Jodie Whittaker debuted (brilliantly) as Doctor Who this past weekend, helping set a precedent by proving the malleability of characters we’ve come to identify as traditionally male. Hopefully that precedent gets a chance to play out in other franchises, but there’s one for which you shouldn’t hold your breath: James Bond. Executive producer Barbara Broccoli just made a decidedly definitive statement on that front in a recent interview with The Guardian.
“Bond is male,” she said. “He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.”
She continued, “And that’s fine. We don’t have to turn male characters into women. Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”
For Broccoli, that steadfastness is tied to the long history of the franchise, which is rooted in a readily identifiable, distinctive brand of masculinity. Fans tend to “reference those early movies,” she said. “It was written in the 50s, so there’s certain things in [Bond’s] DNA that are probably not gonna change.”
The article goes on to note how Broccoli has played a strong role in revamping how women operate in the Bond universe, both onscreen and off. Rosamund Pike, for example, praised Broccoli for creating a safe set on 2002's Die Another Day. “I look back over my experience and think: ‘My goodness, Barbara Broccoli was way ahead of all this #MeToo movement,” she said. “There wasn’t an ounce of feeling uncomfortable while I was on that set.”
“I think Bond has come through and transformed with the times,” Broccoli told The Guardian. “I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed.”
Broccoli also says a female director or screenwriter is very much a possibility in the future of the franchise. “As a female producer, of course I’d like to do that.”
A new 007 is nevertheless on the way, as it’s been confirmed that the 25th installment, which recently replaced Danny Boyle with True Detective and Maniac director, Cary Fukunaga, will be Daniel Craig’s last. Is Idris Elba still in the running?