In one swift motion, Metro Goldwyn-Mayer just made a casting decision that is sure to piss off both racists and misogynists alike. Brilliant.
The most recent installment of the 007 series, Bond 25, is due for release in April of next year. Once again starring Daniel Craig in the titular role and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), the 25th film in the franchise follows James Bond post-retirement who’s called back to service after a potential global crisis hits MI6’s desk. The film features a star-studded cast, including Blade Runner 2049’s Ana de Armas, The Hunger Games’ Jeffrey Wright, and even Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek as the franchise’s newest Bond villain.
However, none of these names come close to the biggest casting shocker of them all: Lashana Lynch has officially been cast as the newest 007.
Who? You would be forgiven for not immediately recognizing her. Her most notable role up until now was as Carol Danvers’ best friend Maria Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ first heroine outing, Captain Marvel. Now The Daily Mail confirms that she has been cast as the newest MI6 agent in the upcoming film and has taken over Bond’s codename after his retirement.
There are so many aspects to this casting news to be excited about, but let’s start with the biggest one of all: the casting array for 007 has just exploded into a vastly wider margin. Years ago, there were massive debates on whether 007 could be a woman or an actor of a different race. Indeed, people damn near went up in flames when they learned that Idris Elba might be the newest James Bond. Now we live in a world where both of those casting decisions are absolute possibilities. From here on forward, anything is possible for 007. In the future, he could be a man or a woman. He could be white or black. He could even be gay or straight. Such potential would not have even been conceivable 10 years ago. Now they are. It opens the franchise up to so many realms of possibilities. Who knows where the series could go from here?
It also confirms an intriguing fan theory about James Bond – that 007 is just a code-name and not specific to Bond himself. So for the purists out there who were worried about how this would muck up the franchise continuity (such as myself), there’s no need to be concerned anymore. Now that 007 is confirmed to be merely a cover identity instead of a person, what could happen next? Will Lynch’s 007 go on to be featured in her own spinoff? Maybe star in future sequels? What if other installments brought back Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan for cameo appearances? The possibilities are endless.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Lynch herself. How do I think she’ll handle the role of 007? Quite honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t seen enough from her to make that judgment call. I did like her quite a bit in Captain Marvel, but who’s to say that she’ll handle this role just as well? After all, this is 007 we’re talking about here. That’s not just any walk in the park, especially since she’ll be featured right alongside Daniel Craig’s Bond himself.
That being said, other actors and actresses have taken over bigger roles in even lesser prominence and absolutely crushed the part they were playing. Tessa Thompson was essentially a no-name actress before she was cast opposite both Apollo Creed’s son and Thor in Creed and Thor: Ragnarok. Tom Holland was literally a child actor in the disaster flick The Impossible before he was cast in one of the biggest franchises of the decade as the MCU’s Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Those actors killed it in their respective roles. Who’s to say Lynch doesn’t have it just as much in her?
At the moment, there’s too little to tell in too soon of a time. We’ll have to wait for the first trailer to come out and see how good Lynch really is in this new role she inhabits.
In the meantime, let’s be grateful that strides of diversity are being made in Hollywood and mainstream blockbuster franchises. I eagerly await the narcissistic rage-tweeting of the closeted white nationalists out there who are utterly enraged at this casting decision. At the very least, let’s enjoy their frustration at knowing the new 007 is a black woman.
– David Dunn
SOURCE: The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed