Daniel Craig Says James Bond Shouldn’t Be Played by a Woman. Is He Right?

The 007 actor would rather see more new roles for women

Daniel Craig attends The Museum of Modern Art Screening of Casino Royale at MOMA in 2020. The actor says James Bond shouldn't be played by a woman, though in the context of women should be getting their own and better roles.
Daniel Craig at The Museum of Modern Art Screening of Casino Royale at MOMA in 2020.
Getty Images for The Museum of Modern Art

As the male leads of certain iconic action franchises age out of their roles, there’s been healthy debate over whether or not it’s time to give a woman a chance to take on the part. Is it enough to simply shoehorn women into parts that were originally written for men, or should we be focused instead on writing more three-dimensional roles for women? There are valid arguments for both, and thanks to a new interview with Radio Times, our current 007, Daniel Craig, has weighed in on the issue.

When asked about the possibility of a female Bond, Craig responded, “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color.”

“Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?” he continued.

He’s not the only one associated with the Bond franchise who has voiced an opinion about the famed spy’s potential gender. In 2020, producer Barbara Broccoli told Variety, “James Bond can be of any color, but he is male.”

Her reasoning was similar to Craig’s, as she claimed that she’d rather see more roles written for women rather than pushing them into existing parts that were originally written for men. “I believe we should be creating new characters for women — strong female characters,” she said. “I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”

She and Craig have a point, but until there actually are more complex, strong roles being written for women, we deserve to see them in more nuanced parts wherever we can. If that means reimagining a part that was originally written for a man because no other solid options exist, then so be it. And if we can’t have a female Bond, at least let’s allow Phoebe Waller-Bridge to take over as Indiana Jones.

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