Will a female agent take on the role of 007 in the forthcoming "James Bond" film in a historical gender switch that could shake the core of the franchise?
It has been a long-debated topic but executive producer Barbara Broccoli has laid the rumors to rest— at least for now.
"Bond is male," she told The Guardian. "He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."
Her comments come as the 007 franchise experiences dramatic changes, most notably the exit of Danny Boyle due to "creative differences."
However, Broccoli said that is no reason to change male characters into women.
"Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters."
Idris Elba, a firm favorite for the Bond role, ignited the idea of a female 007 agent in an interview with Vanity Fair.
"Are we interested in having a Bond character other than being a male? It could be a woman—could be a black woman, could be a white woman," he said. "Do something different with it. Why not?"
However, not everyone was on board with the idea.
In an interview with The Telegraph, actress Rachel Weisz, who is married to Bond star Daniel Craig, said the role was best left to a man as author Ian Fleming had "devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women."
Despite experiencing setbacks, filming for the forthcoming Bond film begins in March 2019, with a worldwide release set for Feb. 14, 2020.
Cary Joji Fukunaga has taken up directing the title, whose "versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure," Broccoli said in a statement last month.
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