With all the hype around who will play the next James Bond, few considered someone who wasn’t a household name already—or you know, not Idris Elba. But according to reports, it’s possible the next actor to lead the franchise won’t be the white man we know to be James Bond, or even Bond at all. It might just be a black actress named Lashana Lynch.
Sources have revealed to The Daily Mail that the secrecy-shrouded Bond 25 features a “popcorn-dropping moment” when the British actress (known for Captain Marvel and Still Star-Crossed) takes on the designation of 007, License to Kill. She wouldn’t be taking on the role of “James Bond,” but instead, her character, who is listed as “Nomi” on IMDB, will take on his job.
— Lashana Lynch (@LashanaLynch) July 5, 2019
Not much is known about Bond 25 (they haven’t even released a name), but according to the Daily Mail‘s source, the film begins with Daniel Craig’s Bond retired in Jamaica when M (Ralph Fiennes) calls him back to work to help with an unspecified global crisis. The popcorn-dropping happens early-on when M calls, “Come in, 007” and Lynch’s character walks in.
While this would mark a major cultural shift for the franchise, The Mail reports that the film’s change in 007 doesn’t mean an actual change in the man known as James Bond. The womanizing spy will keep up his old tricks, even if the woman he’s working with has a licence to kill (which seems dangerous, tbh).
“Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don’t work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed,” The Mail quotes their source as saying. “Well, certainly not at the beginning.”
The tone shift for Bond 25 has been attributed to the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge to the writing team. Waller-Bridge created, writes and stars in the Amazon Prime series Fleabag and had a recurring role on the acclaimed British drama Broadchurch but is probably best known as the showrunner and head writer on the first season of Killing Eve (Sandra Oh FTW!). On her influence in the spy franchise writing room, Waller-Bridge said there’s a way to keep Bond with the times without fundamentally altering his character.
“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,” she told Deadline. “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.”
Lashana Lynch started off working on British television with roles on comedies like Death in Paradise and Crims. She made her American TV debut as star of the Shonda Rhimes period drama Still Star-Crossed and appeared alongside Brie Larson in Captain Marvel earlier this year.
As you can imagine, the news that the next 007 could be a black woman, got the internet PUMPED.
LASHANA LYNCH AS THE NEW 007. ITS A YES FROM ME. pic.twitter.com/QX6fUi2Wum
— ✨Maria| SAW FFH x2✨ (@quacksonqueen) July 14, 2019
Prediction: Whiny dudes will be shaken AND stirred.https://t.co/Tr5enuP53q
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) July 14, 2019
MOOD: the way brie larson looking at our new 007 lashana lynch pic.twitter.com/WhVOA560Ei
— sprinkles (@spacelesbiam) July 14, 2019
Tired: casting more white men in 007 roles
Wired: casting Idris Elba or another male actor of colour in 007 roles
Inspired: casting Lashana Lynch, a black female actor, as a 007#Bond25
— aisling (@aislina) July 14, 2019
Wow. Lashana Lynch is the next 007. She’s not playing Bond, but will take over the code name. Brava, Phoebe Waller-Bridge for ushering in a new era where WoC can lead a spy series, like Sandra Oh in #KillingEve. H/t @iamlaurenp https://t.co/qcSpMHF2zR
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) July 14, 2019
Bond 25 has a projected release date of April 8, 2020.