It's official: There will never be a female James Bond.
Bond could be pretty much any race, but producer Barbara Broccoli gave what sounded like the final word on the controversial topic in a new interview with Variety: Bond "can be of any color, but he is male." Sorry, Emilia Clarke.
Broccoli continued: "I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
That's something of a plot twist, then. Broccoli believes that to simply make the character a woman just for kicks isn't really doing women any favors.
As far as Broccoli and her co-producer and half-brother Michael Wilson are concerned, they've done plenty to innovate the Bond universe already. More from Variety:
If anything, Broccoli and Wilson’s experience with Craig has emboldened them to shake up the Bond formula. On paper, the choice was shocking. Craig, with his blond hair, boxer’s swagger, creased face and gruff volatility, didn’t fit the mold.
He wasn’t conventionally handsome, he didn’t smack of fine living and chateaubriand and he lacked the black or brown locks that previous Bonds, from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan, had all rocked — though in Connery’s case that was courtesy of a toupee. Craig’s selection was considered to be such an affront to 007 purists that websites, dubbed CraigNotBond, sprang up to decry his casting. Even the actor was surprised to win the role.
The interview makes it clear that the Broccolis are deeply involved in preserving what they see as Bond's legacy. Variety notes that they have shut down ideas plenty of other franchises might have pursued in the interest of profit—such as a TV series that was basically about Bond in high school—as well as stood their ground regarding certain casting decisions.
And the Broccolis have gone to Bond's usual studio, MGM, with ideas that didn't get picked up, like a spinoff featuring Halle Berry's secret agent character Jinx from Die Another Day.
In the end it may be that pushing for a gender-swapped Bond, while understandable, is missing an opportunity to let the character evolve, catch up with the times. After all, Fleabag writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was partly involved in No Time To Die with #MeToo in mind, posing the potential for a somewhat "woke" Bond—one day.
We'll find out for sure when No Time To Die premieres April 10, 2020.