Do we really need a Fleabag Bond?

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 put in writing 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 potential of a “Fleabag Bond” illustrates the extent to which Waller-Bridge’s model of salty, hypersexualised feminism has penetrated our cultural lives.

Based mostly on her one-woman stage play of the identical title, Fleabag was a two-series tragicomedy a couple of younger lady coming to phrases with grief, heartbreak and the emotional fallout of a horrible betrayal. It was most likely one of the crucial completely completed items of small-screen storytelling in latest occasions.

The present established Waller-Bridge as one of the crucial 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 model, voracious sexual appetites and whole lack of route: you possibly can see the ghost of Fleabag in every part from Business (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 government 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 mission she was presupposed to be doing with Donald Glover, and continues to be finessing the small print on a brand new adaptation of the live-action franchise Tomb Raider.

© Alamy Inventory Picture

However nobody appears to be in a giant 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 figuring out 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 a large pay cheque, would persuade her to lend these doddery outdated display screen 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.

Moreover, 007 is unquestionably the least fascinating display screen 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 supplied a spot on the desk, and it’s been each fascinating and barely horrifying to see the alternatives being made. Perhaps Waller-Bridge’s have been the final word in want fulfilment: what highly effective lady wouldn’t wish to accomplice with these final alpha males? The place as soon as she may need been an “auteur” within the business, right this moment’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. Based mostly on the 2 minutes of footage up for supply it’s a wierd mixture of Technicolor irony and sexual innuendo, with numerous articulated joint humour and smutty gags.

And, after all, we should always have a good time these milestones: how nice it’s that feminine writers and administrators are being inspired to put in writing uninhibitedly — and on big salaries — about precisely what they please. They need to be helming epic blockbusters. And being wildly formidable. They need to even be allowed to fail.

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

E mail Jo at jo.ellison@ft.com

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