1st Jun 2016
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It’s Jane Bond: Will a woman “ruin” the iconic franchise?

Will the next James Bond be a Jane instead? Last week, X-Files star Gillian Anderson caused a stir online when she tweeted a fan-made image of herself on a 007 poster with the caption, ‘It's Bond. Jane Bond’. At a time when gender equality has become a hot-button topic, conjecture over whether a woman could ever play the iconic secret agent role has arisen. 

Following the news that Daniel Craig is unlikely to return to the black suit, speculation over who will be the next James Bond has been running wild. While Avengers and Thor star Tom Hiddleston is front-runner for the role, there has been rising public support for a woman to don the suit. 

A petition called #GillianforBond has received almost 160,000 signatures calling for Anderson to be given the role. There's even a fan trailer for a 'new film' starring Anderson (see below). The names of Emily Blunt, Rosamund Pike and even Angelina Jolie have also been thrown around.

However, excited as some are to see a gender-bending of the role, many people are dismayed by the prospect, with naysayers tweeting in response to Anderson, claiming the change would “ruin” the franchise.

Read more at abc.net.au
Read more at qz.com

Opinion: But will there still be sex?

It might come as a surprise to learn that, when it comes to sci-fi, fantasy and action, women are writing and starring in the most popular stories, from Ripley in Alien (1979) and Sarah Connor in Terminator (1984) to Sydney Bristow in Alias (2001) and Imperator Furiosa in the highly successful 2015 reboot of Mad Max. And let’s not forget the soon-to-be-released all-women Ghostbusters movie.

And this enhanced role of women isn’t just confined to film. Women also make up the highest-selling authors of sci-fi and fantasy. Making headlines last week, women swept the 2015 Nebula Awards in the categories of Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story and Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy work.

So why is there so much resistance to Gillian Anderson (or any woman) being cast as Bond? Are people afraid that the franchise will lose its edge? And precisely what edge would that be? The humour and wit, the shoot-outs and car chases? But women are funny, smart and dangerous too. Also, contrary to the tired stereotype, women can drive an Aston Martin at 200km per hour off the edge of a cliff and land precisely onto a waiting aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, just as well as the men in their lives.

There was even a book written in 1992 titled Men, Women and Chainsaws by Carol Clover, which considered the way that men relate more strongly to empowerment narratives featuring female characters. So if this is about boys not having their beloved hyper-masculine idol to turn to, the point is moot.

What this is probably about is sex and the ‘boys club’ cult around the 54-year-old secret agent franchise. But there can still be Bond Girls (and maybe Bond Boys) and sexy times in the new films.

Women can be prime ministers, presidents and captains of industry, as well as mothers, wives and any other gender role that is constantly assigned to them. 

I understand it’s a big change. A lot of people out there have grown used to Bond being a man. Bringing a woman (yes, with breasts) front and centre of such an important franchise is scary, I know. And yet, I reckon the world is just about ready for a Jane Bond. We’re resilient enough.

And who knows, maybe when Bond is a female, she’ll fight to help close the gender pay gap!

Would you enjoying seeing a woman in the role of Jane Bond? Which actress do you think would play the character best? Do you see this shift in gender of Bond as having any important social and cultural implications?

View the fan trailer.

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    COMMENTS

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    Hobbit
    1st Jun 2016
    10:04am
    Female Bond would be fun, but not Gillian Anderson, she's a hopeless, wooden actress. Jane Bond would work best if she was a seductress.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    12:14pm
    With a license to thrill.
    mangomick
    1st Jun 2016
    10:57am
    Great Idea having a Jane Bond instead of a James Bond. It will mean the film studio won't have to pay her as much..........
    Polly Esther
    1st Jun 2016
    11:50am
    "Chesty" Bond. She could advertise singlets to supplement her income
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    12:15pm
    Wet, white singlets.
    mangomick
    1st Jun 2016
    1:34pm
    shaken and not stirred
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    2:20pm
    Good one, mango.
    Ted Wards
    1st Jun 2016
    10:58am
    I think seeing as the character was a male thats the end of the story. I think they did the best they could with Judy Dench as M. Maybe Gillian would be a better Q?
    Ted Wards
    1st Jun 2016
    11:01am
    I also think it must be a slow day when your posting articles of this sort to stir opinion. How about you focus on issues that are real and matter such as the loss of funding for organisations supporting older people living in their homes and the fact that large organisations are wroughting in the system and charging older people astronomical amounts for services. Its indecent yet no one is looking at it.
    Jess M
    1st Jun 2016
    11:12am
    I agree the issues you raise are very important and need discussion however I also think it important we have fun issues that also can lead to change in people's opinion of women. A Jane Bond would be good as there were woman spy's - agents like James bond who never got the acclaim just because they were women. Two women come to mind to play the role. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
    bebby
    1st Jun 2016
    2:59pm
    Ted Wards, take a chill pill. It is just a harmless way to help pass the day. You will find quite a few serious comments on whether the Age Pension is adequate and other issues in another topic today. Now I must add my tuppence worth- I think that the name was meant to be JANE BOND and the publishers made a mistake.
    Oldie84
    1st Jun 2016
    11:23am
    Who cares? Reminds me of all that nonsense printed in certain magazines.
    sandyfaye
    1st Jun 2016
    11:45am
    I have a brilliant idea. Why not make 007 a much older woman (cougar) with a young lover. He is the one doing all the stunts.
    HarrysOpinion
    1st Jun 2016
    11:47am
    So why is there so much resistance to Gillian Anderson (or any woman) being cast as Bond?
    Well, it's like this, the character James Bond is renown for seducing a lot of women in to bed. Now if a woman, Jane Bond or Jamie Bond did that, she'd be renown as a WHORE! Besides, James Bond is an iconic men's dominion character. Wasn't Lara Croft enough for you? Do you really have to stick your buts into every crack of men's dominion?
    Janran
    1st Jun 2016
    5:04pm
    Men's dominion? Don't you mean whorehouse? James Bond (the character) is both a whore and a slut, if the definition is seducing lovers in quick succession.

    Personally, I've always found Bond movies fairly boring and always predictable. Plenty of far-fetched action, yes, but I suppose my attention span goes beyond that of an 8 year old boy's.

    Give me something meaty with intrigue, character development and real emotions - that will spark my interest. As for the sex scenes, really? Action films like Bond have no idea how to rouse. It's more like a smutty classroom joke told by children who have never had an orgasm.
    mangomick
    1st Jun 2016
    5:11pm
    It's not always about Pussy Galore.
    Janran
    2nd Jun 2016
    10:10am
    Haha. Only at the end of the movie, when he takes the plunge (we presume).
    HarrysOpinion
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:53pm
    I find it boring watching women trying to be "mucho" like men even the ones into muscle building, YUK and UGLY.
    And; no Janran, James Bond is not a slut or a whore because he doesn't play the role of a female.Those two expressive terms are embedded for the female gender. And; YES! There is a men's dominion that women will never be allowed into, no matter how much they squawk like angry magpies.
    Janran
    3rd Jun 2016
    10:46am
    HS you sound just like a squawking, angry magpie. Too mucho indeed! But I do agree with you about body builders, both male and female. I find that boofy, puffed up gorilla look most unattractive. Yes, YUK and UGLY.

    Why can't men be sluts or whores? Are you in denial that some men work as prostitutes? or that some are sex addicts? It's only embedded in your little mind. Just because our old patriarchal society only reserved those terms for some women doesn't mean they can't be used to describe similarly acting men. Have a read of "Damned Whores & God's Police" (but only if you can stomach the truth).

    Watch out you old dinosaurs - we decent folk are going to take over the country when you die off and become extinct. Then we'll have men who are strong enough to show their gentle, generous and nurturing sides. My dear departed Dad was born in 1909 and yes, he was sexist, as a product of his generation. But he was exceptionally gentle, generous and nurturing, to all his nine children. On weekends and holidays he would regularly take us kids camping, so Mum could have a real holiday on her own.
    mangomick
    3rd Jun 2016
    5:48pm
    9 kids....A little bit of a sex addict in there or just good Catholics????
    Janran
    5th Jun 2016
    2:43pm
    Very good Catholics!
    Tedwalker
    1st Jun 2016
    11:54am
    Why not try Mr and Mrs Bond, living a quiet life in outer suburbia.
    mangomick
    1st Jun 2016
    12:08pm
    Think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have already tried that. Worked alright as a comedy.
    Maybe a female Bond who carries on like Maxwell Smart would work as well. She would have to be careful using the Phone shoe for fear of getting her stiletto jammed in her ear.
    Janran
    2nd Jun 2016
    10:15am
    I can't imagine an action heroinne wearing something as stupid as stillettoes on her feet. Have you ever tried to run in those things? Just walking in a straight line is hard enough!
    Oldie84
    1st Jun 2016
    12:13pm
    We should have more of this sort of discussion, brings a smile to your face. Not a single word on Politics.
    ????

    1st Jun 2016
    12:23pm
    After Daniel "The Pout" Craig ANYONE would be a refreshing change!
    KSS
    1st Jun 2016
    12:31pm
    Just because she 'could' doesn't mean she 'should'. This is the most ridiculous suggestion. There is no such thing as a 'female' James Bond. Make a new franchise with a female spy if that's what people want. Why emasculate a popular fictional character for the sake of political correctness?
    BigBen
    1st Jun 2016
    1:10pm
    I agree wholeheartedly, KSS.
    James Bond 007 is male and can never be a female!
    James Bond is in fact modelled on Ian Fleming's (the creator and the author) own exploits in WWII; a real life James Bond!
    He would be turning in his grave at the thought of such a suggestion.
    Chat
    1st Jun 2016
    1:44pm
    I agree as well.
    If women --- and I am one --- want to have "equality" why not have a spy series of their own.
    Why do so many women always want things that are already a man's series or whatever. Get your own!!
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2016
    7:14pm
    Well, Fleming didn't actually actively serve.. but he was with the Combined Ops planning people - apparently busted a gut to get ashore on D-Day but M refused....
    retroy
    1st Jun 2016
    1:11pm
    Is nothing sacred any more ?

    Tradition should count.
    Janran
    2nd Jun 2016
    5:37pm
    Yeah, like sexism - a great Aussie (sacred?) tradition.
    Flipsout
    1st Jun 2016
    1:45pm
    What a silly idea. This is an iconic character and should not be changed. The world is bad enough without taking away our fantasies.
    Julian
    1st Jun 2016
    2:18pm
    Didn't Grace Jones once star in a James Bond movie?

    Enough said.

    1st Jun 2016
    2:32pm
    Get her a bowler hat and she could be "Oddjobess".
    Oars
    1st Jun 2016
    5:40pm
    The whole isea is ludicrous. Ian Fleming was a playBOY, and his flamboyant character was a WOMANiser. This change may suit lesbians, but as old dogs still seeing our HERO's as male daredevils having girls fawning all over over them. Get real. I'm ready for the PC idealistic slams !!!
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2016
    7:11pm
    Utter nonsense... the name's Bondage.. Jane Bondage.... James has been put out to stud now and is only 003.5 - half the man he used to be....
    sandyfaye
    2nd Jun 2016
    4:56pm
    Good one. Gave me a laugh.
    Gra
    1st Jun 2016
    8:01pm
    What would they call her, Jane Bond?? Why can't just for once the feminazis butt out and leave things alone.
    Lisbeth
    1st Jun 2016
    8:42pm
    Yes, Jane Bond would be awesome .... I might actually be engaged with and enjoy a Bond movie this way. I am so sick of 'boys club' patriarchal views of women being the wallpaper of our lives. We need to see women on screen representing the complexity and dynamism of real women in the world. I am sick of movies portraying my entire gender through superfluous, one dimensional tropes there solely for the purpose of telling another story about a man.
    It's by turns fascinating, nauseating and hilarious to see the most overprivileged group of humans in history chuck toddler tantys because girls are now getting a go on their toys - Men commenting here who feel they've suffered a loss at the hands of social progression, in this case a loss of the ability to go to a movie, order some popcorn and watch women be ignored or treated like shit for two hours.
    Oldie84
    1st Jun 2016
    8:48pm
    Ouch!
    Gra
    1st Jun 2016
    11:33pm
    Well you could always watch Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie playing Lara Croft. You seem to miss the point that the character is MALE.
    there are plenty of other movies out there with females in the lead role as heroine, If you don't like seeing men as the lead, try hiring those. Women, want to be like salt, in every bloody thing.
    mangomick
    2nd Jun 2016
    7:33am
    Yes exactly...An ultra feminist Jane bond with no bra. yeah, I think we could work with that. it might have to be a silent movie though .I couldn't stand to watch an hour and a half of some sheila carrying on with a feminist attitude.
    Janran
    2nd Jun 2016
    6:02pm
    Guess what Gra? Women ARE in everything whether you like it or not.
    Or were you born in a test tube?

    Talk about your little boys club! Exclude women at your peril. You might meet a real woman one day and you'll die of shock. What? she can talk? And drive? Oh no, you thought you owned the roads, did you? Well then go live in Saudi Arabia - they've put women in their proper place there.

    There's nothing wrong with feminist or masculist attitudes. My husband exhibits a masculist attitude regularly, and I appreciate his different point of view if it happens to be. He's man enough to appreciate my point of view. He's confident in who he is and isn't threatened by anyone with a differing opinion or outlook.

    It insults everyone when ridiculous stereotypes are served up as normal, such as Oars' "male daredevils having girls fawning all over over them". Real women and girls don't fawn over anyone, let alone idiots who take ridiculous risks. In real life, these boys often die of their injuries. Proof? 100 female babies are born to every 103 male babies born. This is why conscription is such a crime to humanity - forcing men to go to war against their will - wasting our best men is totally unfair!
    Stormin'
    1st Jun 2016
    9:11pm
    This has been a discussion for a while now, changing the Bond character, a black man, a woman, I think ti si a pointless discussion. The James Bond character has been defined by the author, Ian Fleming. Every detail of his character, his habits and background. He was a commander in the Royal Navy by the way.
    There isn't a reason why a woman couldn't be a dynamic agent but create a new one, don't use the Jane Bond angle, that would just be a gimmick,
    There are strong female agent type characters in fiction, Modesty Blaize was a novel one, they did make a movie back in the day but it was rather mediocre. The Lara Croft character which has had two movies could be adjusted into a similar role.
    I quite like Gillian Anderson.
    Gra
    1st Jun 2016
    11:35pm
    So right, the role has been defined, don't defile the works of Ian Fleming by changing characters. It would have been a real hoot if a white female had been cast in the role of Nelson Mandella.
    trood
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:42am
    I'll miss Daniel Craig, no to a woman taking the role
    Gra
    2nd Jun 2016
    8:17am
    Next they will be suggesting Caitlyn Jenner play the role.
    Flea
    2nd Jun 2016
    8:34am
    I don't care. James Bond role was written for a man. I feel most look for the gadgets the thrills the stunts and a good story line. I want entertainment not bloody more political correctness
    bob
    2nd Jun 2016
    9:25am
    While you are on the case,why not a female Wyatt Earp or Babe RuthThere are roles that are gender defined and no amount of political correctness can make a hostess into a host and really who cares it is all about profit in the end
    mangomick
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:37pm
    Babe Ruth. It actually sounds like it should be gender specific.

    2nd Jun 2016
    10:34am
    IF a woman was to star in Ian Fleming's Bond series I think the titles may have to be altered, such as:

    "The Spy Who Left Me"
    "Diamonds Are An Agent's Best Friend"
    "Gold Garter"
    "Dr. No, Not Now, I Have a Headache"

    .......and possibly "Octodicky"

    When one thinks about it, the possibilities are almost endless.
    mangomick
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:35pm
    I don't think there's any need to change Gold Finger.
    Boof
    3rd Jun 2016
    8:12pm
    Rubbish
    Boof
    3rd Jun 2016
    8:25pm
    Why don't the powers that be, play the Oz Womens 'cricket team against the Oz Mens' cricket team . The Oz Womens footy team against the Oz Mens Oz footy team & so on. Women may realise they were not born with a penis, no matter how much some wish they were, & stop trying to do what men do. Go and do women things. & play womens sport.
    Tedwalker
    4th Jun 2016
    8:50am
    One of James Bond's best attributes is his suaveness.
    I can't see a Jane Bond displaying this to anywhere near the same degree.


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