"The name is Bond." Jane Bond?
The entertainment world was buzzing Wednesday with the release of the trailer for "No Time To Die," the highly anticipated 25th installment in the 007 series. Starring British actor Daniel Craig (in what is said to be his last appearance as British spy James Bond), the 2 1/2-minute preview is replete with the action, sleek cars, and exotic locations that fans love about the films.
However, viewers did notice a difference in the upcoming movie: A new double-O, and not just any new MI6 agent. The next James Bond film will introduce audiences to actress Lashana Lynch as a member of the elite British intelligence unit, making her the first woman to play the role. Lynch's presence is prompting many to speculate if she will eventually become the next 007.
NO TIME TO DIE Trailer youtu.be
Now that Craig has sworn he'll never come back for another installment, a new actor eventually will join that list, and the torch will get passed.
Judging by this first trailer, that new Bond could be Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel's Maria Rambeau). Ever since she was cast, there have been rumors that she might take up the mantle. This trailer doesn't prove that she's the new 007, just a double-0, but it also hints that she's the future of the franchise.
Indeed, it is unclear what exactly is Lynch's role, but the new trailer offers some clues.
A female Double-O?
The preview suggests that the first 007 film of the #MeToo era picks up where 2015's "Spectre" left off. Bond has taken an extended leave of absence in Jamaica, but ghosts from his love interest Dr. Madeleine Swann's past and a new villain now haunt him and British intelligence.
Among those who come to pull Bond out of his early retirement are CIA agent Felix Leiter (a staple of the series) and Lynch's character, known only as Nomi.
"Are you a double-O?" Bond asks her. "Two years," she replies.
That said, much is left to the imagination. We do not know whether Nomi received the 007 designation while Bond was on leave in the Caribbean, if she was assigned another code number, or if she will become the next James Bond when Craig retires from the role. A cryptic tweet by Lynch — that simply says "Nomi. @007" — could be interpreted to imply that her character is the new 007.
James Bond will continue being played by a man
There are a few reasons why fans of the James Bond franchise who are concerned Hollywood may be trying to turn the renowned spy into a woman have little to worry about for now.
First, it is worth noting that there are real-life female MI6 agents who are reportedly excellent at their jobs. The film series already acknowledged this, as fans surely remember that Bond's boss, known as "M," was played by actress Judi Dench for 17 years. Therefore, the mere presence of a female double-O in "No Time To Die" would be more akin to art imitating life and a continuation of a trend within the franchise than studio executives imposing excessively "woke" cultural values.
Next, even if Nomi were named as 007, she would not necessarily replace the James Bond character. In the films, the double-O numbers are codes assigned to a special class of British intelligence officers. For instance, in 1995's "GoldenEye," a character named Alec Trevelyan was also known as Agent 006. In other words, if Bond took a leave of absence in the film, spy chief "M" may have given his code number to another agent, but that does not mean that the character has been replaced in this film or future ones.
In fact, the film's producer, Barbara Broccoli, has made it clear that James Bond will continue to be played by men.
"Bond is male," she
said last year while dismissing speculation that the legendary British spy's gender would be changed. "He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."
"And that's fine. We don't have to turn male characters into women. Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters," Broccoli added.
The U.S. release date for "No Time To Die" has been set for April 8.