The James Bond franchise has enthralled moviegoers for decades, staring with 1962's Dr. No. While all eyes are on seeing Daniel Craig's swan song in No Time to Die, it wasn't long ago before Pierce Brosnan was the reigning 007. Brosnan's tenure ended with 2002's Die Another Day, which co-starred Halle Berry as American NSA agent Jinx Johnson. And the Oscar winning actress recently opened up about her disappointment over a scrapped spinoff.
Jinx Johnson was in many ways James Bond's equal in Die Another Day, which was a refreshing chance of pace for a franchise that has had a rough history in regards to female characters. It turns out that Halle Berry was originally attached for a spinoff as her character, which never actually got off the ground. Berry was quoted about that particular career set back, saying:
It was very disappointing. It was ahead of its time. Nobody was ready to sink that kind of money into a Black female action star. They just weren’t sure of its value. That’s where we were then.
What a sobering account. Because while Halle Berry was an Oscar winning actress who was already starring in the X-Men franchise, major studios weren't willing to bankroll an expensive action movie starring a Black woman. And as such, Jinx Johnson's time on the big screen came to an end with Pierce Brosnan's 007 in Die Another Day.
Halle Berry's comments to Variety shows how much change is truly necessary in the entertainment world, as well as how much progress happened in regards to inclusion and diversity. Movies like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel proved how financially successful female-led blockbusters can be. And while Die Another Day arrived less than two decades ago in 2002, Berry admits it was ahead of its time.
While Halle Berry never got to reprise her role as Jinx in a James Bond spinoff, she did get to do an arguably more badass action role. Berry went through intense fight and weapon training to play Sofia in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, to fantastic results. She also had a role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle in addition to her four appearances as Storm in the X-Men franchise.
In her comments Halle Berry specifically mentions the difficulty of getting the Jinx movie off the ground because she's a Black woman. This systemic issue in the entertainment industry has been the subject of much conversation over the past few years, as movements like #OscarsSoWhite highlight the disparity between races in the film world. There's been great strides in regards to diversity in front and behind the camera, and one has to wonder how the James Bond spinoff might have fared if it was being pitched currently.