James Bond might be cool and collected as a character, but the franchise largely appears to be in disarray from a public standpoint. Daniel Craig will do one final lap shaken, not stirred, for the still-untitled Bond 25, which recently passed helming duties from Danny Boyle to True Detective director Cary Fukunaga. That movie won’t even arrive until February 14, 2020, and from there? There shall have to be another new Bond actor to volunteer as tribute and be alternately embraced and torn to shreds by critics and fans alike. Idris Elba and Richard Madden have been dodging rumors for countless months, but actor and director Dominic West has a suggestion on how Bond can break new ground in the future.
West, who’s currently promoting the BBC’s Les Miserables adaptation, thinks that the passing of the martini should move even beyond casting a cisgender woman, as with the BBC’s Doctor Who hiring of Jodie Whittaker. And West even suggests soldier Hannah Winterbourne for the gig. Via Digital Spy, here’s what West told The Sunday Times:
“Maybe a transgender Bond would be cool. There’s a very cool woman who’s the wife of an actor in [Jake Graf’s latest film] Colette, who is a captain in the electrical engineers, the highest-ranking transgender soldier in the army … That’s actually a brilliant idea. They should have a transgender Bond because there are a lot of transgender people in the army.”
This suggestion lit up social media with many, including actor Ron Perlman, apparently expressing support (additionally, Perlman was “praying” that Piers Morgan would lose his mind over the idea). Winterbourne, however, spoke out on the matter by declining acting as a career choice and preferring to “stick to the real Army.” Winterbourne, who is married to transgender actor Jake Graf, went on to state that Graf would be ideal in the role.
As one would also expect, West’s idea has resulted in vocal supporters and detractors making their thoughts known across the social media board. Those arguments have grown ugly, so we’ll have to wait and see whether Bond producers are keen to wade into those waters, rather than leave the character as tradition dictates. Perhaps instead, another spy-or-assassin-based franchise shall soon launch itself into the stratosphere to explore themes of gender dysphoria in a substantial way, rather than as part of the gadget-obsessed Bond franchise, which — let’s face it — can’t seem to lift another project off the ground right now, let alone take major leaps within the next handful of years.