WORD IS BOND

Don’t count on ever seeing a female James Bond, says producer Barbara Broccoli

Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli, Naomie Harris and Christoph Waltz pose at the last Bond premiere in 2015.
Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli, Naomie Harris and Christoph Waltz pose at the last Bond premiere in 2015.
Image: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch
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James Bond is getting old—it’s been more than half a century since he first graced the silver screen—and the last few years have seen more and more speculation about the possibility of 007 just maybe being played by someone other than a white guy.

Some have pushed the idea of a black Bond, with rumors even circulating that Idris Elba could replace Daniel Craig in the upcoming movie. (He won’t.) And then there has even been talk about ditching the concept of a male Bond altogether.

But don’t get your hopes up on seeing a woman as Bond, says Barbara Broccoli, who has been an executive producer on the franchise for decades. “Bond is male,” she told the Guardian. “He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.”

The desire for a more diverse Bond reflects broader changes happening across the film industry. Hollywood is slowly recognizing that there are lots of stories worth telling that don’t center on white men—particularly those men who are glamorized for treating women as interchangeable and disposable. A female Bond could even make for a more exciting character, argued Noah Berlatsky in Quartz. Other franchises, such as Doctor Who, are rebooting with female leads to add some freshness—and modernity—that has long been wanting.

Broccoli believes Bond hasn’t remained totally stagnant amid this shift. “I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed,” she explained.

She nonetheless believes turning existing male characters into women isn’t the best solution, instead arguing that more effort should go towards creating new female characters. Her take echoes a point made earlier this year by Rachel Weisz, who is married to Craig. There shouldn’t be a female Bond, Weisz said (paywall), because women deserve their own stories.

Broccoli doesn’t rule out that a woman could have more influence in shaping the Bond series. There’s still the possibility of having a female screenwriter or director, for instance, do upcoming movies. “As a female producer, of course I’d like to do that,” she said.