If a source at The Daily Mail is to be believed, Bond 25 will mark a historical moment in the long-running franchise: someone other than James Bond holding the beloved codename of 007. The site’s article reveals that Captain Marvel standout Lashana Lynch will be revealed early in the film as the woman who now represents MI6.
The article says that her reveal will be along the lines of a plot-twist type moment, where M, played by Ralph Fiennes, will say, “Come in, 007”, and it will be Lynch, not Daniel Craig, who will be seated. Also, there are comments from an unnamed “movie insider” who claims that this is not Lynch replacing Craig as Bond, just replacing the call name, and that Bond and the new 007 may have interactions throughout the film.
Of course, this is coming from a nontraditional source for movie news, and at this time there has been no confirmation from anybody involved with the production of Bond 25, which still has no official title, and may not be accurate. So now it’s time for the ever-expected fan speculation and theory artists to do their work. I thought I might give some perspective as a long-time Bond fan.
Before we go into anything on Lynch’s casting and what this means for the Bond franchise, it’s important to view how reliable this source is. I’m not 100% sure this article can be believed. I can’t think of too much breaking movie news coming from this source that has turned out to be accurate. Until we see some comments from MGM, EON Productions, or someone involved directly with the film, I’m taking this with a grain of salt.
The “movie insider” could be anybody, and obviously the site needs to be careful about identifying someone whose comments may end up resulting in their termination, so I get that part. However, there’s just something about the way the article was written that makes me not want to bite at the story right away.
To make a counterpoint, though, one of the screenwriters on Bond 25, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, did make some comments a little over a month ago about how Bond has to change to fit into a new era, one that’s post-MeToo. Obviously, a new agent 007 that’s female and not white would be an example of this, and one that I think the studio could possibly get behind.
Now, as far as if this is true: how will this go over with audiences? I’m sure this will be met with some blowback, unfortunately. Not two minutes after Disney announced Halle Bailey as your new Little Mermaid, the internet was taken by storm by angry fans upset with a black version of Ariel. My feelings on that were along the lines of, “who cares what skin color she is?”. I think the same can be said for my reaction to Lynch’s potentially being the new 007.
Of course, progress in equality, not only among genders, but among races, is something to be celebrated, and if this were to come true, EON and co. are killing two birds with one stone. We’ve already had some persons of color fill in traditionally white roles in previous Bond flicks, like Jeffrey Wright’s portrayal of Felix Leighter and Naomi Harris as Moneypenny. Both of them did great work in their respective roles, and there wasn’t a big hubbub back in the day about either recasting.
This would also be a franchise-first to see another MI6 agent take over the operating number of 007. We’ve heard M make references to 008 replacing Bond on missions before, but never has another agent been given the callsign and shown on camera. And if it happens to be a black woman, then that’s the way it is. All I would care about is if she’s a great character and if it’s a good performance, and if Lynch’s performance in Captain Marvel is any indication, I’d say she’s going to knock it out of the park.
Bond 25, as mentioned above, is our only title so far, and is penned for an April 8, 2020 release date in the US, with UK audiences seeing it first on April 3rd. Cary Fukunaga is in the director’s seat, and the film will also star Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, and Ana De Armas. Christoph Waltz is also reported to return as Blofeld.