Black Lesbian 007 to Take over Bond Franchise?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday November 7, 2020

Out Black actor Lashana Lynch opened up in a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar about being a Black, female and reportedly lesbian 007, taking the number from a retired James Bond in the upcoming film "No Time to Die." But will she continue in the role for future films?

Rumors have been rife for more than a year, with the first reports that Lynch would inherit the famed 007 - a "license to kill" designation - in the upcoming movie, in which Nomi is sent to bring Bond back into service in order to defeat a new foe. In the new interview, Lynch confirmed that her character, Nomi, will indeed be the new 007.

But what does that mean? A new spate of rumors have surfaced, one of which, reports Yahoo! News, is that Nomi won't just have been assigned the famous digits after Bond's retirement from the spy business; Yahoo! News suggested that while the two agents will team up on a mission, Nomi will then liquidate Bond, meaning that when current Bond actor Daniel Craig exits the franchise, he won't simply be replaced with another white male actor who will assume both the character's name and his number. Rather, the rumors say, Lynch will continue on as the new star of the movie series.

While media sources said that Nomi will, like Lynch, be LGBTQ, the Harper's Bazaar interview focused on issues of race rather than sexuality, with Lynch telling the interviewer that she wanted Nomi to be portrayed in a way that Black audiences would see as genuine.

"She set out to portray the truth of being a Black woman," the article says, "someone she might know; someone in her family — avoiding the two-dimensional view that can be so easily conveyed on screen or written in scripts."

Predictably, Lynch has come in for online hate from fanboys who don't want to see their 007 change with the rest of the world. Esquire recalled how, when the news first broke in 2019 about Lynch taking on the role of the British super-spy, a tsunami of toxic trolling crashed down on her.

But Lynch, who is no stranger to portraying strong women on screen - she played a fighter pilot in "Captain Marvel" - offered a pragmatic response to the hate when speaking to Harper's Bazaar, noting that, "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."

"I feel very grateful that I get to challenge those narratives," Lynch declared. "We're moving away from toxic masculinity, and that's happening because women are being open, demanding and vocal, and calling out misbehavior as soon as we see it."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.