Remember when the biggest and blackest James Bond rumor involved Idris Elba, despite his frequent statements that he wasn’t really interested in taking over the role? Well, the plot thickens…
The 25th film of the Bond franchise, referred to as Bond 25 before the official title, No Time to Die, was confirmed, will be making its debut in Spring 2020.
Back in July, The Daily Mail reported that the new 007 may not only be black, but a black woman. Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), who will portray an agent named Nomi, was rumored to take over the infamous code name. To be clear, a black woman would not be physically transformed into James Bond, she would simply inherit the “007” moniker after Bond (portrayed by Daniel Craig for his last hurrah) retires.
Per The Daily Mail:
The story begins with Bond retired in Jamaica. But spymaster M—played by Ralph Fiennes—calls him back in desperation to tackle a new global crisis.
A movie insider said: ‘There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says ‘Come in 007', and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.
‘It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.
‘Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don’t work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed. Well, certainly not at the beginning.’
Not unlike the breaking news of a black sea urchin, racists began to get themselves into quite the tizzy once they became aware that a black woman would have the nerve to represent those three sacred digits.
Cut to today, and Lynch is part of The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen list, alongside fellow Bond girl Ana de Armas. According to de Armas, Lynch “wears the pants” in the new Bond film. Also, fun fact: sources reported that Lupita Nyong’o was initially eyed to portray Nomi, but the deal never went through. Reminds me of the time DeWanda Wise was initially set to portray Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel before Lynch took over.
But, of course, THR had to get to the nitty and the gritty of this whole 007 deal. THR referred to the aforementioned rumor as “the biggest leak” of the film, and naturally, asked Lynch to confirm. The actress did not confirm that 007 rumor, though THR reports that “sources close to the film” have informed them the rumor is accurate.
“It doesn’t dishearten me. It makes me feel quite sad for some people because their opinions, they’re not even from a mean place—they’re actually from a sad place,” Lynch said. “It’s not about me. People are reacting to an idea, which has nothing to do with my life.”
Though she’s decided to stop responding to trolls entirely, her initial method was to kill the hatred with kindness. “Then they’ve been like, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you so much!’ But it’s an interesting test because it reminds them that they definitely wouldn’t say that to someone’s face,” Lynch noted.
Of course, should this particular casting detail be true, it will be a welcome change in the franchise, which is known for its hypersexualized trope of Bond girls. With No Time to Die, director Cary Joji Fukunaga brought on Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve) to help pen the film’s script with a “fresh female perspective.”
Though I’m sure Craig’s Bond will eventually come out of retirement and reclaim his code name in the film, seeing Lynch take the lead, if even for a moment, would be pretty badass. Plus, she would make history as the first black female 007. Hell, she’d be the first woman ever to take over the agent code name. Shit, she’d be the first non-James Bond-person to be named “007.”
No Time to Die will bring the nonstop action into theaters April 8, 2020.