James Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz has boosted the campaign to cast a woman as 007 by insisting that “anyone” could take the coveted role.
The author and screenwriter, who penned the current James Bond thriller Trigger Mortis, told RadioTimes.com that he believes the part is open to either gender.
Asked if he thought a woman could take on the part he said: “I could imagine anyone as Bond.”
However he declined to name names insisting that he had “said enough about casting a Bond” after the furore that greeted his suggestion that Idris Elba was “too street” for the part and for which he later apologised.
“I have no view other than that Daniel Craig is great and I hope he does another one,” said Horowitz (below).
That, of course, seems very unlikely.
Craig has indicated he has finished with the part, leading to speculation about who may take over, with Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Damian Lewis among the rumoured candidates.
However a number of women have also been suggested – sometimes tongue in cheek – with claims that the part could go to the likes of Broadchurch star Olivia Colman or Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke, who said she would be keen to play the role with Leonard DiCaprio as her love interest.
X Files actress Gillian Anderson also hinted she would be interested, tweeting out a mocked up picture of her as the spy:
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) May 21, 2016
She followed this up with another tweet of her in 007 guise.
As RadioTimes.com revealed yesterday, Hiddleston’s chances have been helped by our understanding that Susanne Bier, his director on hit BBC1 drama The Night Manager, is on the shortlist to take over from Sam Mendes who confirmed this weekend that he is quitting.
Horowitz’s Bond book Trigger Mortis has sold more than 120,000 copies in hardback and e-book even before the paperback release.
The book is an expansion of an Ian Fleming story outline from the 1950s which was later scrapped. The story sees Bond on a mission at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany protecting a British driver from a Russian sabotage attempt and is notable for eschewing some of the casual sexism normally associated with Bond adventures following an intervention by Horowitz’s wife.
However there is no chance of it being filmed as an adventure for the superspy.
“The movie rights are owned by Eon Productions and the books are owned by the Ian Fleming Estate,” said Horowitz. “And this goes back to the 1950s, when the character of James Bond was sold in perpetuity to Cubby Broccoli and Michael J Wilson, who still have it now.”
The writer’s new BBC drama series New Blood premieres from Thursday 2nd June on iPlayer before a BBC1 transmission the following week on Thursday 9th June.