Captain Marvel alum Lashana Lynch will reportedly take up the mantel of 007 in the upcoming Bond 25.
Bond 25 isn’t turning out the way anyone expected. For the production company Eon, that much is clear. They had expected director Sam Mendes to return for a third time behind the camera after the commercial success of Skyfall and Spectre. Star Daniel Craig may not have expected to return at all. The Layer Cake actor had insisted that his fourth outing as the gentleman spy would be his last. This expectation-shattering film would have been extended to the crew. They would have anticipated a seamless production.
But so far, nobody has got what they envisaged. Mendes was out and the American director Cary Joji Fukunaga joined behind the camera. Craig did sign on for his fifth tuxedoed appearance and the crew were treated to anything but a routine production. A crew member was hurt on set just a week after Craig himself suffered an injury. Neither of the accidents was serious and production resumed at full speed.
Now, it looks like the fans are in for something unforeseen. Reports suggest that one of the new cast members will be playing an expected role: 007.
‘There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says “Come in 007”, and in walks Lashana [Lynch] who is black, beautiful and a woman,’ an insider told the Daily Mail.
‘It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007.
‘Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don’t work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed. Well, certainly not at the beginning.’
It’s a surprising story. If there is any truth in it then it will mark a significant change in the franchise. The decision has been credited to one of the film’s writers, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The creator of Killing Eve and Fleabag joined the production earlier this year and is said to have been instrumental in the development of Lynch’s character.
Lynch was announced as a new cast member alongside several other familiar faces. Ana De Armas and Rami Malek have joined, while Lea Seydoux and Jeffrey Wright will reprise former roles. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris will also be back as the MI6 contingent. There is certainly a feeling of newness about this production. Crew members have even reportedly been discouraged from saying ‘Bond girls’ on set. ‘Bond women’ is the new term which is a marked change for the franchise.
Since Dr No hit the big screen in 1962, the franchise’s female characters have rarely been fully-formed. Bond himself is more than a little old-fashioned and has been the subject of much criticism down the years. The Daniel Craig films have attempted to undo that but have not always been successful. This has led to much debate about the franchise and its main character at large.
This discourse was born out of the question of Daniel Craig’s replacement. Bond 25 is expected to be the English actor’s final portrayal of the gentleman spy with some big names lined up. Idris Elba is a prime candidate but his place on the list has been met with criticism from some sections of the media. A Bond novelist even claimed Elba was “too street” to take up the mantel of 007. The discussions were ugly, so much so that some even questioned the franchise’s relevance in 2019.
But they need not have. James Bond is amongst the most iconic characters ever to hit the big screen. Empire has even named Bond the second greatest movie character of all time, above the likes of Han Solo and Batman. Brands big and small have echoed that sentiment. Betway has named the gentleman spy as one of the best examples of casinos in popular culture. Smirnoff has a James Bond vodka, while Ian Fleming’s character will be forever linked with Aston Martin.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that the character will live on. Daniel Craig will remain as James Bond but the prospect of him losing the mantel of 007 is intriguing. We’ve already seen other ‘00’ agents in the Bond film universe but never another 007. Let’s hope that Lashana Lynch’s character is a well-rounded one with considerable screen time. If that is the case then there is the possibility of spin-off movies. Lynch starring as a ‘00’ agent in the Bond universe would provide a refreshing twist on the franchise. It’s certainly more of a stir than a shake-up.