Photo By: Jordan Nix from Unsplash
By: Devin D’Gama – Volunteer Contributor
With Daniel Craig announcing his departure from the James Bond franchise, the series’ producers have said they will start the search for a new 007 in early 2022.
There has been much speculation as to who will fill Craig’s shoes and carry on the historical legacy of the Bond character. Specifically, there have been rumours that they are willing to give Bond a new look, with interest reportedly being shown in several minority actors.
There have even been rumblings that a female version of 007 could also potentially be in the works. Venturing off the traditional path to trailblaze a new legacy for the character is a brave move, and could be one that pays off.
In Craig’s recent and final film in the role, No Time to Die, a new 007 is introduced. British actress Lashana Lynch plays MI6 agent Nomi, who succeeded Bond as 007 while he was in retirement. The momentum is certainly there to consider continuing Lynch’s role.
From a character development standpoint, there are many avenues to take with Lynch in the role, as we do not know much about her character Nomi. Embracing this new story would also give the franchise a chance to introduce new storylines while keeping certain elements of the Bond films and novels.
Lynch also makes sense in the role because she has experience with large franchises, as she worked with Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Marvel, playing Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau. Furthermore, she is gaining steam and popularity in England, as she stars in the upcoming British drama titled Ear for Eye. In these performances, she has truly made a name for herself while playing in supporting roles.
Another Black actor who may be being considered for the Bond role is Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page. Page played the Duke of Hastings in the Regency-era television series, though he recently left the series leaving him available to possibly take over from Craig. To this point, he hasn’t said that he is interested in the role, but many people, including previous Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, have said he would be a perfect fit.
Similarly, Idris Elba has been an actor long considered to take on the role of Bond. His work on various HBO and BBC series have helped him gain steam. Specifically, he has become somewhat of a regular in crime television, with his most well-known role being as detective John Luther in the British series Luther. Perhaps even more relevant to him fitting the Bond role, however, has been his work in the fashion space. His suave demeanor and sense of style, along with his smoldering looks, are a common theme of every Bond actor and thus would help Elba fit into the role easily.
Undoubtedly, the franchise would be making a bold statement by thrusting a Black actor or actress into a role that has historically been played by a white male. However, it would also open the doors for the franchise to reach markets that may not have had much interest in Bond movies beforehand. Casting a minority as the next 007 would be a perfect way to get a younger and more diverse audience interested in the series.
Though Bond is a character that has stood the test of time, eventually the series is going to have to show a willingness to keep attracting a younger and wider audience if they want future films to do well. Recruiting actors such as Lynch, Page, or Elba would certainly go a long way in doing just that.