The James Bond franchise has become one of the most iconic action properties to hit cinema -- but that hasn't been without some occasional backlash. In recent years, viewers have called out some of the franchise's entries for their reductive representation of women, especially those who are only presented as love interests for James Bond. Luckily, it seems like the tide will be changing in a major way in the franchise's upcoming fifteenth installment, No Time to Die. In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, Lea Seydoux spoke about returning to her role as Madeleine Swann, who was first introduced in 2015's Spectre. While Madeleine does have a romantic relationship with Bond (Daniel Craig), Seydoux hinted that she and the other female characters will have much more nuanced roles.
"We are not here to please Bond’s sexuality," Seydoux explained. "What we forget is that James Bond is also a sexual object. He’s totally a sexual object. He’s one of the few, maybe one of the only, male characters to be sexualized. I think that women, they love to see Bond, no? To see his body. No? Don’t you think?"
There definitely is truth to Seydoux's statement, and it certainly is promising to hear that the heroines of No Time to Die will be given more three-dimensional roles. The film's trailers have certainly hinted at as much - especially with Madeleine, Paloma (Ana de Armas), and Nomi (Lashana Lynch), the latter of whom is making franchise history as the first black female "007". Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who helped contribute to the film's script, has also hinted that she will do right by her female characters.
“I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Léa and Ana open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’" Waller-Bridge revealed in an interview last year. "As an actress, I very rarely had that feeling early in my career. That brings me much pleasure, knowing that I’m giving that to an actress.”
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” Waller-Bridge explained. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
No Time to Die will be released on November 25th.