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Former Bond girl Eva Green says 007 should only be played by a man

By Josh Grossberg
Eva Green Dumbo premiere

Eva Green is definitely not a fan of Jane Bond. When asked her thoughts on whether a woman should replace her former Casino Royale costar Daniel Craig following his swan song as the martini-swilling superspy, the former Bond girl shot down talk of franchise producers ever embracing a female 007.

"I'm for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn't make sense for him to be a woman," Green told Vanity Fair Monday at the premiere of her latest flick, Disney's live-action redo of Dumbo. "Women can play different types of characters, be in action and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man."

No doubt, Ian Fleming would have toasted to that.

The late British novelist always conceived of his MI:6 agent as a guy's guy, popular with the ladies and easily seducing them as part of his mission to save the world from the evil plots of SPECTRE — even if at times there was flashes of misogyny in the way he sometimes treated them.

But with suggestions that Bond may be too toxic for the #MeToo era, there's been talk that it's high time Bond swap genders, similar to the way Jodie Whitaker took over playing Doctor Who last year, the first time a woman has ever led that iconic British series.

However, longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli panned the idea, telling the Guardian last October: "Bond is male. He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."

A Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey of more than 2,000 Americans last fall backed her up, finding that a majority of participants were against the idea of a Jane Bond. The same poll however also revealed that 52 percent of fans would be open to having a black James Bond, which is good news for those still pushing for Idris Elba to don the tuxedo.

Elba himself has fueled the rumors at various points, teasing about his interest in the role in tweets before finally issuing an official denial last August.

But even Idris couldn't resist making light of it when he hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend. During the sketch called "Can I Play That?", he appears on a game show, Keenan Thompson as the host asked contestants if they could play James Bond, and naturally, the actor answered enthusiastically, "Hey! I know the answer to that one!"

"Do you though?" quipped Thompson.

Of course, Elba set the record straight in a recent THR profile, reminding people that all the teasing was a joke and the article makes clear that he has never been approached to play Bond.

"I took the piss a little," the actor said. "But I was also reminding people that I never got referred to as James Bond. So, I was like, hello, my name is Elba. Idris Elba. It was a joke. I swear to God."

Of course, even before the era of #MeToo, producers started reigning in Bond's casual sexism. During the '90s Pierce Brosnan era, for example, the iconic character often met his match with strong female villains (see Famke Janssen and Sophie Marceau in Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough respectively) or was neutered by a tough female boss with the inimitable Judi Dench playing M.

As for Green, whose sexy, whip-smart Vesper Lind made Craig's all-business Bond fall in love and show his soft side for once, she's all for strong Bond girls.

"I love the fact that the Bond girls have evolved," the actress added. "I originally had reservations about being a Bond girl. I didn’t want to be a bimbo. The women are now perceived differently. They are intelligent and sassy and fascinating. I loved playing Vesper. She’s the only one to get to Bond’s heart and has a big impact on his life."

Meanwhile Bond 25, which is set to be directed by Cary Fukunaga after Danny Boyle dropped out, is due to start filming soon in Matera in Southern Italy. Craig's final go as 007 is slated to hit theaters on April 8, 2020.