SHAKEN and stirred — and, to use 2019 parlance, triggered. That was the reaction of a good few men this week when that hoary old chestnut reared its head: Should there be a female 007?
“The name’s Bond... Jane Bond,” as the incomer may put it, with a knowing wink to camera, before blowing up lots of bad guys, romping with, then dumping a slew of handsome hunks, and wrapping it all up by sharing a latté and a deep, emotional conversation about how all men are bastards with Q (now a woman, of course).
Well, that prospect didn’t half get shackles up among a few fellas.
TV’s outrager-in-chief Piers Morgan labelled the suggestion “pathetic, virtue-signalling nonsense” and added: “He was the last sort of, slightly caveman guy, who would throw a woman over his shoulder and ravish her ’til dawn. And we can’t have any of that, women don’t want sex anymore.”
Ex-tabloid editor Piers — muckraker turned Moonraker defender, if you will — vowed to fight any plans to introduce a female 007, although he didn’t go into detail about how he intends to take on a dead author and a fictional character...
Cork radio presenter PJ Coogan was also aghast at the spectre (ker-ching!) of a female Bond, blasting the living daylights (ker-ching!) out of the idea by tweeting: “Sorry now, but if this is ‘woke’, I’m going back to feckin’ sleep.”
If it’s any quantum of solace (“you’re sacked, Dolan,” Ed), I do have some sympathy for their views. That’s not because I see anything wrong with a female Bond per se, but rather because we already have the perfect person for the job, who happens to be not just a man — but a Corkman!
Ladies and gentlemen, the eighth (including David Niven and George Lazenby) James Bond should be our very own Cillian Murphy.
He’s impossibly handsome, has fine acting chops, and, as his break-out role in Peaky Blinders is proving, he has the undertone of violence and menace necessary for a man who, after all, has a licence to kill (ker-ching! Last one, I promise).
Lookit, my 73-year-old ma adores the blue-eyed boy so much, she would probably crawl over broken glass and go to the cinema for the first time in 20 years to see “my man Cillian” as 007. That’s box office gold, right there.
As one showbiz writer put it: “The casting (of Murphy) would make a lot of sense. He has the glacial intensity of Daniel Craig, the jaw-line of a cereal box and, perhaps most importantly, has a proven track-record of wearing very nice suits very well.”
The hoo-hah over the next Bond is reaching a crescendo because Craig is making his final appearance as the super-spy in the upcoming 25th film of the francise. Called Working Title — can’t see that putting too many bums on seats — it is due out in November.
Former Irish Bond Pierce Brosnan this week prompted the latest debate. Asked if a female should replace Craig, he said: “Yes! I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
Disconcertingly, Murphy himself, in an interview just a few weeks ago ahead of the fifth series of Peaky Blinders, agrees with him on that front.
“I think it should be a woman, which rules me out,” he declared.
You might think Cillian’s words would be a setback for my ‘Cillian For 007’ campaign, but there are two things you should know here.
First, he gave said interview to The Guardian — an organ whose editorial policy appears to fall just a tad short of executing all the men in the world and dumping their corpses at sea.
Secondly, like, what is he supposed to say when asked if he wants to become the next Bond? “Give me the job”? Give me a break!
The thespians rule book states quite clearly that you always deny you want to be Bond — as Murphy himself explained in that same interview: “If you say anything about Bond, it becomes the headline, right?” (for proof of that pudding, look above...)
But I have support in my campaign from many sources — not least Naomi Harris, who plays Miss Moneypenny in the current Bond films and will presumably be doing her fair share of flirting with the new incumbent. She said recently of Murphy becoming 007: “That would be amazing. I could totally see him as James Bond. Totally buying that, 100%.”
It was something of a blow to Murphy’s hopes when director Danny Boyle walked away from the most recent Bond movie, as both men and Harris have worked together before to good effect.
However, there is more cause for optimism when you see the bookies’ odds on the next Bond. In March, Murphy’s were slashed after a splurge of bets on him. The Corkman is now among the favourites for the part, although it’s a crowded playing field.
English star James Norton, whose recent role in McMafia was uncannily akin to that of Bond, is the favourite, ahead of the likes of Bodyguard actor Richard Madden, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Alba — who recently ruled himself out of becoming the first black Bond — and another Irish star, Aidan Turner, of Poldark and topless hoeing fame.
However, Murphy’s odds of 14-1 are low enough to give his fans hope and high enough to be worth a euro or two.
A spokesman for bookies Coral said: “We’ve been inundated with bets lately on Murphy landing the role as the next Bond and he’s certainly a leading candidate now.”
The biggest obstacles, therefore, to my campaign to install Cillian as 007 seem to come from the first — and only — Irish actor to play him, and the possible next one! Cheers, guys.
Another obstacle could be the Corkman’s name. Type it into Google and one search option offered is the question ‘How is Cillian pronounced?’
Never under-estimate the ability of English and American people to woefully mispronounce an Irish name — even one that’s relatively straightforward!
Now, feminists, after Cillian has had his turn in the tuxedo, I’d be happy to see it go to a female lead. Those touted for it include Angelina Joilie, Charlize Theron and Irish actress Ruth Negga
But for now, here’s a good way to get around the whole sexism issue. There may not have been a female Bond — but there hasn’t really been a stand-out female Bond villain either.
That’s outrageous! Women can plot world domination while stroking a pussy too, can’t they?
So, memo on Bond film No.26: Cillian Murphy as 007 and Elisabeth Moss of The Handmaid’s Tale as an evil billionaire plotting to wipe out mankind — and only man-kind? Now there’s a film I’d pay good money to see.