This past weekend, the movie industry lost a legend with the passing of Sean Connery, the first actor to bring the legendary role of international spy James Bond to the silver screen. Before the end of his battle with dementia, Connery amassed an impressive resume highlighted by seven James Bond films that serve as the backbone to the 007 franchise, making it arguably the highlight of his career as well. Many have been cast to play the role following Connery’s portrayal of the iconic character, however few have managed to capture Bond’s spirit quite like Connery did, so it makes sense why No Time to Die, the next installment in the Bond franchise will take on a new direction. The upcoming film will shift away from utilizing Bond as the main protagonist and will instead feature a female lead, with Lashana Lynch set to star as the person of interest in No Time to Die.
Most recently, the role of James Bond was helmed by Daniel Craig, starring in films such as 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre. Craig’s Bond character will be hanging up the reins of international spy in No Time to Die, with a new crop of agents set to follow in his footsteps. While Lashana Lynch’s involvement with the upcoming film is not news, the nature of her role is, as she confirmed in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar this week that she will be taking over the lead role from Daniel Craig and his James Bond character. This may perplex some as Lynch does not fit the typical image of the character James Bond, however this unique direction in which a strong, minority female lead is cast to capture the spirit of a character like Bond is certainly poised to make for something interesting. While the film was initially set to hit theatres as early as this past April, the COVID pandemic and subsequent delays have seen this pushed back towards the end of 2021. This will leave ample time for the concept to marinate among fans, and time for more details to make their way into the news cycle and build excitement for the next installment in the James Bond franchise.
It has been known since 2019 that Lynch would be taking up a role in the Bond series, the extent of which was not fully known until recently. While it would be difficult to cast Lynch directly as Bond himself, the fact that an African-American woman is set to take over Bond’s position as international spy is nothing short of a big deal. In an industry that has struggled to achieve widespread diversity, the importance of this casting is not something that has been lost on Lynch, she noted in her Harper’s Bazaar article: “I am one Black woman – if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse… I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary.” Though Lynch has faced substantial backlash for this casting, she remains open to the idea and eager to make the most of it, and as she should as the James Bond role is one of the most storied in film history.