The New Black 007
After 25 years of James Bond 007 movies, that have seen many male actors taking on the master, cool, spy role to fight evil doers, Daniel Craig, is the last. He was, besides, Sean Connery, the best actor to portray this iconic man's role. Unlike Connery, who liked the role for so many years, Craig grew tired of it rather quickly after only a few films.
So, in No Time to Die, Craig meets his sacrificial end by calling in a missile strike in on his location, that kills 007. The film has received the highest ratings of any Bond film.
However, it has created a controversy that for many loyal followers of Bond movies and books is sacrilegious and is a betrayal of the Bond legacy. Some viewers think what happened is fine and should be done with changing times and demographics, others chastise the movie director and screenwriter for the betrayal to the Bond role and character.
Without sounding racist or sexist, in the screenplay, 007, the man, has actually retired before being summoned back to duty. The Agency, therefore, gave the number 007 to a black woman (Lashana Lynch). When a sport figure retires, their number is also retired, the jersey number is not used again by new players. So, why is 007 being recycled? Not only does it go against reality, but in this case, it goes against a 25 year legacy of James Bond, a white male. Change for the sake of change is not always good and the excuses given are just nonsense. There have been plenty of female spy masters like Bond without using 007, always associated with a man. They could have issued the female version a 008, 006., and it would be fine. But, to give 007?
Now, many think it is much ado about nothing and it is all about equality of women and races and it would draw in more followers. Nonsense. After 25 years of Bond movies, and the fact that this film has been very successful across the globe among all races and genders, should tell you it is just to stir controversy. Besides the ending where Bond is killed, the most shocking and more negative reaction from patrons is the new 007. Most agree that it is not fitting to change the legacy of the movie, that James Bond 007, should be a white man. It is like saying Jesus was a black man, when from all accounts known, he was not.
Will future 007 films be as successful, I suspect not, because it will NOT be the same as film patrons will expect of the franchise. Look, even in the past, when there were new white male Bond actors to fill Sean Connery's epic acting, some failed to be blockbusters. So, now, the formula REALLY is different. Ironically, the great movie, Black Widow, which is akin to a spy film, has the main character with a white woman who can take on any man AND is beautiful. When I first heard of the movie, I presumed, the lead would be a black woman to match the title. Hallie Berry would have been great in the same role.
Having a black woman as 007, who physically is less appealing than any Bond woman ever, is gambling that the next Bond movie will succeed. Bond women have always been stunningly beautiful and deadly. That is what makes them appealing- a beauty and a beast.
Legacies in film or music are always difficult to handle when change comes. It's like a film about the Beatles who are Asian actors portraying them, it just does not work, even if they sound just like them. Ironically, the director of the latest Bond film, Fukanaga, who you may think is Japanese or other Asian, while his father is Asian, his mother was Caucasian. He came from the small, Northern California town of Sebastopol, near Santa Rosa, CA. Graduated in 1995 from Analy HS.
A better way to end the Bond legacy would have been to introduce a new character with a new number to follow 007's lead and when he was killed, assume the role. They did this but reassigned 007. Let it RIP.