The calls to feminize every male movie role falls of deaf ears for the team behind 007.
Coming this April the 25th James Bond motion picture will be released, ‘’No Time To Die’’. It will mark the fifth and final appearance of Daniel Craig in the role of the British superspy, and that reality has led to longstanding speculation on social media. While numerous names have been bandied about concerning who will populate the role in upcoming features one common refrain from the left has been that it is time for a woman to play the spy.
This is a conversation the producers of the films have stopped before it can even begin. The name Idris Elba is one that seems to come up the most frequently, but one thing the force behind the Bond franchise will not be entertaining is changing the gender of the character. “He can be of any color,’’ answers Barbara Broccoli, when asked by Variety about who may be considered to take over the role. ‘’But he is male.” Broccoli, along with her half brother Michael G. Wilson, oversees all aspects of the James Bond film realm.
The cinematic ownership to Bond was cemented within their family back in the early 1960s when her father Albert Cubby Broccoli secured exclusive rights to the Ian Flemming character. As a result, today Broccoli retains final approval on all aspects of the films, and this includes casting. Her dictum on the role is a double-edged blow to the woke scolds who constantly lecture Hollywood; it not only blunts their effort to recast the character, but the accusation of institutional sexism is also dismissed, as a female producer is making the declaration.
“I believe we should be creating new characters for women,’’ says Broccoli, in response. ‘’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.”
Whether intentional or not, what the producer says her cuts to the foundation of many of the calls to ‘’feminize’’ already established characters in film. What Broccoli says here is not that women have no place in her films, nor that women cannot play a spy. Her suggestion is subtle but very trenchant on the matter — create a bold female character that is worth watching instead of inserting a woman into an established role, based on nothing but a gender-demand.
That reality though exposes the drive we frequently see from female activists and supportive entertainment media. Frequently they do not strive to make a stand-alone character for approval, they call for the forcible inclusion of a woman into a male-established role. This, despite strong female characters being accepted.
The motivation is exposed when you see that the call goes out not to create a bold new female character but to have a long-established male role co-opted by a woman. To have that takeover take place will be regarded as some kind of cultural ‘’win’’ for the feminist activists. They fail to admit that such a forcible exchange itself does not amount to social acceptance.
In the past year we saw films come out that were boldly announced as feminist material. ‘’Miss Bala’’ was an attempt at a female action piece, ‘’The Hustle’’ was a remake of ‘’Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’’ but switched out with female protagonists, and in December the horror classic ‘’Black Christmas’’ was remade from the feminist Me Too perspective. Even ‘’Charlie’s Angels’’, an already pro-female property, was sold as almost exclusively for women by the creators. All of these examples delivered disappointment.
But ‘’Captain Marvel’’ and ‘’Wonder Woman’’ have shown that a female-driven action film can not only exist but become hugely successful. Giving audiences a reason to turn out is the formula — not delivering lectures and demanding a movie or a character be accepted.