Is Lashana Lynch playing the new 007 replacement in Bond 25? Daniel Craig will return as James Bond in the next installment of the franchise, but there's reason to believe that Lynch has been cast as the person who has replaced him in MI6 when the film kicks off.
Bond 25, which is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga after Danny Boyle left the project, has a script from Scott Z. Burns and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and brings back most of the characters from Craig's previous outings. That includes M (Ralph Fiennes), Eve Moneypenny (Naomi Harris), Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear), Q (Ben Whishaw), Dr Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux), and Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), with the latter recruiting Bond into a mission to find a missing scientist.
Rami Malek will serve as Bond 25's villain, Ana de Amas is reportedly the new love interest, Paloma, and Lynch (who starred in this year's Captain Marvel) is playing a character called Nomi, although little else is known about her role. With James out of MI6 as the film begins, however, it's entirely possible that Lynch's character has, as our Bond 25 theory notes, been made his official replacement within the organization.
Bond 25 Begins With James Retired In Jamaica
The last Bond film, 2015's Spectre, ended with James Bond on the outs of MI6. He'd already been suspended from field duty for carrying out an unauthorized mission, but after defeating Ernst Stavro Blofeld he decided to drive off into the sunset in his Aston Martin DB5, with Dr Swann by his side. It is ostensibly a happy ending for him, and Bond 25 will be picking up after these events.
Bond 25, as revealed by set photos and Fukunaga himself, will find Bond retired and living in Jamaica. The photos have included Bond looking relaxed and even doing a spot of fishing, which means that he definitely isn't in active service at the beginning of Bond 25. He's done with MI6, and ready to simply live his own life.
This brings Craig's time as James Bond full circle. In Casino Royale, his chances at happiness are snatched away from him with the death of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), something that has come to define his tenure as 007. It makes sense that he'd be trying again to settle down, although he will, of course, be dragged back into action in Bond 25.
Is Lashana Lynch MI6's 007 Replacement In Bond 25?
Since James Bond is retired from MI6 in Bond 25, that means there's a vacancy that needs to be filled. Looking at Bond 25's cast list, there's no one who fits the bill better than Lashana Lynch, who has proved she has the ability to tackle key roles in big franchise movies thanks to Captain Marvel. Her Maria Rambeau was one of the film's highlights, and showcased her charisma and emotional range, as well as the fact she can play a kick-ass Air Force pilot. They're all qualities that would translate well to 007. She's also the only British actor among the new cast members, which sounds like a minor detail but means she'd slot right in at MI6, because that's where Bond typically puts its Brits.
The Bond 25 set photos (via Phil Nobile Jr on Twitter) highlight a couple of other intriguing details that hint Lynch could be the new 007. One shows her meeting with Craig's Bond, which could be one of many situations, but it'd be fun if it was Bond meeting the woman who has replaced him. More conspicuous, though, is Lynch being photographed on set wearing a safari jacket that's very similar to the one worn by Roger Moore in The Man with the Golden Gun. That jacket is iconic and one of Bond's most famous looks, so it's a conscious choice to replicate it in Bond 25.
There's been a lot of debate as to whether a woman could take on the role of James Bond in the franchise's future. Lynch wouldn't be called James Bond, but there's no reason the 007 codename couldn't be given to a female character. With Phoebe Waller-Bridge helping to write the script, this sounds like the kind of fun, knowing take on that debate we can expect from Bond 25.
What A New 007 Would Mean For The James Bond Franchise
If Lashana Lynch really is the new 007 in Bond 25, then that would be a major twist for the whole franchise, and give Fukunaga's movie something completely unique to really make it stand out. Bond having to meet the woman who replaced him in MI6 would give Daniel Craig something really fresh to play and bring a whole new dynamic to the movie, which is important when it's the 25th installment. For Craig himself, given he's previously sounded done with Bond, it's good that he has a different kind of challenge and role, and it'll allow us to see another side to his James Bond.
Daniel Craig's run as James Bond has, in many ways, been about the franchise facing up to its obsolescence. When Casino Royale was released, it was coming after spy-action movies like the Bourne franchise had changed the game, and Bond had to get grittier, the action more intense, in order to keep up. Heading into a 2020 release, the franchise now faces questions about how it - and its titular character in particular - fits into the modern world, especially post-#MeToo movement. By having Craig meet his new 007 replacement, it means we get a direct, in-text commentary on that from the central character himself. It forces Bond, both the character and the franchise, to face-up to their role in a changing world that could leave them behind.
That takes on an added gravitas in Bond 25, which is set to be Craig's final outing as James Bond. That allows it to take on something of a pensive mood, with Bond contemplating his past and his future, which reflects the franchise itself. That would give Craig the opportunity to play something weightier and nicely contrast with all the versions of the character he - and indeed others - have played before, while it also helps leave the door open for the future.
James Bond will presumably reclaim his 007 moniker in Bond 25, which might be bad news for Lynch's character, but it nonetheless signals a changing of the guard. Bond has always been about re-setting with each new actor in the role, but this could even prepare it for greater continuity because it actively changes the person using the 007 codename, which means it can happen again after this. It also tests the water for a female Bond in the future too, by establishing that a woman can take on the 007 mantle. It'd be a great twist not just for Bond 25 and Craig's character, but potentially the whole franchise going forward as well.
- James Bond 25 (2020) release date: Apr 08, 2020