If you were hoping for a female 007 after Daniel Craig leaves the iconic James Bond role, don’t hold your breath.
Barbara Broccoli, a long-time franchise producer currently charged with casting 007, told the Guardian: "Bond is male. He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male. And that's fine. We don't have to turn male characters into women."
Sure, she’s right: we don’t have to. But we also don’t have to say it’s not a possibility or define characters by gender constructs. Women definitely deserve their own stories (we’re as tired of the old gender-swap reboots as anyone), but the idea that James Bond is made up of entirely masculine characteristics — and his gender has to be set in stone — is ludicrous. Women can drink martinis and look good in suits (we’re looking at you, Blake Lively in A Simple Favour). Women can seduce spies (remember Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow?). Women can be womanisers, if that’s crucial to the Bond ethos. And if the success of Wonder Woman and Black Panther have taught us anything, it’s that women can certainly save the world while bringing in huge box office numbers.
After Craig announced he would be leaving the 007 franchise following the next movie, the internet exploded with suggestions for who could play Bond, including rumours stoked by a cryptic tweet from Idris Elba.
Despite Elba’s suggestion that Bond could be a woman, few women connected to the franchise agree with Broccoli. Former Bond girl Halle Berry and actress Rachel Weisz, who is married to Craig, have both expressed doubts about the 007 gender switch. Berry told ET, “I mean, that series is steeped in history, you know Ian Fleming's stories. I don't think you can change Bond to a woman." Weisz told Vanity Fair, “I think women should get their own stories.”
Others embrace the potential change. Chris Hemsworth went so far as to suggest Charlize Theron as the next Bond to ET. The rumoured next 007 Elba also suggested a female Bond, telling Variety that 007, “Could be a woman, could be a Black woman, could be a white woman. Do something different with it, why not?”
Considering the Doctor Who franchise has recently announced the first ever female Doctor, it doesn’t seem out of the question that Bond could also see a gender switch at some point.