Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, while in 2023 it will have been 70 years since Ian Fleming published his first 007 novel Casino Royale. Being such a long-standing franchise, Bond has had to evolve with the times, but are the films becoming woke under Daniel Craig?
That’s what Young James Bond author Charlie Higson thinks, as No Time To Die gears up for release next week.
Speaking with the Radio Times the 63-year-old said: “He’s given us a woke 007, who’s tender, cries and gets into the shower in his tuxedo to comfort a woman…
“Coming out of the sea in skimpy shorts made him the sex object, not Eva Green.”
Nevertheless, the writer of five Young Bond books believes there are aspects of Fleming’s 007 in Craig’s incarnation: “The damaged public-school thug with a strong sense of justice – but a lot has changed.”
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Higson asked: “Would the original Bond survive in our modern world, or would cancel-culture succeed where Spectre has failed so often and finish him off for good?”
The Young Bond novelist believes that while Fleming, who died in 1964, would be bewildered by many changes in society today, the portrayal of women in his work was ahead of its time.
He said: “Fleming kicked against the old-fashioned, 1950s view that women should be simpering housewives, put on a pedestal and wooed.
“Many in his books were athletic and independent just like the heroines in the new film. Fleming/Bond (their views were interchangeable) wasn’t a complete dinosaur.”
Higson continued: “Yes, Bond had a love of petrol-guzzling cars, but Fleming was a keen naturalist and, were he still around, would probably be something of an eco-warrior.
“Yes, Bond was an old Etonian who also went to Fettes (from Boris Johnson’s old school to Tony Blair’s), but he was also an outsider who went after dodgy millionaires and warmongers.
“He would hate self-serving, cheating politicians as much as the rest of us. Donald Trump is in many ways a modern Goldfinger.”
The author also pointed out how Fleming’s books haven’t gone away and are still selling, while adding that EON Productions can keep the best parts of 007’s character, forget what’s dated, and go on to make another 25 Bond movies.
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While there are calls for Bond to be cast as a woman after Craig, producer Barbara Broccoli is adamant that he will remain male.
The main reason being that Fleming wrote 007 as a man and why gender swap when Hollywood can create new female characters?
Nevertheless, Broccoli has said that the next Bond can be an actor of any colour.
No Time To Die will be released in UK cinemas on September 30, 2021.Internet Explorer Channel Network