Daniel Craig’s latest adventure as James Bond is also a definitive test for the character, and for his possible fit in a changing present where there is a stronger feminist consciousness than ever. The sexist undertones of Ian Fleming’s creation have accompanied him since his inception, and regardless of how many incarnations, the essential characteristics have remained intact.
The addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a screenwriter in No Time to Die led many to believe that this would mean an evolution for 007, but the Fleabag creator soon denied it: the character was who he was, what had to change was what was around him.
Along these lines, Cary Fukunaga, director of the film, has expressed his opinion during an interview for The Hollywood Reporter. The filmmaker made a quick review of the reasons why it was necessary for a Bond film to show current changes, and has also referred to how difficult it would be to maintain certain elements of the classic films.
Especially talking about the first period of Bond with Sean Connery. Fukunaga assures that No Time to Die is very far from it: “Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman? She’s like ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ That wouldn’t fly today.”
Now both Fukunaga and Waller-Bridge claim that if there are changes with the character of Bond, these are organic as possible. “I think that’s the expectation, a female writing very strong female roles, but that’s something Barbara [Broccoli] wanted already. From my very first conversations with [Broccoli], that was a very strong drive. You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person. But you can definitely change the world around him and the way he has to function in that world. It’s a story about a white man as a spy in this world, but you have to be willing to lean in and do the work to make the female characters more than just contrivances.”
We already know, based on trailers, that the 007 title goes to a woman in No Time to Die. This woman is Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), who has also talked about this re-write of the Bond universe: “Cary had big discussions with Barbara and Daniel about how to give the female characters equity, how to keep them in charge of themselves, how to give them solo moments where the audience learns who they are. It was really important to empower the female characters as stand-alones. And I think that he kept that in mind throughout the whole shoot.”
“I didn’t feel like Nomi, as a young Black woman, was constantly standing behind the white guy, which, for me, is job done. And that was a very conscious decision for Cary,” she concluded.
No Time to Die is set for release, after multiple delays, on October 8, 2021.