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With Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond soon coming to an end with the 2020 release of Bond 25, Hollywood has been having an ongoing conversation about who should replace the actor as the next 007. As movies are seeing success enlisting female heroines for popular franchises, some have even challenged that the character should be taken on by a woman next. Don’t count former Bond Girl Eva Green in on this idea. Here’s what she said:
I’m for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn’t make sense for him to be a woman. Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man.
Eva Green’s recent comments to Vanity Fair aren’t in bias to her husband's famous role; she has a powerful point here. James Bond is inherently a male character with a long history as such. To gender-swap the character isn’t necessarily a great move for inclusivity or female empowerment, because it ignores much of the roots of Ian Fleming’s literary character and has women potentially playing second fiddle to Bond’s legacy-- instead of finding their own place in the action genre.
Eva Green isn’t the first to challenge the idea of “Jane Bond”. Longtime James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli recently echoed the actress’ statement with the words “We don't have to turn male characters into women. Let's just create more female characters”, along with Rachel Weisz who questioned “Why not create your own story rather than jumping onto the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors?”
Just as women may certainly be enraged to learn Wonder Woman, who is a character deeply rooted in the feminine was going to be played by a man next, people may look similarly on characters such as James Bond. Though I’d argue this certainly doesn’t apply to all gender-swap situations. The Ocean’s franchise isn’t particularly rooted in having to be “male”, so changing it up with a female-led team Ocean’s Eight was a fun way for the series to continue.
Eva Green moved on to discuss the iconic “Bond Girl”, a character that the actress is proud to be a part of evolving with her portrayal of Vesper in 2006’s Casino Royale. She is passionate about the females depicted alongside James Bond to continue developing away from the “bimbos” of the past and becoming “intelligent and sassy and fascinating” onscreen characters.
While Green will not star in Bond 25, the filmmakers are reportedly eyeing Lupita Nyong’o to be the next Bond Girl in the upcoming film helmed by Cary Fukunaga. Daniel Craig’s James Bond will return to theaters on April 8, 2020.