There’s an inherent masculinity to James Bond, one that’s often flirted with, seduced, and occasionally even enthusiastically romped with outright sexism over the years. And while purists might argue that a certain retrograde machismo is central to (at least some incarnations of) the character, there’s no logical reason that Bond’s dim view of half the human population needs to extend to the movie’s behind-the-camera staff as well. And yet, in the 50-year, 20-odd-film history of the franchise, not a single woman has ever directed or written a James Bond film.
That might finally be changing, according to a rumor being reported on by The Guardian. The paper is claiming that Susanne Bier—whose recent BBC/AMC miniseries The Night Manager is starting to look like a covert Bond audition tape—is supposedly on the short list of new directors for the franchise. If selected, Bier would be replacing Sam Mendes, who directed Skyfall and Spectre, and who recently made it clear he wouldn’t be returning for a third 007 movie.
A Danish director, Bier’s past output includes melodramas like After The Wedding, and the recent Bradley Cooper vehicle Serena. The Night Manager—which starred Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, and an equally Bond-rumor-swamped Tom Hiddleston—marked the director’s turn toward pulpier, more action-associated fare, which began with 2010’s In A Better World, and continued with 2014’s A Second Chance.
Calls for more women to be involved in Hollywood’s premiere spy franchise have been increasing of late, as the uncertainty around Mendes and Daniel Craig’s departure has built. Gillian Anderson and Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke have both put their names forward as potential female replacements for the protean superspy, suggesting that the lead could just as easily become “Jane Bond” without changing much of the movies’ DNA.