Daniel Craig—who stars in the upcoming delayed release of his fifth and final 007 installment, No Time To Die—received mixed reactions from fans about his statement regarding who should not take over as the next James Bond.
In addition to fans suggesting Idris Elba or Tom Hardy portray the next 007, some camps on the internet called for women or people of color as more ideal candidates.
Regarding all the online debate about who should portray the character, Craig told Radio Times in an interview:
"The answer to that is very simple. There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color."
"Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?"
It should be noted, however, that Black actress Lashana Lynch will be the first-ever female to achieve the "00" status.
Despite the confusing title, Lynch will not portray James Bond. Her secret agent character, Nomi, will take over his secret agent number when Bond leaves the MI6.
Lynch told Harper's Bazaar UK last year she was apprehensive about getting lost "behind the man" when initially hired to join an established franchise centering around an iconic male character.
"I didn't want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real-life represented."
"In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I'm presenting needs to be 100 percent authentic."
Many fans weighed in with their conflicting opinions about keeping James Bond a male character.
Craig's suggestion that better roles should be created for women followed his previous statement in 2019 in which he defended No Time To Die female cowriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was accused of being brought on to give the franchise a more inclusive tone.
The Fleabag actress and writer reportedly said her intention was to ensure women were treated properly in a script with a fresh female perspective in the post #MeToo era.
In response to fan backlash, Craig told The Sunday Times, almost two years ago:
"Look, we're having a conversation about Phoebe's gender here, which is f'king ridiculous."
"She's a great writer. Why shouldn't we get Phoebe onto Bond?"
"I know where you're going, but I don't actually want to have that conversation."
"I know what you're trying to do, but it's wrong. It's absolutely wrong. She's a f*****g great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, 'Can we get her on the film?' That's where I came from."
Fans will get to witness how Nomi will take up the mantle of 007 when No Time To Die is released in theaters on October 8.