In the new James Bond film, Skyfall, there’s a scene in which the movie’s antagonist (played by Javier Bardem) caresses the face, legs and chest of a tied-up James Bond (Daniel Craig). Apparently, the moment climaxes with Bond playfully saying, “What makes you think this is my first time?”
According to Marc Malkin of E! Online, this is not a sign of new, bisexual Bond action. When he asked Daniel Craig if he could ever imagine a “gay James Bond,” to which Craig replied, “No… because he’s not gay. And I don’t think Javier’s character is either–I think he’d fuck anything.”
So there you have it: chances are, there’ll never be a gay James Bond.
I can absolutely see an argument from the side of creators and filmmakers: when a character is established, developed and appreciated in a particular way, altering that identity is usually a bad idea. In a series like James Bond where the most significantly consistent aspect is Bond’s personality. He looks excellent in tuxedos, has a stone-cold poker face, always aims perfectly and loves bikini-clad women. This is Bond. He’s been this way for as long as he’s been around, so this is how he’ll stay.
On the other hand, I also think it’s bizarre that there really aren’t too many characters that resemble the James Bond archetype–of which duplicates are a-plenty–who are gay, female, bisexual or transgender. After all, nothing about James Bond’s actual characteristics necessarily requires a straight male component. Just because somebody doesn’t have a penis and/or is attracted to people of the same gender doesn’t mean they can’t be suave, stealthy, happily promiscuous and incredibly good with a gun.
But in the largely heteronormative mainstream media, people tend to not see women or members of the LGBT community as able to be sexy, successful, athletic, stylish, effortless and tough all at the same time. And if they are portrayed as such, they certainly aren’t shown to be the same level of sexually active with several partners in the manner that Bond goes about, unless it’s as a negative aspect of the character or in an exploitation genre film. However, this doesn’t mean I think Bond’s character should have to revamp itself with different characteristics; I just don’t see why there aren’t any similar ones yet.
Either way: portraying James Bond as gay would make about as much difference to me as if he were suddenly black, or short, or female, or needed glasses… whatever. As long as there’s a tuxedo, witty banter, half-naked action and a lot of ridiculous stunts, count me an audience member.
Bond compilation via GossipInHollywood.