All internet campaigns to get an actor cast in a famous movie role are worthless. The egomaniacs running Hollywood studios don’t care about hashtags. But over the weekend something strange happened. James Bond fans searching for someone to replace Daniel Craig — the most recent 007, who had reportedly turned down $100 million to remain in the role — actually came up with an interesting idea: Gillian Anderson.
Plenty of fine arguments could be made on behalf of the former X-Files star, not least of which is that it would be a groundbreaking development to see a women in the role of cinema’s most famous misogynist and that, hey, no one could be less charismatic than Daniel Craig, a man whose abs and personality could both be favorably compared to a washboard. But the No. 1 reason to cast Anderson as Bond? Enraging the legions of men who would likely pound their keyboards to oblivion complaining about the choice.
It would make the backlash to the all-female Ghostbusters look polite. Because, unlike the Ghostbusters, who were only men because men tend to write male characters, Bond’s masculinity is part of his identity. It’s what makes him an icon. He likes women, booze, and cars. He’s dedicated to protecting his country and fiercely loyal to his friends. Men want to be him, and women … you know the rest. Bond isn’t just a man — he’s a “man’s man.”
So what would happen if James became Jane? The fanboys would revolt. They’d say the world is going to shit because a movie character changed from a suit to a pantsuit. A woman driving an Aston Martin and saving the world from imminent destruction? It can’t be! Forget whether Anderson would be the best choice for Bond — by the way, whatever happened to Idris Elba? — hissy fits thrown by offended fans crying into their martinis are reason enough to embrace her casting. She already has.