Do we really need a Fleabag Bond?

Daniel Craig in 2020’s ‘No Time to Die’ © Alamy

Rumours that the Emmy Award-winning author and actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the frontrunner to jot down and direct the following James Bond movie could also be barely implausible — the 37-year-old has hitherto by no means directed something and the movie’s producers have intimated that the following Bond continues to be some years away.

However the fevered anticipation that has met the opportunity of a “Fleabag Bond” illustrates the extent to which Waller-Bridge’s model of salty, hypersexualised feminism has penetrated our cultural lives.

Primarily based on her one-woman stage play of the identical identify, Fleabag was a two-series tragicomedy a few younger lady coming to phrases with grief, heartbreak and the emotional fallout of a horrible betrayal. It was most likely some of the completely completed items of small-screen storytelling in current instances.

The present established Waller-Bridge as some of the thrilling younger voices within the cultural firmament and supplied the catalyst for a stream of subsequent female-led dramas starring earthy, relatable younger girls with a robust sense of non-public fashion, voracious sexual appetites and whole lack of course: you possibly can see the ghost of Fleabag in every part from Trade (intercourse, the Metropolis and self-absorption) to Extraordinary (intercourse, superpowers and self-absorption), the Disney+ comedy drama written by Northern Irish screenwriter and comic Emma Moran.

However whereas the world has since been populated with Fleabag-alikes, Waller-Bridge herself has ventured down a really completely different path. Having been head author of the primary collection — and an govt producer throughout all 4 collection — of Killing Eve, starring one other sudden anti-heroine, Waller-Bridge signed a reported “mid-eight-figure” contract with Amazon in September 2019 to develop additional reveals.

The fruits of that collaboration have been sluggish in maturation — she walked away from the venture she was presupposed to be doing with Donald Glover, and continues to be finessing the main points on a brand new adaptation of the live-action franchise Tomb Raider.

© Alamy Inventory Picture

However nobody appears to be in an enormous hurry. The actress was reported to have renewed her contract with the streaming platform in January for an extra three-year unique deal. In the meantime, she performed the “quippy” droid L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story, with traces that had been delivered in her trademark understanding droll. And this summer season, she is going to star within the newest movies within the Indiana Jones franchise, Dial of Future, by which she is going to play the archaeologist’s goddaughter in a reboot that has been co-written by one other favorite of the British writing institution, Jerusalem’s Jez Butterworth.

In some methods, Waller-Bridge seems to be like a sellout. Why else would she be giving these enfeebled, historic franchises her time? She’s the embodiment of female badassery and bawdy humour, so what, apart from an enormous pay cheque, would persuade her to lend these doddery previous display icons her credibility and edge? She already added “little spices” to the final Bond movie, having been drafted in to “assist out” with the script of No Time To Die. And little spice she may need added, given the movie appeared about 9 hours lengthy and was terribly bland.

Apart from, 007 is definitely the least attention-grabbing display legend with whom to meddle: he’s so pickled in his methods. Even with a model new agent, new script and new set of double entendres, one can’t think about the Fleabag Bond ever making a dent within the unreconstructed glory of the world’s suavest super-agent together with his sleep-with-a-lass-then-slap-her on-the-ass chauvinistic methods.

Following #MeToo, and a interval of gender recalibration within the business, Hollywood is clearly making an attempt to atone for its previous sexist ills. Feminine writers, producers and administrators are actually being provided a spot on the desk, and it’s been each fascinating and barely horrifying to see the alternatives being made. Possibly Waller-Bridge’s have been the final word in want fulfilment: what highly effective lady wouldn’t need to companion with these final alpha males? The place as soon as she may need been an “auteur” within the business, at present’s feminine gamers usually tend to be helming huge summer season blockbusters or directing Marvel movies.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie within the forthcoming live-action ‘Barbie’ © Warner Bros

This week a brand new on-line trailer was launched for the live-action film Barbie, a bewilderingly starry ensemble piece directed by indie darling Greta Gerwig, and starring Margot Robbie because the plastic toy. Primarily based on the 2 minutes of footage up for provide it’s an odd mixture of Technicolor irony and sexual innuendo, with a lot of articulated joint humour and smutty gags.

And, after all, we must always rejoice these milestones: how nice it’s that feminine writers and administrators are being inspired to jot down uninhibitedly — and on big salaries — about precisely what they please. They need to be helming epic blockbusters. And being wildly bold. They need to even be allowed to fail.

It simply feels a bit disappointing that usually they’re solely including a brand new patina to what are in any other case fairly insipid manufacturers. Why add “little spices” once you’ve obtained a lot else to make use of? Possibly Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag Bond will likely be a full immersion, and she is going to create a complete new style of motion movie. However I miss the delicate poetry of extraordinary Fleabag, who spoke quieter, extra devastating truths about us all.

E mail Jo at

Discover out about our newest tales first — observe @ftweekend on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top