This article originally appeared on VICE Asia
The renowned James Bond franchise's long overdue shake-up is coming at the hands of a new lead character. British actress Lashana Lynch will be taking on the mantle of the new 007, replacing Daniel Craig whose iconic character is reportedly going into “retirement” in the upcoming film, Bond 25.
Lynch will be both the first woman and the first black actor to play the role.
The franchise is also set to take on a more feministic tone, especially after writer and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in to work on Bond 25’s script. According to The Guardian, Craig asked for Waller-Bridge himself—a specific request on his part as a Fleabag fan.
“I think [James Bond] is absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly,” said Waller-Bridge in an interview with Deadline.
In the new film, which is being directed by Cary Joji Fukanaga, Craig’s Bond will be leaving MI6, the United Kingdom’s secret intelligence service. Not much else is known about the film or of Lynch’s character, not even her name.
“It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman,” a film-insider told the Daily Mail.
Lynch is of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame, having recently played a fighter-pilot in Captain Marvel. It was the actress’s breakout role, which is now being followed by something arguably more high profile. Bond 25 is set for an April 2020 release.
This new film’s attention to its approach towards women is perhaps motivated by how the franchise’s sexist undertones, which have colored Bond movies for six decades, are holding up to the #MeToo era.
In 2018, a supercut of Bond’s misogyny over the years went viral, prompting many to ask whether Bond, the franchise and the man, is outdated. Sources have indicated that the increasingly negative reception to Bond’s signature womanizing ways has sparked the need for a feminist rejuvenation. The term “Bond girls,” for example, is reportedly being banned from the movie. A source on set claims that all female characters are now to be addressed as “Bond women.”