Activists — including high-profile British actor Dominic West — are encouraging the producers of the popular James Bond franchise to abandon 007's traditional roots and cast a transgender individual as the next Bond.
Speaking to the Sunday Times of London, West claimed that there are enough transgender individuals in the UK's military to justify making the next MI6 agent male-to-female (or female-to-male).
"They should have a transgender Bond because there are a lot of transgender people in the army. That’s actually a brilliant idea," West said.
He even had a suggestion: Hannah Graf, whom the Independent says is the "highest-ranking transgender soldier in the British army."
Graf is married to another transgender individual, Jake Graf. Both have appeared in film.
She thought the idea was great, telling British media that, "I don’t think I’m going to become an actress anytime soon, but there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a transgender Bond. We’ve seen too many men in hero-type roles and women playing second fiddle.”
Activists probably won't get their way anytime soon, however. Bond's longtime producers, the Broccoli family, have often bristled at the thought of deliberately changing Ian Fleming's signature character. The series' executive producer, Barbara Broccoli, unequivocally ruled out the idea of a female Bond earlier this year.
“Bond is male,” Broccoli she told the Guardian. “He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male.”
"Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters," she added.
Instead, viewers can expect a more "modern Bond" — but only up to a point. The character was written in the 1950s, and modeled on Fleming himself. Since the spy stories have an element of biography to them, Bond will probably always stay as toxically masculine as he currently is.
Rachel Weisz, the wife of current Bond, Daniel Craig, echoed Broccoli's sentiments in an interview about her husband's landmark role earlier this year.
"Why not create your own story rather than jumping onto the shoulders and being compared to all these other male predecessors? Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories,” she said.
The latest Bond movie — Craig's final go-round as the famous spy — will hit theaters late in 2019.