In July 2019, rumours started circulating that Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch would take on the title of 007 in the next James Bond movie, the response was both disheartening and disgusting. However, the actor is making history as the title of 007, which has been only used by white men archetype until today, is now officially given to a black woman.
In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Lynch has confirmed that she will indeed be the first black woman to take on the mantle. Her character in the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time to Die, will take on that famous call signal: 007. Lynch told the magazine that he prepared herself emotionally for the severe backlash and realized the horrible comments were not about her but more about her gender and ethnicity.
“I am one Black woman — if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation. She would have got the same attacks, the same abuse,” she said. “I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary.”
Lynch’s 007 is going to bring a much-needed new perspective to the Bond franchise. In No Time to Die, her character Nomi is expected to pick up the title of 007 while Bond is living in exile in Jamaica. She told Bazaar that she worked with writer Phoebe Waller Bridge (known for Fleabag and Killing Eve) to ensure the character had “a fresh female perspective” that was “subtly drawn, believable, perhaps even a little awkward.”
“A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for. I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent,” she said. “I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100% authentic,” she added.
However, take this news with a little grain of salt: Lynch might be playing Agent 007 but she won’t be taking on the actual role of James Bond in the film. According to the Mail on Sunday, Lynch’s character will be tasked with bringing James Bond out of retirement.
“There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M [played by Ralph Fiennes] says, ‘Come in, 007,’ and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful, and a woman, the insider told the Mail on Sunday. “It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond, but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.”
The source added that Bond will “of course” attempt to seduce the new female 007, only to have her “roll her eyes” at him.
So yes, even if Lynch will not be the ‘James Bond’, that doesn’t takeaway from the fact that her selection is a step forward and in the right direction, which indeed calls for a celebration. It is high time that well-known franchises practice inclusivity and break the shackles of using women as mere props in their films.
The movie is currently slated to come out in April 2021, after its release was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.