The future has looked shaky for cinema’s biggest hero. The director of his latest adventure quit 14 weeks before shooting. The release date was pushed back. Not so long ago, the actor who plays him said he would rather slash his wrists than reprise the role.
But there is one thing about which James Bond can rest easy: his manhood. Speaking to the Guardian, 007’s executive producer Barbara Broccoli ruled out any Doctor Who-style gender reinvention for Ian Fleming’s super-spy.
“Bond is male,” she said. “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.”
Broccoli, 58, is the daughter of Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, heads Eon productions and signs off on every key Bond hire and fire. It was she who tweeted the news Danny Boyle had left the 25th film due to “creative differences”. She who announcedCary Fukunaga was to replace him. And she who lured Daniel Craig back into the tuxedo.
Such leverage makes her perhaps the most powerful female producer the film industry has ever seen. It also makes her fiercely protective of the “family business”. Yes, she concedes, Bond cannot be considered a feminist property, but mostly because people tend to “reference those early movies. It was written in the 50s, so there’s certain things in [Bond’s] DNA that are probably not gonna change.”
“But look at the way the world has changed. And I think Bond has come through and transformed with the times. I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed”