Forget Lashana Lynch and Angelina Jolie, James Bond Briefly Considered Casting 1 Female Actor as 007 Almost Sixty Years Ago That Could’ve Revolutionized Hollywood

The James Bond movie franchise was so close to having a female 007.

Forget Lashana Lynch and Angelina Jolie, James Bond Briefly Considered Casting 1 Female Actor as 007 Almost Sixty Years Ago That Could’ve Revolutionized Hollywood


Nicholas Shakespeare’s book, Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, revealed James Bond almost had a female 007.

Former Bond rights co-owner, Gregory Ratoff, suggested Susan Hayward to take on the lead role.
Barbara Broccoli reiterated that James Bond is a male character and will remain to be so.

The speculation on casting a female James Bond has been going around for quite some time now, and as expected, it has raised many eyebrows.

It seems like a bizarre idea for the general public to have a female spy taking on the role of the famed British agent, but it’s not really that far-fetched, as history goes.
Daniel Craig James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond
In fact, the franchise almost had a female Bond about six decades ago when one of the producers suggested an actress take on the lead role. Of course, it did not get off the ground, but it was quite a fantastic idea given the era it happened.

James Bond Almost Had Susan Hayward As 007
susan hayward i want to live
Susan Hayward in I Want to Live!

Author Ian Fleming’s agent, Robert Fenn, revealed in the book written by Nicholas Shakespeare, Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, the difficulty of finding an actor who was willing to commit to the James Bond franchise.

We tried twenty or thirty [actors]. No major actor would play the part for more than one picture, and we couldn’t set up a deal with a distributor without commitment from a main actor.”

Shakespeare noted that the studio considered many actors who had the potential to star as James Bond, yet all efforts were in vain as no one liked the idea of starring in multiple installments.

Since the mid-1950s, many well-known actors had been approached […] Ian [Fleming] had entertained several possibilities, from Richard Burton (‘I think that Richard Burton would be by far the best James Bond’), to James Stewart (‘I wouldn’t at all mind him as Bond if he can slightly anglicise his accent’), to James Mason (‘We might have to settle for him’).

Shockingly, producer and former Bond rights co-owner, Gregory Ratoff, suggested James Bond be played by a woman. He particularly mentioned Susan Hayward.

Barbara Broccoli On Casting Female James Bond
Daniel Craig James Bond 2021
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Casting a Bond actress is still a controversial topic, but for producer Barbara Broccoli, the character will always be a man. She explains via The Guardian:

Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male, and I think he’ll probably stay as a male. And that’s fine.

We don’t have to turn male characters into women. Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”

Broccoli noted the evolution of the franchise when it comes to its portrayal of female characters. Many of the modern versions have elevated the roles of Bond girls.

Lashana Lynch, for one, managed to become the new 007. Meanwhile, there’s Angelina Jolie who turned down the role of a Bond girl because she wanted to be the main protagonist.

But look at the way the world has changed. And I think Bond has come through and transformed with the times.

I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed.”

It seems like there is a low chance that the Bond franchise would accommodate such an idea, although it is still exciting to hear that a former boss considered having a female Bond in the lead.

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