The upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die, not only has Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the writer’s room, but it will also be the first of the film’s franchise to feature a Black 007 agent.
The movie will be Daniel Craig’s last turn as James Bond and, at the same time, will introduce his 007 successor: British actress Lashana Lynch.
After months of rumours that Lynch will take over the iconic role, the 32-year-old confirmed the news in a new interview, speaking about how she prepared for the inevitable racist backlash. After noting that she deleted social media from her phone for a week, Lynch said she had to remind herself that while the criticism was horrible, none of it was personal.
“I am one Black woman—if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse,” she told Harper’s BAZAAR UK. “I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary.”
In No Time to Die, Lynch’s character, named Nomi, is expected to pick up the title of 007 while Bond is living in exile in Jamaica. Lynch noted that alongside Waller-Bridge, the pair ensured her character had “a fresh female perspective” that was “subtly drawn, believable, perhaps even a little awkward.”
“A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for,” Lynch said. “I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100 percent authentic.”
A Black 007 and a project that includes Waller-Bridge? Looks like I’ll be watching my first-ever James Bond film come April 2021.