Sorry, Idris Elba, there’s a new contender for the 007 role and it’s a Black woman. Lashana Lynch, a 31-year-old British actress, has been confirmed to take over the infamous codename in the upcoming film currently dubbed “Bond 25.”
According to The Daily Mail, the upcoming, 25th yet-to-be-titled Bond film will reveal Lynch as the new 007 with Daniel Craig’s character coming out of retirement in Jamaica for one last mission. However, she’s not the new James Bond but a new character who will take over his secret agent number after Bond leaves MI6.
The reveal is a progressive step considering the 57-year-old franchise has featured six white male leads in the titular role, which popularized the image of the suave, tux-wearing, shaken not stirred martini lovin’ spy.
According to the Daily Mail’s source, “There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M [played by Ralph Fiennes] says ‘Come in 007,’ and in walks Lashana who is Black, beautiful and a woman. It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.”
While this is only her fifth movie role, Lynch is on her way to stardom with her role as 007. Superhero fans might recognize her from her supporting role as Carol Denver’s best friend/pseudo-love interest Maria Rambeau in this year’s blockbuster “Captain Marvel.”
Rumors had circulated that British actor Idris Elba would replace Craig and in 2014, The Daily Beast broke the news that Amy Pascal, then-head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, wanted Elba to be the next Bond.
Craig has starred in four successful Bond films including 2015’s “Spectre,” which grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide. He’s been vocal about retiring from the role in the past so this the news of Lynch taking over 007 feels both timely and reflective of the times.
With the widely popular franchise introducing a Black woman in such an iconic role, they’re increasing visibility for people of color in film and especially women of color. In 2018, 70 percent of major female characters were white and just 18 percent were Black though 31 percent of protagonists were females, a historic high according to Women and Hollywood.
The Twittersphere has also been blowing up with praise for Lynch as the new 007.
Haters: WE DON'T WANT A BLACK MAN PLAYING 007
Them: ok here's a black woman: pic.twitter.com/ujXFuHTkNW
— Ava 💜💛🐝 (@AvaWarriors) July 14, 2019
— Women in Film & TV (UK) (@WFTV_UK) July 15, 2019
Variety confirms that “Bond 25” is female-driven in more ways than one with Fleabag and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge tapped to co-write the script, making her only the second woman in the history of the franchise to be credited on a script.
Though “Bond 25” is already a departure from the traditional franchise, The Daily Mail reports that many of the staples remain including Bond’s notorious womanizing ways with him immediately attracted to Lynch’s character.
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge told Deadline in May. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
“I just want to make sure that when they get those pages though, that Lashana, Léa, and Ana open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that’,” Waller-Bridge said.
Bond 25 is currently being shot in Italy and the UK.