5 signs 007 is going woke for ‘Bond 25’

Sam Ashurst
Contributor
Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch have joined the cast of Bond 25.

James Bond’s politics have been slowly evolving since Daniel Craig first pulled on the iconic tux, with his films increasingly featuring more (Bond) girl-power, jokes about 007 being a ‘dinosaur,’ and a more world-weary tone that reflects how people feel about the British Empire in the modern era.

Craig’s Bond is more likely to see M sipping tea from a British bulldog mug than he is to jump out of a plane wearing a Union Jack parachute. But, with Bond not on active service at the start of the movie, with a licence to chill in Jamaica, Bond 25 might have shrugged off some of the colonial weight he’s carried in the past.

Read more: Bond 25 remains untitled, Rami Malek confirmed as villain

And it looks like Bond 25 is going to be another progressive leap forward for the franchise, going by today’s official announcements. There’s a LOT of evidence that Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie will be the most woke (yeah, we hate that word too) 007 movie ever made.

Bond 25 has no Bond girls

Ana De Armas might not be a ‘Bond girl’ in Bond 25.

One of the most striking elements of the Bond 25 announcement was that, while Craig and director Cary Joji Fukunaga were surrounded by actresses for their segment, the word ‘Bond girl’ wasn’t uttered once by any of them.

It’s one of the more archaic elements of the franchise (these are women, not girls), so it’s interesting that it appears to have been phased out of the early conversation. We’ll see if it continues, but, for now, it’s a good sign Bond is moving with the times.

Still, if Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), gets killed, Bond teams up with Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), and Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049) betrays him, we’ll know they’re not straying too far from the template.

Bond 25 features the franchise’s first non-white director

Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct Bond 25.

It might seem astonishing, but in nearly 60 years of Bond movies, Cary Joji Fukunaga is the first non-white director to call action on an instalment of this franchise.

Who knows if that’s the catalyst for what appears to be a fresh approach to the series, or if Eon realise the audiences who made Black Panther and Captain Marvel such mega-hits have higher standards in terms of the politics they expect from their blockbusters. Whatever the reason, it definitely feels like change is coming – all you have to do is look at the cast to see that.

Bond 25 has a diverse cast

The cast details for the upcoming film were revealed from Jamaica (credit: PA).

The new cast includes Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), and Dali Benssalah (Nox). Other announced names include Billy Magnussen (Game Night), and David Dencik (McMafia), but with returning actors Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny), and Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) factored in, this could be the most diverse Bond movie of the modern era.

Read more: Eva Green thinks a ‘Bond 25’ flashback could be “cheesy” (exclusive)

Sure, it would be a step backwards if Rami Malek’s ethnicity factors into the plot – he’s clearly playing the villain, and he’s the son of Egyptian immigrants – but hopefully this is colour-blind casting.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is Bond 25‘s co-writer, not just a script doctor

It has been announced she will work on the screenplay for the 25th James Bond film (credit: PA).

When Phoebe Waller-Bridge was recently announced as working on Bond 25’s script at Daniel Craig’s request, we assumed she was brought in for a bit of script-doctoring, some last-minute dialogue punch-ups.

But with today’s live event confirming her a co-writer, that means she’s going to be a larger contributor than we assumed. And the traditional Bond format isn’t really her style.

“I write from the point of view of what I’d like to watch,” Waller-Bridge said. “I’m always satisfying my own appetite. So I guess that means transgressive women, friendships, pain. I love pain.”

Good luck, 007.

Read more: Claire Foy says James Bond should be gender-switched like Doctor Who

A person of colour presented the live Bond 25 reveal

Clara Amfo is joined by the Bond 25 cast (credit: YouTube)

This might seem minor to some, but for under-represented people, the sight of a black woman presenting the Bond 25 live reveal was a progressive moment; it’s the first time Eon has hired a black woman to present one of their big reveals. Clara Amfo smashed it, under difficult circumstances (with some distracting early technical issues).