It’s stating the obvious to say that any franchise looking to secure even the slightest hint of longevity needs to remain in a perpetual state of reinvention to avoid falling behind the times. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Dr. No and James Bond is still going strong, so you can’t deny the iconic spy series has maintained relevancy better than most.
No Time to Die is finally releasing in just a couple of weeks, and the Daniel Craig era will be remembered for bringing 007 kicking and screaming into the modern age, dropping the high camp and more fantastical elements to remain rooted in a more tangible reality than that of his predecessors.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t constant room for improvement, with director Cary Joji Fukunaga admitting in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Bond still needs to work harder when it comes to including better roles for female characters.
“I think that’s the expectation, a female writing very strong female roles, but that’s something Barbara wanted already. From my very first conversations, that was a very strong drive. You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person. But you can definitely change the world around him and the way he has to function in that world. It’s a story about a white man as a spy in this world, but you have to be willing to lean in and do the work to make the female characters more than just contrivances.”
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Gemma Arterton revealed last year that she regretted her appearance as Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace, while the casting of Monica Bellucci in Spectre was praised for no other reason than the fact she’s less than four years older than Craig. Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought on to punch up the No Time to Die script for the very reasons Fukunaga spoke of, so James Bond‘s evolution looks set to continue.