• Tibor Kljajic

So The New 007 Was Announced...

Surprisingly enough, this is my opinion: why on earth has Lashana Lynch been cast as 007?

If there is an opportunity for more representation in traditionally male-centred genres, then that route should absolutely be taken. Anthony Mackie is the new Captain America? Perfect. Tessa Thompson is the new Queen of Asgard? Phenomenal. But with Bond, I have a problem.

Everyone in Great Britain loves Bond. Probably more than they like the Queen (which isn't saying much to be honest). But there is a set image of Bond that the country is used to: a big suave womaniser spy. Now I know that Lashana Lynch is not playing Bond, she's playing 007, but the point still stands. She doesn't fit that image.

I'm gonna think about this in the sense that after Daniel Craig retires fully at the end of Bond 25, Lynch will take the mantle. Why? Tom Hardy, Richard Madden,Tom Hiddleston, James Norton, Henry Cavill, Damian Lewis, Aidan Turner. All brilliant choices. All have the look, style and personality of Bond.

The perfect choice in my opinion though: Idris Elba. He fits the image stupendously. The guy is a womaniser when he does interviews, let alone when on screen. Sexiest man alive last year. Everyone wants him. He wants to be Bond, so why not let him? He did say himself "The world isn't ready for a black Bond". I mean, that isn't true, but if that much was enough, then cast one of the choices above.

I'm just trying to get across my confusion to this casting choice. Like I said, more diversity is always appreciated. But do it to new content. What's the point of changing an already established franchise built on the set image the entire world is used to other than to promote the fact your production company is diverse? Having a white Bond for ever doesn't automatically brand you unable to be diverse, and if you were worried about that, cast a black Bond, he can follow the characteristics his predecessors had.

So the problem then, is casting a woman (gasp). I didn't really give a shit when they made Jodie Whittaker the Doctor because it was already established that time lords could regenerate into the opposite sex (seemed a bit convenient but oh well, I'll accept it). And regardless, Whittaker is good as the Doctor from what I hear. With Bond, that type of argument cannot be levied. I'm gonna refer to Bond's number one key trait again: womaniser.

I do not believe there is a single Bond film where he isn't getting with a woman. If you're making the next 007 a woman to counter-act that, then that's just stupid in my opinion. I don't believe that that is derogatory towards women to have Bond be a womaniser, and if so, the production company has already provided some of the strongest female figures on screen (e.g. Vespa, Moneypenny and M).

What I'm worried about with this decision is that it will simply be tokenism. Diversity for the sake of making the company look better. When I watch Bond 25 and the subsequent Bond films, I will give Lashana Lynch a chance, but if they completely disregard the essence of Bond, and strip away what makes a 007 movie so exciting and faithful to the material, then I have no doubts people will voice their disappointment and contempt.

Editor's note

Regardless it seems vague and a cheating way of introducing diversity, if they really wanted diversity they would have made Idris Elba the next Bond. It is an inability to trust the possible success of a minority-led movie that is truly stopping them from being honestly diverse. If Lashana Lynch fails as 007 or rather people don't like her as 007 the company can always go back to James Bond since they are two separate characters. On the other hand if Idris Elba wasn't a box office hit as 007 and James Bond, there would be no way back since it would be an extremely bad look. Lashana Lynch's choice for the 007 role just seems like a low-risk option for a company who wants to seem diverse without ever really taking a leap of faith.

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