Amid constant speculation over who will be the next James Bond – including Gillian Anderson’s own internet-delighting bid to be the first female 007 – Brian Smith, an Ian Fleming and James Bond historian, explains here why the prospect of a woman taking on the role is an interesting possibility.
Remarkably for a franchise more than 50 years old, the James Bond films are enjoying their best-ever box office results.
Skyfall took in excess of $1 billion and Spectre rose higher than recent superhero blockbuster Batman v Superman. It’s safe to say that while box office receipts are at an all time high, there wont be much change to the formula just yet.
I also wouldn’t rule out Daniel Craig firing down the barrel of the next one. But whoever becomes the next Bond, he (or she!) probably isn’t on the public’s radar yet. You can bet the producers will be following several young actors’ careers at the moment.
The idea of a female Bond is an interesting one, although it’s probably more likely to happen when Bond eventually enters the public domain, like Sherlock Holmes has done in recent years.
Like most things, I wouldn’t have a problem with it so long as it was done well.
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) May 21, 2016
Perhaps before we address the question of a ‘female Bond’ we should ask why there are so few female action franchises?
Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games is a shining example of how to do really good character-driven action films, so much so that, like Bond, these films may continue beyond the books on which they are based.
Generally, female-led action films are few and far between, which may say more about the scripts available than the talent.
In general the movie studios have been nervous about green-lighting too many of these films. Halle Berry was to appear in a Bond spin-off with her Die Another Day character Jinx, for example, until MGM got cold feet (on the back of failures such as Catwoman).
Unlike the comic-book style of Die Another Day, ‘Jinx’ was going to be a gritty spy thriller – and many of those elements worked their way into Craig’s Bond reboot Casino Royale.
Regardless of lead actor, one thing’s for sure – women have always been at the forefront of Bond’s success. Today the films are helmed by one of the most successful movie and theatre producers in the world today: Barbara Broccoli.
So if you’re miffed that the next Bond is another man, just remember – it was a woman who put him there!
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Main image: Gillian Anderson/Twitter