Would you like to see a gay James Bond?
Sir Ian McKellen, best known for playing Magneto in X-Men and Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings, sat down with Variety during the Cannes Lions film festival to discuss the state of equal representation in movies.
“I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to whats going on in the real world as I would like them to be,” he said.
“One indication of that is [how] LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say. If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually these movies are not about me at all.”
But he does have one suggestion for increasing LGBT+ visibility in Hollywood – by rebooting the James Bond franchise with a gay 007. In fact, he thinks the secret agent should always have been gay…
“I think Ian Fleming, who wrote the original books, knew all about [it],” he said. “I’m not sure subsequent actors have quite understood the joke, which is the same as Superman. James Bond is a wimp!
“He’s a silly Englishman that wants his martinis stirred. He changes his underwear, like Superman, and he can save the world. They all play it the same – he’s heroic all the way through. No, he’s not.
“If you play James Bond as an outwardly camp, silly gay man that no one took seriously and then he turned out as many gay men are underneath their clothes – buff and strong and as hetero as any hetero – we might have a more truthful story than the one that has been told.”
When asked which superhero he thinks should come out of the closet on the big screen next, he joked: “Frankly, looking at the images of some of these superheroes, it’s a surprise to me to learn that they’re not gay!”
Watch a clip of the interview below.