2018 is now officially behind us, however some of the news has followed us into the new year. There is now a push to turn the greatest asset in MI6, James Bond, into a transgender character.
Right before Christmas, British actor Dominic West spoke to the Sunday Times where he made the case for a transgender 007:
“Maybe a transgender Bond would be cool.” … “There’s a very cool woman who’s the wife of an actor in [his latest film] Colette, who is a captain in the electrical engineers, the highest-ranking transgender soldier in the army.”
As you could imagine, it didn’t take long for the internet to take the idea and run with it.
Comedian Ian Harvie followed up West’s idea with his own in an interview with The Daily Beast.
“It would tell me that trans men were being seen as men, legitimate and worthy of casting in this role.”
Harvie would elaborate that having a trans actor play the “hypermasculine role” would be a “major triumph” that would fly in the face of “cis white men.”
“As someone who has been told over and over again through social messaging (and sometimes directly to my face) that I am someone who is not allowed to own my masculinity, that I am not a real man, that only cis white men are allowed to own masculinity, it would feel like a major triumph if I or one of my trans actor friends were to be cast in such a hypermasculine role as Bond,”.
Ian Harvie wasn’t the only person thrilled with Dominic West’s idea. In the same interview with the Daily Beast, Scott Turner Schofield praised the ideas saying it would be an establishing role for the trans community.
“A trans man Bond would establish trans men in entertainment, the way so many trans women, like Laverne Cox, already have [for trans women],”.
Schofield admitted that there is an underlining reason behind the desire to appropriate James Bond. Harvie explains:
“He’s a cultural institution. The idea of including trans men in that—and the impact it would have on culture by creating visibility and accepting trans men as the be-all-and-end-all-of-men—cannot be underestimated.”
So not only is Schofield looking to expand the visibility of the trans community, but also is looking to utilize established characters to do so. Something that many fans in other genres have decried over the years.
Schofield concluded, “I’d give anything for that part. I’d even go to the gym for it!”
This comes after a year where many called for Idris Elba to become the next James Bond. As of right now, Daniel Craig still has one more movie up his sleeve, but it already seems that there are many parties looking to shake up 007. And we might see a James Bond we never thought we’d see before.
James Bond Producer Barbara Broccoli has given mixed signals on what the next James Bond will look like. Last January, Broccoli indicated she might be open to gender-swapping to James Bond, “These films tend to reflect the times so we always try to push the envelope a little bit. Anything is possible.” She added, “Right now it’s Daniel Craig, and I’m very happy with Daniel Craig, but who knows what the future will bring?”
However, in October she would make it clear that Bond would be a male character, “Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as male.”
She continues, “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 acknowledges Bond is not a feminist property and she points to the early movies and novels. “It was written in the 50s, so there’s certain things in [Bond’s] DNA that are probably not gonna change.”
However, she does state Bond can change and adapt and she believes the franchise has.
“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.”
What do you think? Would you be open to a transgendered James Bond? Why or why not?