A female 007? It's about time, say James Bonds

Two actors who have played the famous spy - Daniel Craig (left) and Pierce Brosnan (right) - both endorse the idea of a woman taking on the iconic role.
Two actors who have played the famous spy - Daniel Craig (left) and Pierce Brosnan (right) - both endorse the idea of a woman taking on the iconic role.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • The James Bond franchise's less-than-progressive portrayals of women, who are often relegated to the role of love interests and femme fatales, have for years led a faction of fans to clamour for a woman - or anyone who is not a white man - to take over the part.

And now, two James Bonds say it is time for a casting shake-up.

In separate interviews at two film festivals over the weekend, Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan endorsed the idea of a woman taking the helm of the storied spy franchise.

Craig, the reigning Bond, told Variety in an interview that "of course" the iconic spy could be played by a woman in the future.

He made his remarks while promoting the Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery, Knives Out, at the Toronto International Film Festi-val, and jokingly endorsed his co-star Jamie Lee Curtis for the role.

Meanwhile, at the Deauville American Film Festival in France, former 007 Brosnan wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of a woman playing Bond to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting," said Brosnan, who played the super spy in four films - GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).

However, Brosnan conceded that a female James Bond was unlikely, as executive producer Barbara Broccoli's has insisted that "Bond is male".

"He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male," Broccoli told The Guardian last October.

"And that's fine. We don't have to turn male characters into women. Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters."

Brosnan told The Hollywood Reporter: "I don't think that is going to happen under their watch."

That does not mean the franchise is not evolving, however.

There have been rumours the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, would feature British black actress Lashana Lynch, 31, taking the code name of 007 even though Craig will still play the famous spy.

However, some fans might take issue with some of Brosnan's remarks to the trade publication.

While Brosnan told The Hollywood Reporter the franchise would need to change its approach to female characters because "the #MeToo movement has been relevant and significant and well needed in our society", he also praised the directing talent of Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, both of whom have been accused of sexually assaulting minors.

Brosnan was asked about Polanski, who was awarded the Venice Film Festival's highest honour last week despite his conviction for raping a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s, because he had worked with the director on 2010's The Ghost Writer.

The Hollywood Reporter says Brosnan dismissed questions about Polanski's appearance at Venice, saying they had worked together and adding: "He's a brilliant film-maker and so is Woody Allen. We celebrate them as film-makers."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'A female 007? It's about time, say James Bonds'. Print Edition | Subscribe