How About A Female 00?

I woke up this morning to an article on GQ about the great Michael Fassbender discussing his potential casting as James Bond, with Daniel Craig’s future in the role in some kind of limbo (I don’t think anyone really knows what’s going on there anymore). Fassbender makes several interesting points – first of all, assuring us that he’s not interested in playing Bond, and that they should go a completely new direction with it. Like casting a much younger Bond, or an American, or, as we’ve heard doing the rounds, a lady.

I’m an egalitarian, no question. Anyone who knows me knows that. I think any kind of inequality is despicable and needs to be stamped out – and indeed, I’m all for women getting better roles in Hollywood (a goal I’m specifically targeting in my screenwriting). But I don’t think this is necessarily a question of inequality. I think it’s a question of a reactive, radical change vs a necessary, considered one.

Do we really need to change James Bond’s gender to begin paving the path to gender equality?

I totally get Fassbender’s point about trying something different with Bond. It worked out terrifically when Craig took over from Pierce Brosnan (although anything had to be better than Die Another Day), and a female Bond would be something totally new. But to literally change James Bond’s gender somehow feels like a step too far. That’s not me being sexist, I just think James Bond is a male character like Lara Croft is a female character – I don’t think we need to drastically alter one of the most iconic film characters of all time to give an actress a great role. Surely there’s another way? Like, I don’t know…

…a female-led 00 movie? THAT would be great. That would be something I could get really excited about. What I’m saying is this: why not make a ‘Bond’ movie that isn’t a Bond movie, but spy movie set in the same universe where we follow another female 00 agent who’s on a mission while Bond is off somewhere else. Maybe they could reference him at some point, or not. The point is they could make a really awesome “Jane Bond” movie without turning Bond, a notorious Lothario, into a female. They could make a spy movie that isn’t tied to the traditional Bond tropes and history – they could have completely free rein to do whatever they want. Personally, I would love to see it.

And don’t get me wrong – if they do cast Bond as a female I’m not going to complain about it. I’ll get behind it and hope for a great movie, I just don’t think they need to do it. I think there are other, more exciting and rewarding options to be explored.

Am I wrong?

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