Lashana Lynch was a fearless, glass ceiling-breaking Air Force pilot in March's Captain Marvel, and she might break an even bigger barrier with her next role. Reportedly, Lynch will be the next 007, taking over the code name from James Bond in the series' latest film.
According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the actor will appear in the upcoming movie, set for release in 2020, alongside Daniel Craig. Craig will star as Bond for the last time in the still untitled film, as while Lynch will reportedly be taking over the secret agent's code number, she won't be taking over the role of Bond itself.
As of July 15, Universal Pictures, the studio in charge of the Bond franchise, had not commented on the report, and neither had Lynch, so it's not guaranteed that the Daily Mail's claim is accurate. Still, the potential for the legendary secret agent to be played by a black woman is both an exciting and unexpected step for the Bond franchise, and the report lit the internet on fire.
It was first announced in April that Lynch was attached to the 25th Bond film in a starring role, but no details were known. According to The Daily Mail's anonymous source, the decision to reportedly cast the actor as 007 is the biggest move in an ongoing effort to update the Bond franchise to the current times. Back in April, it was announced that Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought on to finish writing and update the next film's script, making her only the second female screenwriter in the franchise's history. The movie has reportedly also banned the use of the phrase "Bond girls" and instead uses the term "Bond women."
Additionally, according to the Mail's source, Lynch's potential role will also force Craig's Bond to catch up with #MeToo-era standards during the film's plot. "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," the source claimed. "Well, certainly not at the beginning."
Previously, it was rumored that Idris Elba or Richard Madden would likely take on the iconic part of Bond after Craig stepped away. In an interview with Vanity Fair, however, Elba made it seem clear that he would not be starring as the spy. "James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” Elba told Vanity Fair. “Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.”
Madden has also brushed off speculation that he would play the character. "It’s very flattering to be involved in that conversation at all," Madden said, according to the Daily Express. "But it’s all just talk and I’m sure next week it’ll be someone different.”
Lynch is best known for starring alongside Brie Larson in Marvel's Captain Marvel, but the British actor is not new to the screen. Her breakout role was in the 2012 film Fast Girls, about Olympic athletes, and she had a lead role in Shonda Rhimes' short-lived ABC series Still Star Crossed.
While her casting as 007 isn't yet officially confirmed, it's still the most exciting report to come from the Bond franchise in a long time. With the actor potentially in the role and Waller-Bridge working on the script, the new movie could bring major, meaningful changes to the legendary series.