The Femail face-off: As Daniel Craig dismisses the idea of a female 007… should the next Bond be played by a woman?

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  • Actor Daniel Craig says no woman should play the next James Bond
  • Rowan Pelling says Bond is about legendary level of sophistication, not gender
  • Tanya Gould argues that ‘do we need a woman to play a sex-addicted, perversion-separated killer by clapping for honest equality?’

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Rowan Pelling (pictured) argues that the next James Bond should be FEMAIL

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Yes

by Rowan Pelling

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Killing Eve’s Villanelle in a cage fight with Spector’s Blofeld – who’s coming out on top?

I’ll put my money on the ice-cool, invincible, blonde female killer. So putting Jodie Comer (who plays Villanelle) in a suit and sending her to MI6 to play another ice-cold, unstoppable killer isn’t a huge stretch of the imagination.

Daniel Craig may disagree, but to me, Bond has always been more about sangfried than just gender, a mythical level of danger and sophistication.

To be clear, I’m a huge fan of 007, having read all of Ian Fleming’s books and seen every single movie. Two of my favorite Bonds are, as it happens, the most manly: Craig and Sean Connery.

Still, I believe that film 007 has long surpassed Fleming’s ruthless original character and story: we have a fop Bond (David Niven), a strange Bond (Roger Moore), and an ironic (Pierce Brosnan). So I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a woman in the role.

Of course, everything depends on the casting. Emily Blunt has been tipped for the role and I can see why. With her choppy voice, icy beauty, and an edge of humor, she’d make a great Jamie Bond.

Plus, screenwriters can have a blast with gender-switching scenarios. It’s all too easy to imagine the government dinosaurs who mistake Bond for Moneypenny. And Moneypenny can be played by the kind of bloke who is gorgeous when he takes off his glasses. Instead of all the gay tension between 007 and her arch-enemies (remember Craig being touched by Javier Bardem’s Raul Silva?), you could have a Bond who was part killer, part pussy galore. Why isn’t a seductive, evil woman plotting the end of the world from the hidden den of her extinct volcano? A female Bond can flirt with this dastardly shadow-self.

If you really wanted to stage a great cinematic gag, you’d be casting Craig’s real-life wife, Rachel Weisz, as the Bond villain. Though I can think of several other female actresses who would love the challenge: Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey for starters.

And if we’re messing with casting a baddie, maybe we can be even more wayward and go shorter with casting a female Bond.

It can be fun to have someone like The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy. If she can beat Russia’s top chess player, I’m sure she can take on their secret agents. And get checkmate in three moves.

Tanya Gould says James Bond shouldn't be played by a woman

Tanya Gould says James Bond shouldn’t be played by a woman

No

by Tanya Gold

James Bond has a bigger place in the national consciousness than it deserves. He is a shared daydream, the epitome of British power, and the less power we have globally, the more we love him.

And just as much we love his little friends too. Who wouldn’t cast Ralph Fiennes as actual spies as M, I never fail to remind people, civil servants? Bond’s imagination isn’t subtle, though: it’s imperialist Bond. James rules the ravines of the waves with his sexual prowess: skiing the mountains while wearing a Union Flag parachute or sleeping with the strangely named Russian Agent Triple X in an escape pod – why? – A festive blind.

So, when feminists jump in to criticize Daniel Craig for saying that Bond should never be a woman, the sane woman can only sigh and say: Who cares?

The argument is that for equality, women must see themselves reflected in popular culture, and culture doesn’t get more popular than Bond.

It is true that she has followed the sexual revolution to an extent. Em was for some time an angry woman, played by Judi Dench, though she died in his arms like a fairy princess. Miss Moneypenny followed him around the office, sighing at his touch. Now she scolds him and protects him.

It’s only fair, if you follow the logic, that James Bond should really be a woman, so women feel, er, included.

Really? Do we need to play a woman clapping, sex-addicted, pathologically isolated murderer for honest equality? Bond is the epitome of pity and laughter in my mind. She’s pretty amusing if you want to watch the panic attack on British nationalism, but she’s not a great example of the British character that women should be allowed to share.

As always, there are many more important things in these silly arguments. I would take cheap childcare over a woman who happens to be James Bond. who would not?

Yes, give us cinema with proper roles for women – characters who look like real women and not how men want them (we’re back to Triple X) – and let normal looking women play them. That’s feminist cinema. That’s good cinema.

But we don’t need female bonds. We’ve had him already, and more than once, and it was done brilliantly.

She was called Villanelle or Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Unlike the Bond song I love the most – no one does it better – someone has already done it.

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