The James Bond franchise just died. The long running action/spy movie franchise join the ever growing line of politically correct hijacking of existing ip (instead of making their own). The iconic 007, James Bond, will now be portrayed by a woman, Lashana Lynch. To be fair, she will not be “Jane Bond” but will act alongside legendary James. Apparently Bond retired and Lynch’s character will be given his 007 status.
And yet I cannot help but wonder: why? Why is it necessary to hijack existing cultural icon to support your own political statements. Why not make your own? Well my theory is laziness. It’s easier to appropriate something existing instead of growing a fanbase from scratch and just slap your token character (which cannot be white, male or heterosexual) and rake in the ticket sales. Yet this approach almost never works. Remember the Ghostbusters reboot at 2016? How many original fans abandoned the franchise after what is considered a sub par film? Any original fans of Doctor Who still hanging around? Star Wars anyone?
Ironically, there would have been a simple method to ensure that existing fans are kept entertained and new fans could be brought it: give her a different designation. In 1995 bond movie Goldeneye (Pierce Brosnan’s debut as 007) actually has TWO 00 agents: 007 and Sean Beans Alec Trevelyan as 006. Giving Lynch’s character the designation 008 would not only be correct in terms of film universe lore, it would also seem more logical. She could be his successor. Yet this new 007 is lauded as his replacement aka: put the old white dude out to pasture since he is irrelevant and we don’t want white dude anymore. It is insulting. It is degrading. Why would I want to watch a movie that holds such a contempt for me, being a heterosexual white dude? Having Lynch as 008 would allow the next Bond movie to serve as a backdoor pilot for a spinoff, which would allow it to strike out at it’s own and better yet, without existing fanbase and existing cultural heritage getting in the way. Clean slate.
Here’s an idea that actually sounds like a cool story: Yes, Lynchs’ character will be 007 for the duration of the movie BUT she will receive the 008 designation at the end since Bond decides to come out of retirement permanently (This would also be a very sneaky way to keep pr up by attracting controversy when there is no need for one). And now we would have introduction to a new 00 character that can strike out at her own without the baggage that comes with previous films. Will they do that? I doubt it. More than likely this movie will serve as a “passing of the torch” event. Well no. Actually Lynch will probably instead rip the torch out of Daniel Craigs’ hands and burns his face with it while celebrating how she needs no man to validate her.
All this feels like it is done in the name of pandering. People will be quoted to say that “Bond franchise has no strong females and needs one” to which I call bullshit and offer a couple of names to consideration in no particular order and certainly not all inclusive:
In Casino Royale Eva Greens character Vesper Lynd roasts (or as Bond himself notes: skewered) Bond and calls him out on many of his trademark mannerism. That exchange was witty and interesting and made Vesper and interesting character to watch how she handles the old dog and seemed throughout the movie stand as equal next to the iconic agent. No need for SJW politics or wokeness here thank you veeery much.
In aforementioned Goldeneye we have Xenia Onatopp. An assassin who uses her sexuality as a weapon and literally chokes a man to death during their sexual encounter with her thighs. She hasn’t missed legday.
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies gives us Wai Lin. I recall she was some kind of an agent and took no crap from Bond at any point. Badass female assaulting the enemy with two submachine guns on her should tell you enough.
Skyfall gave us Eve (a black woman btw). A fellow agent who accidentally shot Bond with a sniper rifle apparently killing him so there is that.
The world is not enough in 1999 introduced us to a the female villain of Elektra King while the usual white dude Renard (whom everyone thought was the villain) was her henchman.
Oh and the most badass of all is propably Bonds boss, M. “Wait a minute” I hear you saying. “M is a man.” Yes the character of M was a man during the early years and since Skyfall but in the intermitten movies, M was a woman, played by Judi Dench. A no-nonsense powerhouse who intimidated everyone around her even to some extend 007 himself (she certainly had his respect at least) and proved in the World is Not Enough that she needs no man to save her when she was kidnapped by King and Macgyvered her way out of her cell by using a clock.
So if this new 007 is meant as a pandering move, it is pointless.
Bond films are iconic. They cross generational lines due to how long they have been around and are universally lauded. Even if you are not a fan of the film series, no doubt you have heard of it. The films have been around long enough to generate their own subculture and permeated it’s many lines and mannerisms to our language. Bond was generating memes before memes were memes. In this day and age when being a heterosexual white male (extra points if you are overweight, not that anyone is fatshaming of course /s) looks like (I’m not saying it is so, I say it appears to me so just to be clear) to be considered the worst crime since the holocaust, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a film series appearing to those who are not familiar with the franchise almost exclusively driven by a heterosexual male character is to be the next victim of the “purge”. Is this Hollywoods over the top reaction to Harry Weinstein I wonder? Are they scrambling to cater and pander to these viewpoints because they think that Weinsteins actions (or rather, their publicity) to somehow “pay back” for something? Or do they seriously think there is actual money in all this shit? Time will tell but based on previous box office results and fan outrage over other ip, the odds are good that the Bond franchise has reached it’s twilight.