One of the things about being a Bond Girl is that it is usually just a one film gig. The love interests that inhabit the cinematic adventures of the British superspy are almost always fleeting. If they aren’t killed off by a bad guy, they seem to disappear before James Bond is assigned his next mission.
And that’s what makes the news that Lea Seydoux, who portrayed psychiatrist Dr Madeleine Swann in 2015’s Spectre opposite Daniel Craig, will be returning for the next installment of the franchise somewhat surprising and actually very welcome.
The news comes from Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye, who states that in a conversation with Bond 25 director Cary Fukunaga the director confirmed that “Lea will be returning.” He also confirmed that series supporting actors Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris will also be returning to their roles as MI5 chief M, gadget master Q and Miss Moneypenny respectively.
While we normally urge caution when reporting from British tabloids, Bamigboye has a generally good track record for these things and is stating the he was told this directly by Fukunaga himself.
When we last saw Bond, he seemed to be heading away from a life of espionage, disgusted by what he had seen and experienced, accompanied by Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. He also seemed to have a genuine affection for her, the first woman he has seemingly actually cared about since his betrayal by and the death of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in the franchise’s 2006 reboot Casino Royale. It was an interesting place to leave the character, and a good stopping point for Craig’s interpretation of Bond if he were to have chosen to leave the franchise.
So what does being a returning Bond girl mean for Seydoux’s character?
Given the high mortality rate for Bond’s love interest through the franchise’s history, the most expected thing is to see Madeleine Swann killed off early on in the next film. But I would hope that they will go a different route. The idea of Bond in a committed relationship for a whole film seems antithetical to the franchise’s basic formula, but that is also a good reason to actually explore that in a film. Outside of Casino Royale, I can’t recall seeing Bond truly in love with someone since Tracy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and we all know how unfortunately that ended. Maybe Bond can get a happier ending this time?
The untitled twenty-fifth James Bond film begins shooting next spring.