Rachel Weisz, the English Rose, was recently interviewed by the Telegraph, and discussed, among many things, the character played by her husband, Daniel Craig, in the James Bond franchise.
When asked by interviewer Elizabeth Day about her opinion on a female taking over the role of James Bond, she replied "cautiously" that Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books, "devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women."
She said, "Why not create your own story rather than jumping on to the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors? Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories."
Her comment offers an interesting perspective on the all-female reboots of popular male-led films and franchises that have recently become a trend, with remakes of movies like Ghostbusters, Ocean's Eight, Splash, and Lord of the Flies generating much hype.
While many see it as empowering that women are able to take on roles previously led by men in a male-dominated industry, Weisz suggests that it would be more empowering if women were given original narratives to take forward and create legacies with, which 2017's Wonder Woman was a great example of. The movie took the tired superhero trope and gave it new life, departing from many of the clichés of its predecessors.
Recently, Jodie Whittaker made history by becoming the first female doctor in the 55-year history of popular British science fiction series, Doctor Who. Like the character of James Bond, the Doctor has always been associated with male actors, but calls for greater representation of people of color and other genders in mass media are slowly beginning to be heard.
However, like Weisz, Idris Elba criticized people hoping he'd become the "black James Bond" saying that "Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond." Instead of hiring "unconventional" choices for traditionally white, male roles, perhaps creating and normalizing "unconventional" roles is the way forward.
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