With James Bond in retirement, a new 007 takes over his famous agent number for the nearly 60-year-old movie franchise. Naturally, with the news some people (white men) figured this meant a black woman was taking over the James Bond role, triggering some panic episodes one assumes. Daniel Craig will return in the role of James Bond for Bond 25, but it will have a decidedly new, one hopes modern look. The addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge as writer (Fleabag, Killing Eve) virtually guarantees an interesting role for Lashana Lynch and the rest of the Bond women (not girls anymore), and won't be just a tacked-on gimmick. And that's just as the Bond franchise wants it, needs it, for Bond to remain relevant instead of an anachronism to a bygone era.
Ever so slowly, Hollywood is starting to get its shit together when it comes to casting for major roles. Following a procession of men to have held the post of 007 since the James Bond franchise launched in 1962, the role will, at long last, belong to a black woman.
Up until this point, Lashana Lynch, 31, was best known for her portrayal of pilot Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel. It’s not that she is going to be James Bond (still played by Daniel Craig); rather, she’s going to assume his agent number now that he’s fucked off to his retirement in Jamaica. But according to the Daily Mail, he’ll come trotting back because no one ever just seems to be able to stay retired.
The Mail attributes the decision to cast a black woman as 007 to Fleabag creator and our collective soulmate Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was enlisted to punch up the desiccated franchise by Craig himself. Smart man. She addressed the issue of Bond’s continued relevance in The Year of Our Satan 2019 thusly:
I think he’s absolutely relevant now. [The franchise] has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to his character.’
Some were wary.
Some were pissed-off.