The next Bond movie won't be released until April 8, 2020, but Bond 25 has already faced a plethora of challenges. From director Danny Boyle quitting over creative differences to Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge being drafted "to liven up" the script, the next installment in the famous franchise has been anything but easy.
But there is some good news. It was recently announced that British actress Lashana Lynch is set to become the new 007, with many assuming she'll be taking over for Daniel Craig in the titular role. However, that's not exactly the case.
Here, we break down what you need to know about Lynch and her upcoming role.
She's not the new James Bond.
Despite misleading headlines about Lynch's role in the new Bond movie, the British actress will not be playing the character of James Bond. As the Daily Mail reported, "She's not the new Bond, but a new character who takes over his secret agent number after he leaves MI6."
An "insider" allegedly told the Daily Mail, "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." The source continued, "It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman."
Sadly, those of us who presumed the franchise was ready to move into the 21st century by casting a woman of color in the leading role have been misled. Rather, the rumors regarding Lynch's role have been blown out of proportion, and she's not actually replacing Craig in the iconic part.
But she is the next 007?
Though Lynch's character, Nomi, isn't the new Bond, she is the new 007. According to the movie's official synopsis, "Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica." Unsurprisingly, the superspy needs to return to service, but when he gets back to MI6 in London, another agent has taken his moniker of 007, and that just so happens to be Lynch's Nomi.
While this presumably could lead to Lynch taking over as the legendary spy, it seems unlikely, especially since executive producer Barbara Broccoli has quashed the idea. Speaking to The Guardian in October 2018, Broccoli said, "Bond is male." She continued, "He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."
As for the current trend of retooling male roles to feature females (remember the outcry over the first female Doctor Who?), Broccoli was firm, "We don't have to turn male characters into women. Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters."
Writer Waller-Bridge addressed the problematic way in which Bond has seemingly always treated women and suggested that his behavior didn't need to change in the new movie. She told Deadline in May 2019, "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women."
She continued, "I think that's bollocks. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character." Although some might argue it's time for Bond to start treating all human beings with the respect they deserve.
Even if she's not the new Bond, she deserves to be taken seriously.
Whether or not Lynch's role leads to a spin-off, or eventually landing the coveted Bond role, it's clear that the actress deserves to be in the spotlight.
Lynch already had an important role in Captain Marvel, playing single mother and pilot Maria Rambeau, who's one of Carol Danvers's oldest and best friends.
She also starred in the short-lived Shonda Rhimes–produced series Still Star-Crossed, in which she played Rosaline Capulet. Sadly, the show was canceled after only a handful of episodes aired, but it was a precursor to Lynch's subsequent success.
Although it doesn't sound as though she's going to be the next James Bond, Lynch should be cast as the lead in an epic franchise movie. It's time to create an awesome role just for her. And time should most definitely be up on using a woman of color's casting as clickbait to promote an outdated series.
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