With Phoebe Waller-Bridge being brought in to punch up the script for the as-yet-untitled Bond 25, speculation has started once again that the next actor to play 007 could be female. There’s a long-standing fan theory that all the actors who have played James Bond have been playing a different character with the same codename, which would explain how he’s barely aged in half a century (and how he manages to have so many different faces).
If this is true, a female Bond could be easily explained within the story. Or maybe she doesn’t have to be explained at all. Would it really be so crazy if we have another few standalone spy stories in the Bond franchise and the lead is a woman and that’s never addressed? It doesn’t get addressed when Bond changes from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig, so why does this need an on-screen explanation? Here are 10 Actresses Who Could Play A Female 007.
10 Emilia Clarke
In 2016, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke said in an interview, “I have a lot of unrealized dreams. I would love to play Jane Bond.” While the movie itself sucked, Clarke’s turn as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genisys proved she was an action star just waiting to break out from the small screen.
Solo: A Star Wars Story proved that she can give an engrossing and thought-provoking turn when surrounded by big-budget spectacle and trying to meet franchise fanboys’ sky-high expectations – not to mention her performance as Daenerys Targaryen on the hit HBO fantasy series. She could easily be “Jane Bond.”
9 Claire Foy
We’ve seen Claire Foy’s high-society regal side in her award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s gargantuan drama series The Crown. But we’ve also seen her darker, more action-oriented side in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Foy has both sides of the British acting coin to make her the ideal actor to play 007.
Plus, with Olivia Colman taking over Foy’s role as Elizabeth II in the third season of The Crown, Foy will be out of regular work soon and will be looking for something stable. What’s more stable than getting cast as James (or Jane) Bond?
8 Thandie Newton
From Mission: Impossible 2 to The Chronicles of Riddick, Thandie Newton is no stranger to action movies. But she also brings humanity to all of her roles, as demonstrated by her powerful BAFTA-winning portrayal in the star-studded race examination Crash and her Emmy-turning turn as a sentient android in HBO’s sci-fi epic Westworld.
Newton is one of those immensely talented actors who can play anyone, from Condoleezza Rice to Norbit’s love interest (okay, Norbit’s no masterpiece, but it shows Newton’s range). She was recently awarded the OBE, so if there’s any actress that the British public will accept as a female Bond, it’s her.
7 Priyanka Chopra
When Priyanka Chopra was asked if she’d want to play the femme fatale in one of the Bond movies, she simply replied, “I get that all the time. But f*** that – I want to be Bond.” In the recent reboot of Baywatch, Chopra played the villain, an oil tycoon.
Unsurprisingly, the role was written as male in the original script, but because Chopra didn’t want to be another bikini-wearing lifeguard, she ended up landing the part. If she keeps kicking down those doors and changing the minds of those stubborn studio executives, she’ll be a female Bond in no time.
6 Daisy Ridley
Daisy Ridley was completely unknown when J.J. Abrams cast her as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. But thanks to her engaging performance in those movies, she’s now one of the most recognizable movie stars in the world.
With The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the Skywalker saga this December and Disney planning to put a halt to the Star Wars movies for a while, Ridley will be looking for a new franchise to hop on. We’ve always rooted for Rey in the way we need to root for Bond. If Ridley is up for it, moviegoing audiences would surely be happy with her trading in the lightsaber for a Walther PPK.
5 Lauren Cohan
Having recently left her role as Maggie Greene on The Walking Dead behind, perhaps Lauren Cohan could swap shooting zombies for shooting henchmen. In TWD, she’s already taken on a flamboyant villain with a defining quirk and an unstoppable army, Negan, so she’d have no trouble turning her sights to a character like Blofeld or Goldfinger.
Cohan recently played a secret agent alongside Mark Wahlberg in the action thriller Mile 22, which was intended to be the beginning of a multi-picture action franchise. It didn’t make a huge splash at the box office, so sequels seem unlikely, but Cohan proved she could hold her own in that kind of movie.
4 Naomie Harris
The ending of Skyfall seemed to be setting up Naomie Harris as a female star of the franchise. We saw her involved in all the action scenes, even though she did accidentally shoot Bond with a sniper rifle. We saw her travel the globe to all the exotic locations Bond went to, even though she did end up sleeping with him.
Still, despite the trappings of the “Bond girl” role, Harris struck a chord with fans and seemed to set up a long stint in the franchise with the reveal that her name was Moneypenny (Moneypenny as a field agent, not a receptionist and target of flirtation) and she did return in Spectre. She could easily just take over after Daniel Craig leaves, as long as the producers want the newer films to have a tangible continuity.
3 Lupita Nyong’o
While news recently surfaced that Lupita Nyong’o had passed on the “Bond girl” role in the new James Bond movie, there’s no reason she couldn’t just play the lead role herself. She’s proven her acting chops time and time again, most recently as the ass-kicking matriarch in Jordan Peele’s latest horror opus Us and, of course, in her astoundingly powerful Oscar-winning turn in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.
Plus, Nyong’o already played an undercover spy last year in Black Panther. That whole South Korea scene felt like a better Bond sequence than we’ve seen in the actual Bond movies for years.
2 Charlize Theron
In the past few years, Charlize Theron has proven herself to be one of the most badass action movie heroines around. She stole Mad Max: Fury Road from the title character and then played a darker, grittier, more violent, more political version of James Bond in the spy thriller Atomic Blonde.
There’s no doubt she would make a great Bond. Even Chris Hemsworth has publicly supported Theron’s casting: “She embodies every ounce of strength and nobility and dignity and integrity that that character should have.” Like with the casting of Australian George Lazenby, there would likely be backlash over the casting of a non-British Bond, but there would be so much backlash from the Captain Marvel-bashing troll community over the casting of a female Bond that Theron’s nationality would be a non-issue.
1 Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt already missed out on the chance to play one badass super-spy, Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, due to scheduling conflicts. The gods of the film industry will be able to redeem themselves if they make her the next Bond instead. She’s one of the most beloved actresses in Britain and she’s more than qualified for the role.
We’ve seen her as a skilled and fiercely driven fighter in movies like Edge of Tomorrow – in which she also used high-tech gadgets – and Sicario. She also carried a convoluted, twist-filled thriller with The Girl on the Train – and she had to play that character drunk half the time. It’s a no-brainer that Emily Blunt would make a terrific Bond.