Despite growing calls for increased gender representation in movies, James Bond will remain male, according to the spy film series’ producer.
“James Bond can be of any color, but he is male,” Barbara Broccoli told Variety in an interview published on Thursday.
“I believe we should be creating new characters for women – strong female characters. I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”
Broccoli, who along with half-brother Michael G. Wilson is in charge of the 007 films, spoke to the entertainment outlet ahead of the April release of the 25th Bond film, “No Time to Die.”
“No Time to Die” will see British actor Daniel Craig reprising his role as Bond for the final time.
Feminists and progressives have sometimes criticized depictions of the swaggering, womanizing British Secret Service agent as endorsing “toxic masculinity.”
GQ writer Joshua Rivera penned an essay for the newly woke men’s publication, taking aim at Bond’s purportedly “regressive masculinity.”
“Despite being portrayed by six men across two dozen films, there are really only two James Bonds—the suave character of the film franchise, and Ian Fleming’s creation, a bastard to the core,” Rivera wrote in 2018.
“Both versions fashioned toxic, regressive masculinity into a handsome weapon wielded by a former colonial empire still seeking to extend its reach across a world that had changed as it receded.”
Social media campaigns to find a protagonist from a marginalized identity group resulted in a black woman, Lashana Lynch being cast in July as the iconic 007.
Bond, played by Craig, comes out of retirement in the movie to find that the character played by Lynch has taken over his famous agent number.
Last year, former Bond girl Eva Green responded to internet activists’ calls for the next Bond to be played by a woman or a black man.
She told reporters at a red carpet event in March that while she is supportive of women, 007 “should be played by a man.”
That same month, the actor who played Head of Secret Intelligence Service, Ralph Fiennes, speaking to BBC2’s “Newsnight,” said Bond should not be female or black.
In May, industry sources revealed “intimacy coaches” had been hired on the set of the new Bond movie. “No Time to Die” producers hired the consultants to ensure that the stars – including new Bond girl Ana De Armas – felt empowered, according to a report in The Sun. A “film insider” explained that the move was part of an effort to get #MeToo compliant.