There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about James Bond being out of date, sexist, and not black or female enough. So it’s nice to see Bond 25‘s script doctor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, come to his defense.
Speaking with Deadline, Waller-Bridge stated she plans to “treat the women properly” in the film while retaining Bond’s chauvinistic attitude. She also admitted that the character of Bond, and the wit, is what drew her to the film:
“… But that kind of tipping edge of psychology is really interesting to me. Someone who can kill, and then also be charming. There’s a front that appeals to me. But the wit of it is the thing that I love the most about that franchise. It’s the wit.”
She then drops possibly the best thing I’ve ever heard escape from a Hollywood writer’s mouth:
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women. I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
It’s about time someone understood what to do with the franchise in the 21st century. Sure, Bond is a relic of another era, but to radically change him so he isn’t a womanizer would be going against character. Waller-Bridge recognizes that and knows that the thing that needs to change is how these films handle their female characters. They need to be more than just objects of gratification. They need to be just as well-rounded and fleshed out as Bond himself.
Waller-Bridge said she wanted to make sure that the female characters in Bond 25, played by actors including Lashana Lynch, Léa Seydoux and Ana de Armas, “felt like real people”:
“I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Léa and Ana open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’ As an actress, I very rarely had that feeling early in my career. That brings me much pleasure, knowing that I’m giving that to an actress.”
Hats off to Waller-Bridge for bringing some common sense back to this franchise. She’s shaking the franchise in a new direction, instead of stirring in a helping of gender-or-race swapping.
Bond 25 hits theaters April 8, 2020.
What do you think of Waller-Bridge’s remarks on Bond? Do you agree or disagree that Bond can still be relevant while being chauvinistic?