Let’s be honest, the James Bond films haven’t all been a feminist’s dream to watch, especially those older ones… But it seems as though No Time To Die will finally show a shift where female characters are allowed to be more than just the leggy-model types who distract Mr Bond.
In No Time To Die, Naomie Harris returns to play Moneypenny and Leá Seydoux reprises her role as Madeleine Swann, while Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch is rumoured to be inheriting the 007 title following Bond’s (Daniel Craig) retirement.
However, Bond, unsurprisingly, is called back into the spy world and when he does he has Blade Runner star Ana de Armas as Paloma, another spy, by his side.
It would seem at this point that the women are very much outnumbering the men here.
De Armas commented on the change to THR, saying, “[The women] have been sexualized before, a stereotype, a kind of woman who will always be in danger and waiting to be rescued by Bond.”
“It’s pretty obvious that there is an evolution in the fact that Lashana is one of the main characters in the film and wears the pants — literally. I wear the gown. She wears the pants.”
She added, “[Paloma] is a character that is very irresponsible. She’s got this bubbliness of someone who is excited to be on a mission, but she plays with this ambiguity — you don’t really know if she’s like a really trained, prepared partner for Bond… She’s very smart. She helps Bond navigate through certain things that he wouldn’t be able to do alone.”
Lynch also spoke about her character, saying, “I didn’t want someone who was slick. I wanted someone who was rough around the edges and who has a past and a history and has issues with her weight and maybe questions what’s going on with her boyfriend.”
“Everyone was really responsive to having her be what I wanted. You’re given a fresh perspective on a brand-new black woman in the Bond world.”
Another huge impact on the film is the fact Killing Eve and Fleabag writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge has a writing credit. De Armas and Lynch revealed their excitement about Waller-Bridge’s involvement with Lynch saying, “I very literally squealed when I first heard her name… I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, British girl just like me. She’s going to know how to actually take care of women onscreen.'”
Speaking with the BBC, Waller-Bridge revealed she added “little spices” to the dialogue that had already been written.
“They were just looking for tweaks across a few of the characters and a few of the storylines,” she said. “My involvement was much more practical. Just, ‘You’re a writer, we need some help with these scenes. And you come up with some dialogue for these characters.’”
Waller-Bridge is only the second woman to have a writing credit on a Bond film in the franchise’s almost 60-year history. The first woman involved was Johanna Harwood on Dr No and From Russia With Love.
It was reportedly Craig’s idea to have the Fleabag writer involved in the film, she explained, “We met for coffee and then a few months later we met again. And then I met the director Cary Joji Fukunaga and then I met Daniel after that. But I know Daniel and Barbara [Broccoli] had been talking about it for while.”