James Bond 25 Isn't The First Time There's Been A Female 00-Agent

Lashana Lynch and Sean Connery as James Bond

In the upcoming Bond 25, Lashana Lynch will portray Nomi, who is reportedly the new 007. Of course, she isn't replacing James Bond himself - Daniel Craig will return as the dashing spy - but Nomi will assume Bond's former title of 007. At the conclusion of Spectre, James Bond quit MI6, the British Secret Service, after he foiled the sinister plot of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), which means that M (Ralph Fiennes) will have had to find a replacement. But while Nomi may be the only other person in a Bond movie to be identified as 007, she isn't the first female 00-Agent.

The 00-Agents (or Double-0 Agents) are MI6's elite special operatives who carry a discretionary license to kill. As depicted in Casino Royale, two kills must be performed to become a 00-Agent, which James Bond executed in order to gain his promotion. How many 00-Agents there actually are has been contradicted by Ian Fleming's original James Bond novels, the official continuation novels by authors such as John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and Anthony Horowitz, and by the James Bond movies, which were rebooted into a new continuity by 2006's Casino Royale.

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Related: Best Contender To Be The Next James Bond

However, while most 00-Agents have been male - which was borne out of the gentleman spy trope that Ian Fleming birthed James Bond from - there have indeed been women who carried the 00 designation, and this happened as early as Thunderball in 1965.

The Female 00-Agent In Thunderball

As Bond fan Mark O'Connell pointed out on Twitter, there was a female 00-Agent present in the briefing scene in Thunderball. 007 (Sean Connery) arrived late, which was scornfully noted by M (Bernard Lee) and joined the assembled ranks of oo-Agents as they were briefed on SPECTRE's extortion plot, where the criminal network threatened to detonate two stolen NATO atomic warheads if they aren't paid a ransom of £100 million in diamonds. However, the female Double-O agent was never identified and her face didn't clearly appear on camera. Her presence is also undercut by the Home Secretary addressing all of the agents assembled as "gentlemen." But as the black-and-white photo above shows, a female 00-Agent was indeed a part of Thunderball.

The Female 00-Agent In The World Is Not Enough

Another Twitter user, Daniel Robinson, also noted that there was a female 00-Agent was seen in 1999's The World Is Not Enough, which was the third film starring Pierce Brosnan as James BondAfter British oil tycoon Robert King was murdered by an assassin named Renard (Robert Carlyle), M (Judi Dench) assembled the 00-Agents in Scotland, which included another unidentified female spy (although some fans believe this woman holding a cup of tea is 004).

Eve Moneypenny Was Also An MI6 Field Agent

In 2012's Skyfall, Miss Moneypenny was rebooted as an MI6 field agent supporting James Bond. Portrayed by Naomie Harris, Moneypenny was given the first name Eve and she accidentally shot Bond. Because of Eve's blunder, 007 was believed dead at the beginning of Skyfall before he returned to active duty to help M (Judi Dench) meet the new villain, Silva (Javier Bardem).  Ashamed of her mistake, Moneypenny quit active duty and became M's assistant; Moneypenny remained in that capacity when Ralph Fiennes' M replaced Dench's after she died, but otherwise, Eve might have one day qualified for 00-status.

So, not only will Lashana Lynch's Nomi be the first woman of color to become an 00-Agent and bear a license to kill, Lynch will portray a fully-realized character who will be the new 007, no less. However, Nomi is actually only the latest female to join the British Secret Service in Bond 25.

Next: James Bond 25 Will Treat Women Better (Even If 007 Doesn't)

Key Release Dates
  • James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020
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