Some days ago we saw Jodie Whittaker cast as The 13th Doctor, the first woman ever to play the lead in Doctor Who.But what about James Bond? A similar franchise – both have been around over 50 years, have seen their lead played by multiple actors and have evolved with the times.
Of course The Doctor is a Gallifreyan, part of a time travelling alien species who can regenerate into different bodies and swap genders. But could Bond be a woman, going through a similar reboot to Doctor Who or the all-female Ghostbusters last year?
In a recently unearthed interview from 2015 – just before the release of the latest James Bond film Spectre – 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson were asked if the iconic spy could be black or a woman in the future.
Speaking with GQ, Broccoli replied: «It’s like Hamlet, who has been played by a variety of different people, including women. So presumably Bond could be. But do I want to be making a Bond film without Daniel Craig? No, absolutely not! He’s so integral to the whole process that I’m in denial about anyone else playing Bond. Genuinely.»
That is what they said about a black or woman Bond:
Barbara Broccoli: We could make a couple of great Austin Powers films with some of the things that we’ve cut out. We’ll be working on a script and we say, «Oh, that would be a good idea and we work on it» and then we say, «Oh, yes, that’s for the other movie, the Austin Powers version. We’ve got a stack of ideas for an Austin Powers movie!»
Michael G Wilson: I think Austin Powers helps you not to parody yourself. It makes you ask yourself, «Are you creating something that can be parodied because it’s become so formulaic?» So in a way it was a wake-up call. It was helpful.
Bruce Feirstein: Barbara and Michael are continually meeting people who are saying you should have Bond do this or Bond do that. The one that always gets mentioned is when someone said, «I have a brilliant idea – Goldfinger’s daughter!» Which is funnier still because there are no children in Bond. That became shorthand for a bad idea. You didn’t need to say anything else, just “Goldfinger’s daughter” and everyone knew what you meant.
Wilson: Could Bond be played by a black person or a woman? Bond is a fictitious character who has now become part of the culture. So don’t ask it about Bond, ask it about Sherlock Holmes or Superman or Batman.
Broccoli: It’s like Hamlet, who has been played by a variety of different people, including women. So presumably Bond could be. But do I want to be making a Bond film without Daniel Craig? No, absolutely not! He’s so integral to the whole process that I’m in denial about anyone else playing Bond. Genuinely.
Wilson: It’s like saying, «If you weren’t married to your wife, who would you like to be married to?»
Of course the latest rumour is that Daniel Craig has signed on for a fifth outing, so it may be some years yet before Bond changes race or even gender.