James Bond Is Slowly Being Taken Over by Comedians

Phoebe Waller-Bridge will have more creative control going forward, and a lauded comic actress might be the next M
James Bond Is Slowly Being Taken Over by Comedians

The James Bond series is about to be infested with comedy — and it has nothing at all to do with Austin Powers.

Fleabag star and showrunner Phoebe Waller-Bridge has already made her mark on the iconic spy series with a script consultant and screenwriting credit on the most recent James Bond entry, No Time to Die. Now, reports have come out that BAFTA-winning comedic actress Daisy May Cooper is in serious talks to play spy mistress M in the first iteration of the series to follow Daniel Craig’s conclusion as the legendary MI6 lothario.

The Sun reported that the star of the lauded BBC Three series This Country is in the running for the role partially due to her close ties to Waller-Bridge, who appears to be taking on larger creative responsibilities in the next generation of James Bond. This can only mean one thing: Brett Gelman is going to be 007.

If Cooper lands the part of M, she will be following in some sizable footsteps — the last two artists to hold the position, Ralph Fiennes and Dame Judy Dench, are titans of British storytelling who both leave behind a legacy that is inseparable from the films themselves. Cooper’s M would undoubtedly be distinctly different from what we’ve seen from the MI6 chief in the last two decades — perhaps, after such serious performers and performances defining the role for so long, a little bit of levity might be needed.

“The production team were getting excited about the prospect of really taking ‘M’ in a different direction,” one source told The Sun of the prospect of Cooper playing M. “With Daniel leaving, it seemed the time to start looking at changes across the board and the dynamic between Bond and ‘M’ is at the heart of the films,” they continued, saying of the uncharacteristic move to make a comic actress a central part of the series, “This opens the door to it being a bit lighter and more comedic going forwards — and will of course impact the direction the new 007 goes in too.”

It’s not exactly new for action movies to introduce some comedic elements into otherwise serious properties — the “Whedonism” of the MCU has snuck its way into just about every big-budget blockbuster since the premier of The Avengers. However, we trust the Brits to be a bit more subtle in their introduction of humor into their country’s defining action franchise. After all, James Bond is nothing if not covert.

Plus, no quip that will ever come out of M’s mouth could possibly be a bigger joke than Quantum of Solace.

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