Earlier this year talented script writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in to polish the upcoming twenty-fifth film in the James Bond franchise, NO TIME TO DIE. While reports claimed that Waller-Bridge’s main goal was to touch up the women characters, leading many to believe it was a gender hire (although NOT Daniel Craig), it appears as though those reports may have been exaggerated.
While speaking to BBC Radio, Waller-Bridge stated she was hired to bring some fresh plot ideas and adjustments to several characters, not just women. According to her, “They were just looking for tweaks across a few of the characters and a few of the storylines. When I came on board I was just facilitating as [many] of their ideas and their instincts as possible.” The actress and Emmy winner went on to refer to her contributions as “spicy” and acknowledged that they may not even make it into the movie. Furthermore, Waller-Bridge denies she was brought in to change the “macho culture” of James Bond, stating that producers Michael J. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were already doing that.
It will be interesting to see how NO TIME TO DIE addresses James Bond in the era of the #MeToo movement. Judi Dench who portrayed MI-6’s M in multiple James Bond films, famously referred to James Bond as a “misogynist dinosaur” in 1995’s GOLDENEYE. Additionally, James Bond‘s sexual encounter with Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) in SPECTRE came off as more than a little rapey. However, there’s no getting around the fact that James Bond is a suave spy who drinks martinis, shoots badguys, and bangs dozens of beautiful women. It’s kind of who he is. He’s no saint but as Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) says in CASINO ROYALE, he’s not “a cold-blooded bastard” either.
Regardless, the fact is that Phoebe Waller-Bridge has proved with Killing Eve and Fleabag that she’s a ridiculously talented writer. I have no doubt her contributions to NO TIME TO DIE will further the plot in a positive way. After the mediocre SPECTRE, it’s clear this franchise needs some fresh voices.
NO TIME TO DIE starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, and Jeffrey Wright opens April 8, 2020.