Opinion: Gender Bending 007

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There has been a lot of debate recently with the uncertainty that Daniel Craig will not take up the mantle of James Bond again. I of course, hope he does at least one more (I’m a bit obsessed with his ears). Anywhoo, there was an interesting discussion in a 00Q fan group today and I’ve decided to share my opinion with the wider world. 

In Noah Berltsky’s recent article, “The Name’s Jane: A female James Bond is exactly what the franchise needs right now,” he advocates Gillian Anderson for the role (I just love her BTW, she’s a fantastic actor). The examples of strong female character’s he uses to support his position are ALL original characters, not established long running male character’s made female.

I think fandom’s discussion about the possibilities of making 007 a woman or a POC is fascinating and relevant; however, I personally don’t agree that James Bond should be changed from Ian Fleming’s creation. When you change something fundamental about a character, it does change who they really are. That includes making James Bond gay in fanfiction, but he is still a man (and with the hint in Skyfall possibly bi-sexual). A woman would have a vastly different backstory, and realm of experience than a man.

I do think that we are in need of strong original female characters in films. They are very hard to come by, but I don’t think gender bending an established character is the answer to the creation of strong female characters. Gender and Race is inherent in who a person is. Perhaps a POC James Bond would work, but that would still fundamentally change Bond’s backstory and would fundamentally change the character that Ian Fleming created.

I’m all for equality between men and women (everyone really), but I don’t think changing the gender or race of an established character in film is the answer to bringing about equality. Filmmakers and writers would have to fundamentally change who that character is. I guess the best example I can use to finish off this opinion is the new Black Spiderman (Miles Morales). The writers wrote a whole new original character and basically killed Peter Parker.

I think 007 could be a woman. I think 007 could be a POC. But, 007 would no longer be James Bond. Anyway, my long windedness has gotten out of hand. Best, The Nut.

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