Why James Bond Should Always Be Played by a Man
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Ever since Daniel Craig's infamous "I'd rather slash my wrists" response to being asked if he would play illustrious superspy James Bond in another movie after Spectre, speculation has run wild as to who might take over the mantle of one the most iconic roles in action cinema. Craig isn't officially out of the running - despite the bluntness of the quote, he makes it clear in the full interview that he just wants to take a break from the franchise for a bit and that he honestly doesn't know if he will be back - but whether he does one more movie or not, odds are a new actor will step into the role by the end of the decade. Last May, Gillian Anderson took to Twitter to annouce that she'd be happy to play 'Jane' Bond, prompting all manner of responses to the idea of a female James Bond. Here's why that's not a good idea, or to put it more bluntly, here's why James Bond should always be a man. It's not because of nonsensical reasons like "it wasn't what Ian Fleming intended" or "women can't do the kinds of things James Bond does" - in over 50 years and 24 movies, the 007 franchise has gone through a lot of iterations and overhauls that I'm sure Fleming hadn't even considered, and most of the time, Bond does things no human being should be physically capable of doing without either dying or suffering severe injuries. So it doesn't really matter if it's a man or woman. The reason is pretty simple and straightforward - over the years, whether he was intended to be one or not, James Bond has been moulded into one of the definitive male power fantasies of popular culture. The cars, the gadgets, the Martinis, the impecabble dresswear - everything about 007 that makes him instantly recognisable and so memorable is there to blatantly stroke the male ego. He's a serial womaniser and a coldly efficient killer; sex and violence is his bread and butter. You could argue that that idea of James Bond is decidedly old-fashioned or even antiquated; that a female 007 could reinvigorate what has become a stale and formulaic male fantasy figure. That's a perfectly valid point, which I would counter by saying that maybe it's OK for James Bond to get left behind.
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