Sorry to all our Daniel Craig fans, but we personally have a new favorite James Bond star. Former 007 Pierce Brosnan just called for a female James Bond amid continued controversy over who should take over the role as Craig’s tenure comes to an end. Speaking at the Deauville Film Festival in France, Brosnan shared his enthusiasm for the idea of a woman taking over the iconic spy role, citing the recent #MeToo movement as one of many reasons it’s time for a change. We’re loving this idea — so much so that we’ve decided to help Hollywood out with a few casting suggestions of our own.
The idea of a female Bond came up because the next 007 film, No Time To Die, may offer just that. Rumor has it that British actress Lashana Lynch will be featured in Craig’s final Bond film as a fellow agent taking his place. The Hollywood Reporter mentioned this to Brosnan, who had this to say: “I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.” He’s not wrong!
Given 007’s reputation as a womanizer, it follows that the role couldn’t simply swap genders — a real tone shift would need to take place to bring the franchise into the 21st century. “The #MeToo movement has been relevant and significant and well needed in our society,” Brosnan said, “so they’ll have to address that.” We’re very curious to see how the upcoming film will handle a (hopefully) updated approach, given the series’ track record for treating “Bond girls” as little more than sex objects for the hero to romance and discard.
And as for casting a female James Bond to really revolutionize these films, here are our favorites for the role. (After Lashana Lynch, of course, if the rumors are true…)
Emily Blunt has proven herself time and time again as a badass action star in A Quiet Place, Sicario, and Edge of Tomorrow, to name a few. Much like the secret agent role itself, she’s equally comfortable in gala attire or handling a firearm, and we have no doubt that her quick wit and dashing good looks would allow her to charm her way into all kinds of information.
Freema Agyeman captivated hearts and minds across the world as Martha Jones, the physician companion to David Tennant’s Doctor in Doctor Who. She’s as clever as she is striking, and imbues every role she plays with sincerity and heart — frankly, a much-needed addition at times in the world of 007.
Rachel Weisz’s 2012 turn in The Bourne Legacy proved that she’s a memorable addition to the action genre, and with 2018’s The Favourite, she reminded the world of her comedic talent and formidable talent for power plays, too. We could easily see Weisz in full combat mode one scene and ruefully throwing back a martini (shaken, not stirred) in the next one, as the iconic Bond role requires.
Emilia Clarke is a natural suggestion for the role (and not just because she nominated herself back in 2016). Her power as an action star was clear throughout Game of Thrones, and her turns in Terminator and Star Wars have further proven her ability to thrive in the genre. And since the male Bond is known for women falling at his feet — let’s just say Clarke’s female version wouldn’t struggle for male attention.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that more than one GoT star makes the list here. The HBO drama created more opportunities than most for women to demonstrate their capacities as cold-blooded killers. Headey is no exception, though of course she played more of a villain than Bond. We have no doubt her charisma would translate as a hero, though — and when the hits are dictated by MI6 rather than an innate desire to consolidate power for the Lannisters, it’s a lot easier to admire her ability to get the job done.
Thandie Newton, known for Westworld, Crash, and Mission: Impossible II, is a dynamic powerhouse of an actress — with a single look, she can strike fear into your heart or bring you to tears. We’d love to see Newton get the opportunity to play with the suaveness and rebellious spirit of James Bond, and we have no doubt she’d breathe new life into the franchise.
If you only know Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag, you’re likely a little confused as to what she’s doing on this list. But Waller-Bridge is also the creative genius behind spy thriller series Killing Eve, which we’d very much hope the 007 franchise would reference if they do start to build films around a female spy. Clearly, Waller-Bridge has a mind for action, and perhaps the firmest grasp on directing niche female perspectives at this point in 2019. And yes, we do expect the Fleabag star would make a Bond film more of a comedic hit than ever before.