One thing's for sure: change is coming to the "James Bond" franchise, one way or another. After "No Time to Die" finally releases, Daniel Craig's remarkably lengthy stint as Bond will draw to a close (there are people watching these movies who probably can't even remember the "James Blonde?!" outrage when he was first cast in the role!) and the hunt for a new Bond will begin anew. Given the uncomfortably sordid history of the franchise when it comes to the treatment of women and people of color, however, it's only natural that questions would be raised as to how these movies could remain relevant these days.
Suffice to say, the easiest way to drag such a sleazy action hero into the 21st century — a character repeatedly referred to as a "dinosaur" in the past — would seemingly be to cast a woman or person of color as the next Bond. Though that idea has gained (some) steam among fans, Daniel Craig has some interesting and nuanced thoughts of his own.
A New Bond
At a certain point, you've got to feel for Daniel Craig. Remember the narrative that sprung up after his widely-spread remarks (delivered right after a grueling production, mind you) about never wanting to play Bond again? He certainly does, alluding to precisely that during his otherwise heartwarming goodbye to the crew of "No Time to Die." But even after all that, the star has found himself at risk of inciting more controversy — this time surrounding his latest quotes on the possibility of a female Bond. Delivered in an interview with Radio Times (via IndieWire), his full (but admittedly brief) quote is provided below and you can decide for yourself whether it's worth the fuss. When asked about the possibility of a woman taking over as Bond, Craig responded:
"The answer to that is very simple. There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?"
While it's easy to take this out of context and assume the worst about his intentions, Craig actually hits on a point that many women (and, speaking for myself, people of color as well) have raised previously.
Why settle for the hand-me-downs of established white characters, especially when all that effort could go towards creating new characters from the ground up who don't come loaded with quite as much baggage? While certain Bond fans would prefer to keep "politics" out of their entertainment, it's hard to ignore how a womanizing British Secret Service agent who travels across the globe with a license to kill in defense of the "Empire" raises, uh, certain questions in our day and age. Couching such brazenness as something only a white man could reasonably get away with adds important context for filmmakers who are willing to go there, as was the case with Martin Campbell's "Casino Royale" in directly confronting Bond's misogyny and reckless behavior through his relationship with Vesper (Eva Green).
In "No Time to Die," Lashana Lynch's character has already made waves for taking over the "007" moniker in the (brief) absence of Craig's retired James Bond. While the debate over whether a person of color and/or a woman would be more suited for going a step further and taking over the role of Bond isn't likely to die down anytime soon, the Broccoli family have already had the final word on the matter. Given the specific personality and characteristics of the famously flawed agent, it's hard for me to disagree with their reasoning or Craig's.
After spending so much time in pandemic-delayed purgatory, "No Time to Die" comes to theaters and officially ends Daniel Craig's run on October 8, 2021.
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The post Daniel Craig On Female Bond: 'There Should Simply Be Better Parts For Women' appeared first on /Film.