Craig – the blue eyed, blonde who people said was categorically NOT the right man for the infamous 007. His predecessors have all been brunettes with big brown eyes it was simply ludicrous to think that a man in his late 40s, with pale skin and piercing blue eyes could possibly do the job…or could he? So what’s next, a Bond of Colour (I’m still not sure of the PC-ness of ‘Black Bond’) or shock horror a Miss Bond or a Gay Bond?! Society’s tolerances are changing, our expectations and what we accept as ‘normal’ is changing. Is 007 challenge, should
he she it choose to accept it, be to change with the times?
Daniel Craig has should he find himself confirmed to be doing the 27th movie, expected late 2017 would make him the longest standing James Bond actor – 12 year! The gadgetry changes year on year as technology advances and I doubt Ian Fleming could even imaging in his wildest dreams the delight that was the 2015 DB10 but the story and the character stays the same. The current set up works extremely well but I can’t help but think what would happen with a few little changes.
James Bond uses his charm and good looks, but so could a woman, so could a man. James Bond reads the room with one glance, but so could a woman and so could a man. The baddies of Bond are more often than not all male but we have had our fair share of femme fatal characters (Pussy Galore simply owns that category!) , so it is possible to have a heartless, cutthroat leading lady who beds her Bond Boys and falls from bed to bed using her looks and prowess to her advantage? Surely so, there is NOTHING the current 007 does that a woman couldn’t. To a certain extent I think a women could even do more, they blend in better, they are more easily excused etc. Would the world have such a problem with a female Bond? The power of the Bond Empire is the credibility of the story. Based on a set of books, the first written some 50 years ago, the character of James Bond is a portrayed as a white heterosexual male. And this image is one we have brought in to (literally) and one that has amassed a following of millions. Spectre, released at the end of 2015, had a production budget of $300,000,000 (I can’t even comprehend that many 0’s!) and took $850,149,955 at the Box Office Worldwide (over shadowed by Skyfall which took a whopping $1,110,526,981 world wide in 2014).
Although a woman introducing herself with her surname first might sound a bit daft but when James does it I do melt a little inside. A woman is judged for sleeping around but every Bond movie fan eagerly anticipates the first release of the ‘new’ Bond Girl, they aren’t built to stay, they are icons of style, the embodiment of female sexuality and not to mention are considered the most beautiful women in the world. We all know that Bond+Bond Girl does not mean they will run off into the distance, get married, have kids and live in a picture postcard cottage on the South Coast. I don’t feel rambling on about the sexualisation of Bond girls adds any more weight to this argument either. I think the only reason Bond could not be a woman is because the movie thrives off the power of its women and their expendability as villains or booty calls.
What about something slightly more controversial. Could James be more interested in the bad guys than we first think? What would happen to the franchise if our favouriteBritish assassin gave the girls a miss? His sexuality wouldn’t impede his 00 training or his better judgement, Skyfall even saw his open-mindedness with regards to his sexuality with the since titled ‘bisexual scene’. We could have a bisexual Bond. Perhaps he’s too cool to have just one preference. I think the problem with a Gay Bond is mainly a generational issue. Most JB fans are older and older people tend to have a problem with movies that involve openly gay relationships (yes i am making a sweeping generalisation, shoot me down if you must) but if Bond went gay i think those people would walk away. Although I did sit behind an old couple to watch Carol the other week and they seemed totally fine with the on screen lesbian sex scene. I haven’t even thought about the implications or validity of a trans Bond.
What if Bond was Black. As much as the code name ‘007’ is gender, age and colour neutral and the story isn’t particularly written from a ‘white’ perspective, at least I don’t see it that way, he is written from the perspective of a straight single male and that is arguably what makes it so successful. I think a Black Bond could and would work and wouldn’t really upset the die-hard fans too much.
With the stunning Naomie Harris playing Miss Moneypenny I’ve hardly seen any reports marking her culture and colour change. She even stared as the leading lady in a phone commercial on the back of the Bond Franchise! Go girl! Eve Moneypenny is, in my opinion, the most aspirational Bond Girl, she’s constant, she’s beautiful, she puts Bond in his place more often than not and she categorically did not shoot Bond in Skyfall – i urge you to watch the sequence again. In the field as much as she’s in the office the new Miss Moneypenny is the best Bond-gal for me, she rocks her office chic equally as well as an all too revealing gown whilst out on the field oh and she never gets captured or killed, unlike all those other movie goddesses.
It all comes down to the characterization in the story, Ian Fleming wrote Bond as a white, straight male, a commitment-phobe in many aspects and a ruthless assassin savouring British chivalry and in almost every single film saving the worlds safe. He didn’t write him as a woman, as an Asian or Chinese person, Fleming didn’t write him as a Black man or as an Eastern European. So maybe changing any element of this would indeed stir up our favourite franchise that is the smooth but shaken 007.
Is Bond best when he’s unobtainable? The girls could never pin him down, the boys couldn’t have him – but I still struggle to accept the fact that being a woman, being gay or being a black man would make him less so.
We are now in a time where women can be just as badass as men, maybe my issue is not with changing Bond whom we have grown to love and accept for who he is maybe its the need for more diverse characters. The world has met Lara Croft (girl crush!) Katniss Everdeen, we are slowly seeing more movies with lead female characters more tv dramas about women; The Mystereies of Laura follows a single mom of two as she juggles being mom and kicking butt as a detective. Then there is Olivia Hope – the BEST female role model on TV! She’s sexy, she’s confident, dresses immaculately, sleeps with the President of the US and saves the day in EVERY episode.
We are seeing more and more of these women but only because their characters are being written. Could Olivia Pope be white? Yes. Could Katness be Black? Yes. If Olivia was Oliver would the story be any different from anything else on tv? No. If Katness was Kevin would the Hunger Games franchise be as big. I think not.
As Viola Davis said when accepting the first EVER Emmy to be won by a black woman last year, these parts only happen when good writers write them and when opportunities are given, you can’t win an award for a part thats not there!
I am a millennial Bond fan, so to me it will always be Brosnan but Craig ticks all my boxed and be the next one Elba or Lewis I’ll be more than happy but what I’ve tried to say, amongst the ranting and waffling, is watch this space because female front runners are taking centre stage more and more as its fantastic to watch! The next big Marvel hero is going to be a woman. The next Bond style movie could indeed cast a leading lady too!