For the past few years, what with the impending departure of Daniel Craig as cinema's favourite spy, there have been some speculation as to whether James Bond could be gender-swapped in a future film. The answer is no, as it turns out, at least not while Barbara Broccoli is in charge.
Speaking to Variety Broccoli confirmed that "James Bond can be of any colour, but he is male," adding, "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."
Obviously No Time to Die, Craig's last outing as Bond, will feature Lashana Lynch as a 00 agent - with rumours suggesting she took on the 007 title following Bond's post-Spectre retirement. So that's about as close as we're going to get to a 'female bond' - a new character that does the same sort of thing, but isn't making huge changes to an established character.
It doesn't rule out the possibility of a Bond-universe movie featuring a female lead either. And honestly it baffles me that in over 50 years there hasn't been a single attempt to produce a James Bond spin-off. The closest we got was the original Casino Royale, which was more of a Bond spoof than anything else. Frankly I'd like to see a movie featuring a younger version of Judie Dench's M, so you can revisit the era of the older Bond movies. Or at least do something akin to a big-screen version of Marvel's Agent Carter.
It's not clear what Bond's future will be once No Time to Die is out and Craig moves onto other things. We can probably guess that the campy, overly fantastical events of past films isn't going to be coming back anytime soon. Broccoli recounts the criticism of Die Another Day, specifically the giant space laser and the invisible car as "too fantastical" and that they "had to come back to Earth".
In a post-9/11 world they figured it was more important to have a more realistic take on Bond, closer to the original books, and with a contemporary spin. But that contemporary spin, as we've found out, won't extend to Hollywood's trend of gender swapping. [Variety via BBC News]