Get ready for the final hurrah for Daniel Craig's James Bond as No Time To Die hits cinemas next week. And, after the wait we've had, it would be fair to say that expectations are extremely high.
No Time To Die has had such a long road to the big screen that it was in development before the #MeToo movement really gained momentum and the landscape is a very different one now to what it was then – and one that the James Bond of old might struggle to fit into.
The topic has led to many conversations about the future of Bond, including calls for the next James Bond to be a woman, and those working on the franchise have been speaking up about how the character exists in a world that is very different to the one he was first conceived in – even if the Craig version of the character has been more progressive than some of those who came before him.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bond director Cary Joji Fukunaga looked back on Bond's behaviour in the past and reflected on how it would not be accepted in the current climate. "She’s like ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, yes, yes," he said of an infamous moment from the days of Sean Connery's Bond. "That wouldn’t fly today."
But Fukunaga dismissed the idea that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was drafted in to help write No Time To Die, was brought on board to make Bond more woke.
"I think that’s the expectation, a female writing very strong female roles, but that’s something Barbara [Broccoli] wanted already,” he said. “From my very first conversations with [Barbara Broccoli], that was a very strong drive. You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person. But you can definitely change the world around him and the way he has to function in that world. It’s a story about a white man as a spy in this world, but you have to be willing to lean in and do the work to make the female characters more than just contrivances."
Lashana Lynch, who stars as 00 agent Nomi in the upcoming Bond 25, also spoke about the role that women play in the franchise and how everyone involved was looking to make them more well-rounded and just as important to the story. "Cary had big discussions with Barbara and Daniel about how to give the female characters equity, how to keep them in charge of themselves, how to give them solo moments where the audience learns who they are."
“I think people are coming around, with some kicking and screaming, to accepting that stuff is no longer acceptable" added Broccoli. "Thank goodness. Bond is a character who was written in 1952 and the first film came out in 1962. He’s got a long history, and the history of the past is very different to the way he is being portrayed now.”