Bleats

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Is Exactly What James Bond Needs For #MeToo

We can expect some great stuff from the genius mind behind Fleabag and Killing Eve.

It probably goes without saying that the James Bond movies haven’t exactly been great when it comes to treating its females with respect. With the dawn of the #MeToo era, it’s hard to see how the franchise will continue to stay relevant if Bond continues to be a, ahem, “sexist, misogynist, dinosaur.”

Well it appears the filmmakers have taken some steps to fix that issue by bringing in the brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge to work on the script for the upcoming Bond film, which is the perfect move from them in order to get 007 up to speed with these modern times.

Having Phoebe onboard as a writer is something of a milestone for the franchise as she is only the second female scribe to work on a Bond film since Johanna Harwood back in the 1960s.

So how exactly will Phoebe tackle this problem of making Bond relevant again in the #MeToo era? Hell, is Bond even relevant anymore is probably the bigger question given the character’s philandering ways aren’t exactly welcome anywhere these ways.

Well according to Phoebe (via Deadline), Bond is “absolutely relevant now” and her approach is to make sure that the film has to treat its female characters “properly” even if he doesn’t.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now 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.”

I’ve got my hopes high that the new Bond film will be something special now that Phoebe is onboard as write, especially after the garbage fire that was Spectre.

If you’re going to get someone good to write your James Bond film so that it is respectful of women during the #MeToo era, you might as well get the genius brain behind Fleabag and Killing Eve to do it.

It’ll be a while before we see what exactly Phoebe as done to the new Bond film’s script as it isn’t scheduled to hit cinemas until April 2020, and that’s not taking into account whether Daniel Craig accidentally injures himself again, but we can definitely expect a refreshing new take at the very least.

Emma Thompson Shares Powerful Letter Explaining Why She Can't Work With A Filmmaker Accused Of Sexual Harassment

"But I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising."

Dame Emma Thompson made headlines a couple of weeks ago when it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that she had quit Skydance Animation’s upcoming film, Luck, due to her “concerns” over the studio’s hiring of ex-Pixar creative lead John Lasseter, who was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017.

After staying silent on the matter, the actress has now shared a powerful letter to Skydance’s management detailing the reasons why she left the project.

In the letter, published in full by the Los Angeles Times, Thompson praised Luck‘s director Alessandro Carloni and the film’s creative team before detailing several concerns over Lasseter’s hiring.

Some of the points she brought up include:

  • Why women would want to work for Lasseter when it says in his contract that “he must behave ‘professionally’” after decades of “touching women inappropriately”:

“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave “professionally’? “

  • Why women would think any respect shown to them by Lasseter is anything other than sincere:

If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist and his employment agreement? The message seems to be, “I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.”

  • Lasseter is essentially getting paid millions to get a “second chance” without any input from Skydance’s employees:

Much has been said about giving John Lasseter a “second chance.” But he is presumably being paid millions of dollars to receive that second chance. How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?”

Thompson concludes her letter by writing how she “can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising” and that she’s taking a stand in an effort to “protect [her] daughter’s generation”.

Here’s the letter in full:

Following the publication of Thompson’s letter, the social media response was widely in support of the actress’ stance with some stating that her actions and letter represent a “significant” moment in the #MeToo movement.

There’s no denying that Thompson’s stance is a powerful statement in support of the #MeToo movement.

Skydance has yet to issue a response to the actress’ letter at the time of writing.

Forget About Turning James Bond Into A Female 007, Give The Badass Bond Girls Their Own Movies

Just imagine it: Halfway through the movie, this suave guy in a tux turns up, they have a great night, and then she ends up saving the world.

Bond. James Bond.

Whenever those three iconic words are uttered onscreen, everyone will get a mental image of Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, or my personal favourite Pierce Brosnan, in a tuxedo and looking like the textbook definition of suave.

It is the most memorable introduction of a fictional character in cinema history, but don’t expect that phrase to be uttered anytime soon by a woman according to long time Bond executive producer Barbara Broccoli.

In an interview with The Guardian, Broccoli dismissed any Doctor Who-esque gender switch for 007, saying that the character is and will forever be male.

Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.

Now before you get out your pitchforks, Broccoli does have her reasons behind this decision.

She points out that Bond is a defiantly male character created in the 50s and is imbued with traits from that era. Couple that with fans still constantly comparing the latest movies with the early Sean Connery releases back in the 1960s, it is simply impossible to recreate Bond as a feminist character because it just won’t work.

She has a point. Bond is strictly a male fantasy character and masculinity is his core, and casting a woman in the role diminishes that point. And besides, the character is just ridiculous so why bother even tinkering with it.

Agreed.

Broccoli’s reasoning was followed up by her suggestion to create more original female characters instead.

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.

It certainly is a good idea and Atomic Blonde is a good example of how to pull off a kickass female spy movie. However, I have a better idea that will give us all the badass female spy tropes we want in a movie while still remaining tangentially tied to Bond: give Bond girls their own movies.

Think about it, nearly all the Bond girls are forced to play second fiddle to the super spy in each of the 007 movies, leaving well-developed characters like Vesper Lynd and Pussy Galore to make do with what limited screen time they’re given.

It would be amazing to watch the stories of every Bond girl be given the attention they deserve before 007 even enters the picture. Hell, I’ll even settle for a Bond movie from the woman’s perspective. Just imagine it: Halfway through the movie, this suave guy in a tux turns up, they have a great night, and then she ends up saving the world.

If they ever make a movie about Michelle Yeoh’s character Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies, I would be a very happy camper.

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