The new Bond movie isn't coming out until April 8, 2020 (sigh). Yes, that's far too long to wait. But at least we have the trailer for Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond. From what we can tell, No Time to Die continues a Bond world that is much different than some of the early Sean Connery films. The early movies were light viewing, plenty of action and a bit of camp. But when Daniel Craig took over the lead role, the Bond films became a lot darker, more intense.
They are also among the very best of the genre.
The trailer teases one of the early controversies over this 25th Bond movie. Lashana Lynch is introduced in the trailer as a woman who for the "two years" has been "a 00." But is she actually 007? It makes a lot of sense, given that a retired James Bond isn't actively using the moniker. But the idea that a woman would be 007 has had some Bond fans tied up in knots. Maybe because they saw the franchise morphing into... I don't know, the Jane Bond franchise?
The reality is that this twist creates a lot of buzz, but it's also a fun plot point. Think about it: James Bond is back in action, but MI6 has already given his code name to someone else -- a woman, no less. And a woman who's not easily charmed by... James Bond. Should be great entertainment.
As for the future, it's unlikely that the James Bond character will be anyone other than a man. Barbara Broccoli is the executive producer of the franchise, and she's made it clear that James Bond is a man.
“He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male. And that’s fine. We don’t have to turn male characters into women. Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”
So this controversy too shall pass. And while Lashana Lynch could remain "007" in the future, her character won't likely be changing her name to James Bond anytime soon. Frankly, I'm betting she lets him keep his precious code name by movie's end.
But it's interesting to see how emotionally invested we are in these movies. It was only back in 2006 when Bond fans were a bit unhappy to learn that the next Bond would be... blond. Daniel Craig has turned out alright, though; and whoever the next Bond is, I'm sure it will be fine. For now, I'm going to look forward to No Time To Die, and I'll trust the producers on who gets cast as the next Bond after that. Whether it's Idris Elba, James Norton (Grantchester), Lashana Lynch, or someone else altogether.