James Bond has been a beloved character for moviegoers since the 1960s. Suave, debonair and deadly, Bond has been reincarnated more times than Madonna, and continues to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with action, intrigue and a little bit of romance. However, things have changed a bit since the last time we saw Agent 007 in all of his glory in 2015's Spectre. Now James Bond is getting a bit of an upgrade for 2020's No Time To Die, and one of those upgrades is having a black woman step into the role for the first time in history.
Traditionally all of the actors who have portrayed England's greatest spy have been white men; Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Sir Roger Moore (who has portrayed Bond the most out of all other actors), Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and the current 007 Daniel Craig. At one time it was rumored that British actor Idris Elba was being considered for the role but that turned out to be false. And although he was disheartened by critics who said he wasn't the right choice he also had his own thoughts about being selected.
“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” Elba says. “Of course, if someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’ That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.’”
Luckily for Elba after fifty-seven years of no diversity regarding the role of James Bond there will be a shakeup to the franchise when Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch steps into the role, but only for a brief moment.
Bustle reports that although Daniel Craig will be reprising his role as James Bond Lynch, portraying an agent named Nomi, will be stepping in at a very crucial moment during the film.
"There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says, 'Come in 007,' and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful, and a woman," a source close to the production told the outlet. "It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman." The trailer makes it clear that Nomi has already made an impact on MI6 — even Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) is delighted by her interactions with Bond — and that her introduction is part of the franchise's efforts to bring Bond into the modern era.
And as far as Lynch being 100% present in the moment to bring her character fully to life she wanted to ensure Nomi didn't come off as merely a caricature.
"I didn't want someone who was slick. I wanted someone who was rough around the edges and who has a past and a history and has issues with her weight and maybe questions what's going on with her boyfriend," the actor explained, recalling that she sat down with director Cary Joji Fukunaga and screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge to ensure that she "had enough space to explore [Nomi's] humanity as much as I could."
No Time To Die premieres in the UK on April 2, 2020, with a scheduled stateside release on April 8, 2020. Check out the trailer below.