It’s official: we’re finally getting the feminist James Bond we deserve next year

Written by Amy Beecham

 The iconic 007 novels by Ian Fleming will be added to with a brand new feminist trilogy of James Bond books written by award-winning author Kim Sherwood. 

James Bond may be a British institution in it’s own right, but it’s safe to say that there are plenty of elements that are in dire need of modernisation to better reflect the world we live in today.

Since Daniel Craig announced his departure from the role, rumours have been flying as to who might replace him as the iconic character, and whether 007 will ever be played by a woman. But now, we won’t have to speculate for much longer.

In some very exciting news, award-winning author Kim Sherwood has been picked to pen a new trilogy of James Bond books, becoming the first female author in the series of spy novels originally created by Ian Fleming.

Sherwood, an award-winner for her 2018 novel Testament, will release the first instalment in September 2022, which features a world where the Bond we know and love is missing and will instead focus on a new generation of 00 agents.

Sherwood told the BBC she hoped to modernise and expand the Bond canon with a “feminist perspective”.

“I want to bring a feminist perspective to the canon, as a young woman writer,” she said. “I want to honour what’s come before, but also create something new and create a space for all of us to be heroes.

“We’re in a very different world now to Fleming’s novels. And in some ways the world Fleming was writing about didn’t exist. He was writing about this luxurious, materialistic world where Britain had major significance on the international stage… during changes in Britain’s imperialism.

“Bond has always been a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy that can reflect us and shape us and I’m so excited to get to be part of that for a contemporary world,” she added.

Sherwood said she aims to reflect the “complexity and rounded characters of the women in the books” that she feels has sometimes “been overlooked” in the films.

Indeed, the attitudes towards women, from blatant sexual harassment to a lack of consent plague many of the earlier and more contemporary Bond films.

In recognition of this, the franchise recently turned to Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge to freshen the gender dynamics in the script for No Time to Die –Daniel Craig’s long-delayed final outing as James Bond which was released to acclaim in September.

Sherwood promised that the new novels will include an “ensemble cast of heroes who we can all identify with,” as well as see the return of old favourites including Bond’s trusted secretary Ms Moneypenny and spy boss M.

However, she hinted that there will also be some new introductions. “We’ve always followed 007 before, but there are many other spies who you occasionally hear of in the background of Ian Fleming’s novels”, she explained.

“And that gives me this incredible range to be able to have a whole group of heroes on missions around the world… that’s been really exciting for me as a writer”.

Lashana Lynch, Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux at the premiere of No Time To Die

Sherwood’s work will add to the 40 officially-licensed James Bond books authored by male writers including Sebastian Faulks, Kingsley Amis and Anthony Horowitz, since 1953.

We can’t wait to see how the Bond literary universe gets a well-needed shake up.

Images: Getty

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