Can the #NextBond be a woman?CultureCinema
In recent months the Internet has been in a frenzy about who will be the #NextBond, and hopeful suggestions (read: demands) have only increased since Daniel Craig has officially turned down a $68m offer from MGM to do one more turn as 007.
While the web has been hotly debating who may be up for the role in 2017, Gillian Anderson’s name has skyrocketed in popularity after posting a fan-made image of herself superimposed over the classic Bond gun-barrel. Could fans persuade the creators replace James with Jane?
The Internet is determined to have a less stereotypical Bond
Speculation on who should be cast next as Bond has followed each exiting actor, but there was outcry when it was deemed that Idris Elba was “too street” to fit the role. Outrage was largely concerned with the racist inference of the remarks, for which the Bond author, who made the comment, has apologised. Despite this, Bond fans on Twitter set Elba up as a fan favourite to play the role, contrary to to Horowitz’s remarks.
Though Elba is not out of the race to become the next Bond, a new twist on the iconic character has emerged: that she be a woman. Looking through James Bond Movie lists, the posters boast an undeniable theme of middle-class white men surrounded by a lot of beautiful women and guns. But in an age where equality is being debated everywhere, the voices of social media – often amplified by hashtags taking off – have declared that this stereotype no longer fits what they want to see on the big screen.
Can Gillian Anderson snap up a “Jane Bond” role?
Actors being championed for the Bond role include Tom Hiddleston, Damian Lewis, Idris Elba, Clive Owen and John Boyega. But none seem to have had an impact on the Twitter #NextBond conversation as considerable as Gillian Anderson’s. Her own tweet stating “It’s Bond. Jane Bond” seems to confirm the actor’s interest in the role.
Dissension has come from all sides of the fandom, but significantly from former Bond actor, Pierce Brosnan, who thinks that a female Bond wouldn’t work. He stated that “His name is James. His name is James Bond,” which others see as narrow-minded. Departing Bond Daniel Craig, on the other hand, has said that it would be a great idea, and that “if it works, it works.”
New Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also had his say, suggesting a female Bond could be the way forward. He has backed Rosamund Pike and Naomie Harris as possibilities for the role.
The franchise has started breaking down its sexist stereotypes
Many have slated Bond and the ongoing Bond Girls phenomena as being incredibly sexist, but recent years have shown the female characters of Bond to be far more badass than those of earlier eras. Since Sam Mendes took over directorship of the franchise the inherent sexism seen in Bond movies has been toned down, with the secretary role of Miss Moneypenny being reshaped to put her in the thick of it as a full-blown agent. But the dynamic has not completely abated – Spectre has a strange suspect shower scene with a “Bond girl” who’d previously been used for sex.
Perhaps the logical next step in the Bond franchise’s attempts to rid the movies of sexism could be to make the central character female. Some fans are still of the mindset that Bond is inherently male, but this could make a female Bond all the more challenging and interesting, giving yet another layer to the franchise. And with Melissa McCarthy in Spy proving, at least in a comedic setting, that audiences will watch a women as a lead in a spy movie, there is potential for the Bond decision-makers considering the financial potential of the series.
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