Phoebe Waller-Bridge: James Bond Is “Absolutely Relevant Now” But The Film “Has To Treat Women Properly”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has opened up about her contribution to the forthcoming James Bond film, calling it “absolutely relevant now”. However, she has warned that it has to “grow” and “evolve” and the film has to “treat women properly”, even if Bond himself doesn’t.

The Fleabag creator, who adapted Killing Eve for television, told Deadline about her work polishing the script for the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed film, which is due for release in 2020.

She has become only the second women in Bond history to be credited on a script after Johanna Hardwood, who wrote on 1962’s Dr. No and 1963’s From Russia With Love.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” she said. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character.”

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She admitted that she previously had a real appreciation for Daniel Craig’s Bond. “When I saw his Bond for the first time, there was a wryness to his performance that I really loved,” she said. “So, I was really excited about writing dialogue for him. I mean, the script was there. It’s already there. I think it’s unfair to say that I’m writing the script.”

Waller-Bridge, who is also working on HBO series Run with her creative partner Vicky Jones, said she wanted to make sure that the characters, played by actors including Lashana Lynch, Léa Seydoux and Ana de Armas, “felt like real people”. “I just want 
to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Léa and Ana open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’ As an actress, I very rarely had that feeling early in my career. That brings me much pleasure, knowing that I’m giving that to an actress.”

The British auteur also lifted the lid on the second season of Fleabag, handing over the reins of Killing Eve and her views on winning a best woman in business award. Read the full interview, with Deadline’s Antonia Blyth, as part of Deadline present AwardsLine’s Comedy print issue, published on Wednesday June 5.

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