Last summer brought the news that the upcoming No Time to Die will strip James Bond of his "007" title and instead give it to a new character played by Marvel actress Lashana Lynch, marking the first time that a woman or a black character has been 007. Though the reports spread like wildfire, Lynch never addressed them in the public sphere and let the news spread. Eventually it was confirmed that her character Nomi would have "00" status, but what number would accompany that was still up in the air. Now Lynch has confirmed the news, opening up on what brought her to the part and how she handled the negativity by some sections of the internet to the news.
Speaking with Harpers Bazaar Lynch talked about being apprehensive to join the series, afraid of "getting lost 'behind the man.'" Director Cary Joji Fukunaga and series producer Barbara Broccoli spoke with the actress and set her at ease though, revealing they were on the same page as her and wanted to craft a character that stood in direct contrast to Bond and his history. Lynch also worked with screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, previously confirmed to have given the script a polish.
"A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for," Lynch said. "I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100 per cent authentic."
Lynch also opened up about the vitriol that happened online after it was first reported that her character would be the new 007 as it revealed yet another ugly side of the internet that shows no signs of having a bottom.
"I am one Black woman – 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," Lynch added. "I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary."
The wait for No Time to Die has gotten even longer for fans of the franchise as the film was originally scheduled to debut in April of this year but was pushed to November of 2020 days after tickets first went on sale. A month ago it was pushed once again to April of 2021 and will arrive a full year after it was originally scheduled to. Currently set to arrive on April 2, 2021, director Cary Fukunaga isn't convinced that it won't be delayed yet again.