Even 'James Bond' Says James Bond Shouldn't Be a Woman!
James Bond is a sexy hot man. A fictional man, sure. But a sexy hot man. Not to be confused with a blue-haired non-binary walrus. James Bond is a sexy hot man because he was written as a sexy hot man. Specifically a heterosexual man. I opined on this at great length in my column: Enough Already! James Bond is a Handsome Straight Man and will Stay That Way. Agreeing with me is Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond:
"The answer to that is very simple," he said. "There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?"
Bingo. Tossing a role that's always been a man to a woman is a sloppy second. A hand-me-down. It wasn't made for her, it was made for him and if he doesn't want it anymore, he just gives it to a woman? That practice is insulting. It assumes women are just second-grade men. That we're not unique in our feminine ways and are just interchangeable with men. We're not.
Agreeing with me is Barbara Broccoli. After you get past her vegetable last name best served with butter, she's the film producer who has worked on the James Bond films. Broccoli told Variety last year that "Bond can be of any color, but he is male," adding: "I believe we should be creating new characters for women – strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."
That's because men and women are different. After the shock of that revelation wears off, allow me to posit a theory as to why "strong female characters" in action films aren't as common as male characters. Women are a bit more complex than men. It's a simple statement, yes, but a true one. It is easier to write a male character than it is a female character for action films. Men are quite physical in nature, women are not. Action films require physical action. Who is better suited for physical action? Men. Hence, men are typically action stars. It's not sexism, it's just entertainment bang for the buck.
Stories and films that require more depth of character for more complex stories can be better carried by women. My biggest beef with the feminist shriek of "we need more strong female characters" is how it IGNORES the work of strong female leads like Jodie Foster, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Judy Dench, Emma Thompson, Sigourney Weaver, and more recently, Viola Davis, Kate Winslet, and Amy Adams. These are vastly talented actresses whose iconic roles cannot be swapped with men. You will not see Silence of the Lambs remade with a gay man playing Clarence Starling. Nor will Chris Pratt play the headstrong matriarch in The Blindside. The roles that made the aforementioned ladies stars were roles written WELL and for WOMEN.
James Bond is a man. If Hollywood wants a female spy film, then write a good one for a woman. Have it rely on a woman's cunning and innate ability to manipulate and capitalize on people underestimating her, and NOT on her physical strength, and you might have a compelling film. Just as a pro-tip.