A black woman who will be the next 007: New James Bond film will feature British actress Lashana Lynch taking over the famous codename (but that doesn’t stop the legendary agent trying to seduce her)

  •  In a ‘popcorn-dropping moment’ the actress is handed Bond’s number
  •  Bond girls have been renamed as Bond women in the new movie
  •  The new Bond movie pays tribute to the past 007 films 

Since Daniel Craig announced he was standing down as James Bond, debate has raged whether the next 007 should be a woman, or black.

Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal that she will be both – thanks to the intervention of feminist TV writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

In what’s been called a ‘popcorn-dropping moment’, British star Lashana Lynch, will be given Bond’s licence to kill in the 25th movie in the franchise, currently being shot in Italy and the UK.

Come in 007: British star Lashana Lynch walks in when the James Bond spy number is called

Come in 007: British star Lashana Lynch walks in when the James Bond spy number is called

However, traditionalists can relax: she’s not the new Bond, but a new character who takes over his secret agent number after he leaves MI6.

The story begins with Bond retired in Jamaica. But spymaster M – played by Ralph Fiennes – calls him back in desperation to tackle a new global crisis.

A movie insider said: ‘There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says ‘Come in 007’, and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.

‘It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.

‘Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don’t work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed. Well, certainly not at the beginning.’

The source added that the phrase ‘Bond girls’ is now forbidden, saying: ‘We were all told that from now on they are to be addressed as ‘Bond women’.’

Waller-Bridge, who wrote the BBC comedy Fleabag and the female-led thriller Killing Eve, was recruited to ensure the 57-year-old franchise moved with the times. She said: ‘There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not Bond is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has hinted that she will try to make the new James Bond film ‘female and feminist’.

The Fleabag and Killing Eve creator has been bought on by Sony to jazz up the script but in a new interview she has admitted that although it’s been a joy to work on’ she is hoping to sneak some of her own brand of feminist spark into it. ‘Well, we’ll see, we’ll see what I can sneak in,’ she said when asked if she would bring a ‘female, feminist humour’ to the film. ‘But it’s mainly about making them feel like real people, you know? Which they do in the previous films,’ she told Awards Chatter podcast. ‘I think Daniel’s films have had really fantastic Bond girls, so it’s just keeping it up.’#

 

British star Lashana Lynch is reportedly the new 007

007: Daniel Craig in action in the new movie which promises to be packed with humour

007: Daniel Craig in action in the new movie which promises to be packed with humour

‘I think that’s b******s. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. [The franchise] 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 his character.’

Ms Lynch, 31, had a breakthrough role as the fighter pilot Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel, released earlier this year.

Film-makers create avatar of Daniel Craig’s face for dangerous stunts

Daniel Craig’s desire to do all his own stunts on the new Bond film has been thwarted by injury.

But now producers have come up with a high-tech solution worthy of Q to make it look as if he’s in the thick of the action.

Special-effects wizards have created a computer avatar of the 51-year-old star, which will enable his face to be digitally superimposed on to the body of his stunt double – Frenchman Jean-Charles Rousseau, 31.

Craig was forced to change his stunt plans after injuring an ankle while filming a chase scene in Jamaica in May. In his 13 years as Bond, he has also smashed two teeth, dislocated a shoulder, sprained a knee and sliced the tip off one of his fingers.

A source said: ‘Daniel is in great shape but there are some scenes he can’t do because they are too physically challenging. Plus the insurance company won’t let him. So his face will be superimposed later.’

Originally from Hammersmith, West London, she made her debut in the 2011 drama Fast Girls, has appeared in Silent Witness and Death In Paradise and was a regular cast member on the short-lived 2015 BBC show Crims. She also played Rosaline Capulet in the American period drama series Still Star-Crossed, set after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

The source said: ‘Lashana is absolutely brilliant and Phoebe’s script is as sharp and funny as you would expect. This Bond pays tribute to some of the earlier films with a lot of humour.’

Indeed, one photograph taken on set shows Ms Lynch in a safari suit similar to the one Roger Moore famously wore when he played 007.

‘This is a Bond for the modern era who will appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film,’ the source added. ‘There are spectacular chase sequences and fights, and Bond is still Bond but he’s having to learn to deal with the world of #MeToo.’

So hopefully the script will be the least of the problems for a film that has already been hit by the replacement of original director Danny Boyle, injury to Craig, and a crew member getting hurt in an explosion on set.

Rolling back the years: Lashana Lynch's outfit will be inspired by the Roger Moore's safari suit

Why does the new woman get given the 007 title? Why isn’t she 006 or 005? 007 has always been Bond’s MI6 designation.

 

It’s like saying we will give Bond an electric car to remain up-to-date and politically correct, and then we see the next scene of him hitching a ride because he’s stuck with a flat battery on an English lane far from any charging station.

 

The idea of the 007 designation being given to a woman is just a slippery slope to the next movie (Bond 26) having a female lead called —  Jane Bond.

 

The whole thing is ludicrous. Sure tame down Bond’s chauvinistic and misogynistic womanising ways, but please don’t hash the whole concept of Bond by giving it to a female lead who will need to glam up the part and ultimately change the complete feel and genre of Bond. Imagine if Charlie’s Angels was revamped and refreshed and became Charlie’s Guys or Charlie’s Lads?

 

This new concept of Lynch being the new 007 begs the question, what 00 will the next James Bond be assigned once Craig retires.

 

All of us have a favourite James Bond; Connery, Moore, Brosnan, and Craig, but the idea of the famous secret agent without a specific role or identity and even a decent designation may mean the end of Bond in more ways than one.

Its time the feminists stuck to strong female roles and stop trying to overthrow the role of men. Instead of ‘live and let die’, it should be live and let live.

Certainly for James Bond’s sake.