It’s no secret that the James Bond films — and the character of James Bond himself — aren’t exactly progressive in their treatment of women. (Pussy Galore, anyone?) Even recent entries like 2012’s Skyfall have been criticized for their handling of female characters and sexual politics. Enter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who’s been brought on board to polish the script for the still-untitled 25th Bond outing. In a new interview with Deadline Hollywood, the Fleabag creator remarked that the upcoming film has to have more respect for its women — even if Bond the character doesn’t.
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” Waller-Bridge said. “I think he’s 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. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”
She added that she hoped the female characters “felt like real people,” and that the film’s actresses, confirmed to include Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), and Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), would “open [the script] and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’”
Waller-Bridge also clarified what exactly her role is on the project, which it seems did not involve a substantial reworking of the story. “I mean, the script was there. It’s already there. I think it’s unfair to say that I’m writing the script,” she said, adding that she was “really excited” to write dialogue for Daniel Craig’s 007.
The new Bond film, marking Craig’s final turn as the iconic secret agent, is slated for release April 8, 2020, in the U.S. (April 3 in the U.K.). It’s being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and also features Rami Malek in the villain role.