The future of the James Bond franchise is still uncertain, and as Daniel Craig considers his future as the iconic super spy, many actors are being listed as his potential replacement. It’s a debate that has happened several times in the past, but on this occasion it seems more relevant. Craig really seems to be done with the role, and even a hefty pay day of $150 million hasn’t forced him to play his hand — yet.
As fans and executives consider their favorites to replace the British actor, although they are reluctant to admit that Daniel Craig may be gone from the franchise for good, it seems change is a key word on the lips of some people, especially where James Bond is concerned. It happened when Idris Elba was considered for the role a couple of years ago, and although his potential casting caused uproar amongst the loyal fans, the idea of a black James Bond has started to gain some credibility. With several stellar performances in Hollywood, and a massive fan following, Elba is slowly stating his claim to one of the most popular roles in the world.
And it seems the women want a piece of the action, too. Several actresses have shown their interest in playing James Bond — or Jane Bond as the press have labeled the potential recasting — in recent years, and Quantico star Priyanka Chopra has now revealed that she would like to become the next 007. She believes the next James Bond should be female and is eager to see a woman secure the role.
Speaking in an interview with Refinery 29, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has reignited her interest in taking on the role of the world’s most famous spy. The former Miss World first declared her interest in the part during an earlier interview in 2016, and couldn’t help but readdress the issue.
“I know everything is about diversity right now. But I think it should be about humanity. It’s 2016. It’s so easy to separate ourselves and become smaller and smaller pieces of humanity. It would be a big win for women, period.”
She also spoke out about the Jane Bond moniker. She stated that the title of James Bond should stay put for a female actress, adding credence to the long-standing fan theory that James Bond is actually nothing more than a codename.
“Look. It’s a story about a British guy who happens to be a white dude. There’s nothing wrong with that, whoever came up with it. If Victor can become Victoria, then James Bond can be played by a woman. And not Jane. She should be James Bond, and she should be able to sell it. Why not?”
Chopra has a solid point. Although James Bond is portrayed as a white male in the novels, and fans are dead-set and happy for it to remain this way on the big screen, a drop of artistic license has never stopped the studios before. They have a right to tweak; Bond is a character, pure and simple, and if James Bond is a codename — something that has yet to be addressed directly in the movies or books — then it opens up the stage for anyone. Bond shouldn’t be defined by a skin color or gender, the character should stand strong despite these potential changes. The only restriction lies with the writers; in which case, anything is possible.
Ever since George Lazenby uttered “This never happened to the other fellow” in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service back in 1969, Bond fans have created the theory that the James Bond moniker is a codename that can be assigned to any 007 agent, even a female. We all know that women play a key part in any Bond feature. The “Bond Girls” are as pivotal to the franchise as Bond himself, and many have shown their spirit and toughness when facing/standing beside him. Would it be so hard to assign a little role-reversal?
Then there’s the other factor; a woman can be called James. If the codename is too big a change to the canon of 007 after all these decades, then simply keep the name for a lady, too. This shouldn’t be too hard to introduce since Daniel Craig’s street-smart, stripped-back incarnation of the spy has breathed fresh life into the long-running series. Change has played a huge part in Bond since 2005, and the franchise is clearly evolving. What lies ahead? Only the studios know, but it would certainly be interesting to see Chopra, or any leading lady, step into the shoes — or stilettos — of James Bond. Whether we see it or not is a completely different story.
The rumors of a female James Bond are fast becoming old news. As reported by The Guardian back in May, Gillian Anderson, who is famous for playing Dana Scully on The X-Files, hinted that she would accept the role of the first female Bond should it be offered to her. Having seen the actress in the popular BBC series The Fall, it’s easy to imagine the actress slipping into a trouser suit and kicking a**. Following Anderson’s statement of intent, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke also threw her hat into the ring. She confirmed that playing Bond was one of her unrealized dreams, and stated that Leonardo DiCaprio would be perfect as the first-ever “Bond Boy.” It certainly offers food for thought.
As Daniel Craig considers his future as 007, the studios need to consider a replacement should he drop out. Black? White? Female? Nothing is certain yet, but you can expect the Bond debate to continue for some months to come.
[Featured Image by ABC]