Phoebe Waller-Bridge says ‘Bond doesn’t have to treat women properly’

Greer McNally
Phoebe Waller-Bridge attending the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Bafta. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge attending the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images

James Bond and his women. It’s a topic of controversy every time a new Bond movie explodes into our lives. And now the script polisher (she doesn’t like the term scriptwriter) of Bond 25, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has expressed her opinion about the evolution of Ian Fleming’s iconic spy and his films.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now,” she said, “because of who he is and the way he treats women. I think that’s bollocks.”

“I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”

Read more: Phoebe Waller-Bridge hired to help rescue James Bond script

The Fleabag creator opened up about the upcoming project in an interview in US magazine, Deadline, which hits newsstands on June 5.

But whether she likes the idea of being a scriptwriter on the project or not, Waller-Bridge is still only the second woman to get a screenwriting credit on a Bond movie. And let’s be honest, everyone is hoping she’s been weaving the same verbal magic here, as she’s done on Fleabag and Killing Eve.

But the pressure is building on the project. The film, directed by True Detective’s Cary Joji Fukunaga, was originally set for release in November this year. But when Daniel Craig damaged his ankle, production was delayed pushing the release back to April 2020.

Read more: 'Bond 25' production 'halted after Daniel Craig suffers injury on set'

Waller-Bridge was apparently brought onto the project by Daniel Craig, who is a Fleabag fan. And admiration appears to be mutual, as the writer admitted that she previously had a real appreciation for Daniel Craig’s Bond. “When I saw his Bond for the first time, there was a wryness to his performance that I really loved,” she said. “So, I was really excited about writing dialogue for him.”

The combination of Craig and Waller-Bridge does suggest that this Bond might be worth waiting for. Roll on April 2020.