Just recently, we did a write-up on Bond girls that the world forgot, including the likes of Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson), Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), and Zora (Martine Beswick, who also played Paula Caplan in Thunderball). That such a list even exists speaks to the power of the “Bond Girl” as an iconic character type in a classic franchise. But in recent years, we’ve started to hear increasing buzz about an idea that would flip the idea of a Bond Girl on its head—casting a woman in the actual James Bond role.
This may seem like little more than a rumour or concept for the internet to get excited about, and it may end up being exactly that. But the idea of a female Bond has actually gotten quite a bit of attention of late, in more ways than one.
The most high-profile call for a female Bond probably came from Ed Miliband, the former leader of the Labour Party in the U.K. Quotes from Miliband suggest that the influential politician believed casting a female Bond would mean “moving with the times,” speaking to the idea that there would be a progressive aspect to the decision. Oddly, however, Miliband went on to suggest Rosamund Pike as the ideal actress for the role. Pike is a very capable actress—and a British one to boot—but given that one of her breakout roles was as Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, she’d be a bizarre choice as the first female Bond.
Reflecting the idea of a female Bond on a subtler level, there’s actually an internet game that invents the character for players to enjoy. Featured among the 400-plus available game options at one major online casino platform, “Agent Jane Blonde” is designed with a pretty clear connection to the Bond franchise. While it’s a playful title, it’s built to celebrate the same gadgetry and spy intrigue that makes 007 wonderful. The slot reels are populated by items such as X-Ray specs, cocktails, C4 gum, pistols, and GPS trackers, all with a female secret agent presiding over activity. This is by no means an indication that studios are working on a “Jane Bond,” but it does speak to the public’s general interest in the concept.
That interest has grown so widespread that one-time Bond actor Roger Moore was asked about the idea recently. Moore’s take was that you could not have a female simply take over the role, because it’s such an established part. However, as he put it, you could have a Jane Bond. The gist seemed to be that Moore would be against seeing an actress simply take over the Bond franchise, but that a spin-off would be a reasonable idea.
No matter how you feel about the idea of a female Bond, it’s at least interesting to speculate about which actresses may be suited for the role. These are just a few that seem to be popular suggestions.
Gillian Anderson, a Chicago-born actress best known for her role in X-Files, has become an oddly popular choice for those who want to see a female Bond. The actress tweeted a picture of herself in a sort of mock-up Bond poster, setting off a brief frenzy on Twitter as fans enthusiastically agreed with the idea. It seems doubly unlikely, however, that a Jane Bond would also be American.
Johansson is also American, and thus perhaps unlikely. But she’s also among the most popular actresses on the planet these days, and still young enough to sign up for a prolonged stint in a Bond role. Incidentally, she also won an IMDB poll on which actress should play Bond.
Blunt, too, has been a common choice online, and may be the most logical of them all. Blunt is just 33 years old, was born in London, and is currently seeing her star rise after a brilliant performance in the lead role in The Girl On The Train. She’s certainly among the most popular young British actresses in the world.
Those are just a few of the names floating around. Others include Angelina Jolie, Thandie Newton, and Emilia Clarke. But in the end, this is probably little more than a buzzy internet concept—for now.