission Impossible,” “Terminator” and “Fast and the Furious.” These movies, along with the Bond films, do hold appeal to certain audiences and I’ve enjoyed them as well. But, credit to the 007 team for doing away with the current formula and trying to push for a different direction.
The new iterations have a chance to be more than just a box office cash-grab and will hopefully display a more complex female action character than is out right now.