Fresh off an apology for describing black actor Idris Elba as “too street” to play James Bond, franchise author Anthony Horowitz announced this week how he intends to slowly drag the fictional British spy into the 21st Century’s cultural cesspool.
The Telegraph reports during a conversation with radio station RTE Tuesday, the Trigger Mortis author revealed the delicate balancing act of writing such a classic character in an era of political correctness.
While Bond might not yet be ready for a full-on cultural cleansing, he is being hit head-on with the realities of the modern world, per the author.
“One of the challenges of writing the book was that attitude that a heterosexual man can change a woman’s life and make her go weak at the knees,” said Horowitz. “That’s something that would be challenged, I think, in the 21st century.”
Because guys like Bond have lost their edge with today’s readers, the author pits him with a live-in girlfriend, which is far from the solitary character fans know and love.
The character who has lived an envious life of debauchery for more than 50 years is now arguing over food with his domesticated femme fatale, to the tone of “an uneasy silence full of dark thoughts and words unsaid.”
“With women, he has this sort of patronizing carnal attitude with them which is absolutely accurate to the Bond of the books. But then by creating very strong women he is given quite a run for his money and his attitudes are challenged,” Horowitz said.
To further his cultural assimilation, 007 now has an “outspoken” new friend.
“I also gave him a very outspoken gay friend, who chides him and says ‘come on Bond, you’re living in the 20th century now not the Middle Ages.’”
Bond also remains a chainsmoker, who enjoys his drinks, but is also coming to terms with the consequences of his actions.
“He does smoke cigarettes, he smokes many many cigarettes. But then what I do is I nudge him with a little reference to a newspaper article he happens to glance at which just reminds him that these things will give him cancer.”
“How do you remain true to the original creation and concept and yet at the same time not offend people in the 21st century?” Horowitz asked.
The author also said traditional fans must remember Ian Fleming’s stories were “of their time.”