James Bond is no longer 007. Via Daily Mail:

In what’s been called a ‘popcorn-dropping moment’, British star Lashana Lynch, will be given Bond’s licence to kill in the 25th movie in the franchise, currently being shot in Italy and the UK.

However, traditionalists can relax: she’s not the new Bond, but a new character who takes over his secret agent number after he leaves MI6.

The story begins with Bond retired in Jamaica. But spymaster M – played by Ralph Fiennes – calls him back in desperation to tackle a new global crisis.

A movie insider said: ‘There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says ‘Come in 007’, and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.

‘It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.

‘Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don’t work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed. Well, certainly not at the beginning.’

The move actually makes sense and may have been set up in Casino Royale when M made a comment to Bond about doing better than his predecessor. The theory, explained by author D.F. Lovett, was James Bond is the actual code name since far fewer actors and actresses have played M versus those who have played Bond. However, this move with Lashana Lynch, works even more if Bond is a retired agent and no longer using the 007 moniker.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t still potential problems for any future Bond film.

Bond 25 is supposed to be Daniel Craig’s last film as the iconic spy. What might happen if Lynch’s 007 dies in this film or is not retained as 007 in Bond 26 without an explanation? Would movie producers skip the entire 007 gun emblem for ‘just’ James Bond or would they just go with a 007 title with a female agent? Either one could work but would still require some explaining – especially if producers go back with James Bond 007. This could have been avoided by having Lynch portray a female 00 agent who wasn’t 007. Sean Bean’s Alec Trevelyan character in GoldenEye was 006 so there is precedent with other numbered agents.

It could be filmmakers will either go with Jane Bond in the next film or have Craig’s Bond die with Lynch taking his name as a tribute. That’s combining both the notion 007 can be passed on along with the ‘James Bond’ name. It could explain even more why the actor (or actress?) playing Bond changes every few films.

There’s also a question of ‘why’ this is being done. Whatever source talked to Daily Mail suggested it was to bring Bond into the future or something.

‘This is a Bond for the modern era who will appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film,’ the source added. ‘There are spectacular chase sequences and fights, and Bond is still Bond but he’s having to learn to deal with the world of #MeToo.’

I didn’t realize Bond had to deal with the world of #MeToo, but, if we’re going for gritty realism, okay.

Of course, Die Another Day was supposed to lead to a Jinx Johnson spin-off film franchise in 2002 but MGM went for the Craig reboot. This doesn’t mean this plan of Lashana Lynch as 007 will suffer a similar fate. It just depends on how MGM decides to do the story and whether the audience will accept it.

Idris Elba was still a great idea as the next Bond. Hopefully, that gets revisited at some point.