Sexuality in Bond Films Moving Forward

In current society sexuality is more diverse than it has ever been and gender is also becoming more fluid. Given how the Bond films always evolve with the times I’ve been considering scenarios that may pop up during the next iteration of Bond.

For example… would the producers ever cast a man as Moneypenny? A male secretary who pines after Bond? I think I’d find this quite amusing however the reason I don’t think it would ever fly is any equivalent male on male flirtation would (oddly) be more ‘rude’ / provocative than its male on female counterpart. I mean, can you imagine anything like the, ‘I know exactly where to put that…’ exchange from The World Is Not Enough…?! I think not.

Plus, although I can imagine Bond being quite playful with a male Moneypenny, as the producers (I presume) would always want it to be clear that he ‘wouldn’t go there’, a male Moneypenny would come across as a bit of a sexual harasser…

The other thing that crossed my mind was us seeing Bond intentionally flirting with a male character to get him to do something. (Again, can you imagine the headlines…) But spies will use every skill at their disposal and it’s pretty unreasonable to think that all the characters Bond comes into contact with that have helpful information he needs to get out of them, are female.

What do others think? What scenarios would you actively want to see, accept seeing, and / or think are off-limits, either completely or just for the foreseeable future?

Just a wild guess… you’re a man, right? :slight_smile:

I doubt that this is something that we would have to consider as a future move for the franchise, mainly because I don’t see the Bond/Moneypenny dynamic that we saw from Dr. No through to Die Another Day being particularly tenable moving forward, regardless of the genders of the two characters in question. In this day and age, it just doesn’t make any sense to have this dynamic play out between the characters, as it can’t really come off as anything better than cringeworthy.

The same can be said for any of the female characters in the franchise moving forward. Hopefully the days of the sexually suggestive names are over and we’ll see real women with real-sounding names populate the universe of Bond as opposed to the “Stephanie Broadchests” of the world, and this is something that I would suspect that EON is keen on, as I saw the inclusion of that particular name in Casino Royale to be something of a shot at the old way of doing things. There’s no reason that the women in a Bond film can’t be treated with the respect that they deserve as fellow members of the human species.

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What makes you think it’s his first time?

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I don’t think that’s as progressive as you think. Casting a gay man in a traditionally female role just reinforces the stereotype that they are not ‘real’ men.
A better use of this came from Raymond Benson. After an inappropriate relationship with his PA leads to her being leveraged and murdered by a criminal organisation Bond is assigned a young man named Nigel Smith as his new PA. Smith is a former soldier/ special forces (off active duty due to an injury) and although it’s clear M assigned him as a sort of punishment he’s a great character who has some wonderful banter with Bond.

Confirming Wishaw’s Q to be gay was also a step in the right direction, even if very little is done with it in the grand scheme. It might have been better to have his date get involved in the plot and provide assistance although that my have overcrowded an already busy scene.

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I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, many would interpret it in that way. It’s all such a minefield for the producers isn’t it.

While I think you may be right, I see this as a great shame. I love Bond and Moneypenny’s relationship in the films (especially in Brosnan’s, which strikes a good balance).

I disagree. Nobody thought Moneypenny’s bedmate in Spectre should have had a deep role why should Q’s?

In NTTD’s case, making the date have a more pronounced role for the sake of legitimizing it makes it less legitimate.

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Is it necessary for the story - as opposed to proving a point for the production - does it add meaning or depth to the characters or their actions? If the answer is no it’s usually better left alone.

Some years ago there was the case of Peter Guillam suddenly having a gay lover in TINKER TAILOR and it was an astonishingly pointless and wholly superfluous addendum simply for the sake of showing off. Nothing was achieved with the scene, it was essentially just there and had neither impact on the characters or on the plot.

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These films are not television series, where the backgrounds of characters can be more fully explored over the course of a season, or several. They’ve already gone way too far in the direction of having Moneypenny, Q, and M more involved in the plots of these films, turning them into something more akin to Mission: Impossible than what Bond really should be, so I can’t say that I’d be in favor of the filmmakers decided to delve into the personal lives of these characters in an effort to flesh them out more fully. They’re already too fleshed out as it currently stands. If anything, their involvement needs to be pared back considerably.

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The World Is Not Enough when Bond gives Moneypenny the cigar from the banker’s office.

I think NTTD gave just the right amount of attention to Q’s personal life. Enough, to give a hint, but not so much that it doesn’t stay personal. And neither Bond nor Moneypenny flinch when Q casually mentions “he’ll be here in 20 minutes” as it should be. Does it change anything about Q’a character to find out he’s gay? It does not because it didn’t matter before and doesn’t matter now.

I don’t think we need to switch Moneypenny to a male character for the interactions to be less sexually harassy. We just need Bond to not act like a jerk. We saw him act much more professional with Paloma, so we know it’s possible. Having said that, I don’t see a problem having that banter between friends when it’s understood that it is nothing more than playful joking.

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We had M as a woman and a different relationship with Bond explored.

And in SF Moneypenny started as a field agent having at least sexual tension (the razor scene) with Bond before becoming more of a reliable friend.

In the Craig era, for the first time Q became a younger man, openly gay, and his dynamic with Bond - while keeping the traditional “don’t pressure me and don’t play around with my work”-element - also allowed a reliable friendship.

The question is: what has not been tried and can still be explored?

  • M as a younger man or woman? Not likely since there will be an effort to at least have Bond start out younger again.

  • Moneypenny as a man? Basically, that could be interesting, but not with the “he’s gay and pining for Bond”-element. Instead this young male secretary could be a real critic of Bond, not an ally. Someone who makes it more difficult for him. Show Bond handle a situation in which he cannot charm Moneypenny into going behind her M´s back.

  • Q as a woman? That would also be interesting. And while she does not have to necessarily flirt with Bond she could find him amusing. But depict her as highly intelligent, always one step ahead of Bond while giving him the equipment he needs. This female Q could really force Bond to keep up with her, and those situations are what makes a character like Bond interesting.

Just don´t repeat the been there, done that-elements. Force Bond out of the comfort zone - and the audience as well.

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Phoebe Waller Bridge would be perfect

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Hated how Gardner handled the idea.

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Not sure if Gardner himself liked the outcome. It was a somewhat pointless pairing where both merely checked another item on the to-do list and then the thing fizzled out without consequence. She was last seen decking out Bond in the field with trickery items from the lab if memory serves.

Wasted.

Ugh, I am so embarrassed. To be fair it was the early hours when I posted. How I made that error is beyond me, especially when I am well aware and absolutely adore TND’s ‘You always were a cunning linguist, James…’ exchange!

Original post now edited. :wink:

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Because there have been countless heterosexual women in the Bond films but Q was the first openly gay character since 1971. LGBTVQA+ representation is a delicate balance, I did some searching and the Q scene does seem to have been received well

so I’ll admit that it was enough.

Would that even be possible? One would have to assume that, in order to reach the levels of government on which M operates, one would have to have attained a certain degree of experience, moreso than what we would expect out of Bond. Maybe if they were going to do an older Bond scenario, but even then I think it would be a stretch.

I for one wouldn’t mind going back to where we were with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and not have Q and Moneypenny in the films. They can’t, for good reason, use Moneypenny in her traditional role, but outside of that role, she, along with Q, simply help make the films more of an ensemble piece when the focus should be squarely on Bond. Bond, M, Q, and Moneypenny have become so entwined in the plots of the films that, if they keep the natural progression of that going, Bond will become Ethan Hunt.

You mean a series that has been accused of making Mission Impossible into James Bond with aforementioned Hunt…how dare they :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Did it not almost happen in SPECTRE, with Andrew Scott’s C trying an aggressive takeover of MI6? Scott is about 7 years younger than Craig.

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