Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall
(MGM)

The Top Eight Women Who Should Direct the Next James Bond Film

The franchise is long overdue for its first female director.

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With Danny Boyle dropping out of Bond 25, rumors are swirling around which director will helm Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007. Names such as Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild), and Sam Mendes (Skyfall and Spectre) have been tossed out as possible replacements. But after 23 Bond films helmed by white men (with Die Another Day‘s Lee Tamahori, who is half Maori, as the only exception) isn’t it time for a woman to direct James Bond? What could be more in the zeitgeist than a female director taking on the world’s manliest, most womanizing spy? There’s certainly no shortage of talented directors who are more than up to the challenge. Here are our top picks for Bond 25.

Lynne Ramsay

(image: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Acura)

Ramsay broke onto the scene with the mysterious and moody Morvern Callar, starring Harlots‘ Samantha Morton. She then terrified prospective parents with the hauntingly poetic We Need to Talk About Kevin, which featured Ezra Miller in a breakout performance as a disturbed teen. Ramsay’s most recent work, You Were Never Really Here with Joaquin Phoenix won best actor and best screenplay at the Cannes film festival. The Scottish director clearly has the dramatic chops to take on Bond, but to be honest I’d be more excited to see what she does with the villain.

Amma Asante

amma asante

(image: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Roger Ebert’s Film Festival)

You may not recognize her, but this British former child actor has quickly made a name for herself with her lavish period films that center of people of color, like Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (A Wrinkle in Time) and A United Kingdom with David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). Plus, she’s already working on a film about the cold war called The Billion Dollar Spy, so she’s already in the Bond mindset.

Kathryn Bigelow

kathryn bigelow

(image: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Let’s face it: there’s no making this list without the first and only female director to win an Oscar. Kathryn Bigelow has been making stylish action films for decades now, and she’s a consummate pro. Her taught, cerebral thrillers like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty speak for themselves. And the woman can wear a suit … maybe she should star as a suave secret agent.

Mira Nair

mira nair

(image: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images )

Mira Nair, the director who brought us Monsoon Wedding and Vanity Fair, doesn’t seem like a likely choice for a Bond film. But she proved she has a serious flair for action thrillers with her 2012 film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a sharp drama starring a then unknown Riz Ahmed. Nair has worked in a several different genres, making a name for herself as a journeywoman director and a force to be reckoned with.

Susanne Bier

susanne bier

(image: Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Susanne Bier is a Danish filmmaker who has been working steadily since the late 80’s. While she has several films under her belt, the reason she makes this list is her outstanding work in the BBC/AMC miniseries The Night Manager. Bier directed all six episodes of the John le Carré series, which was a twisty, sensual globe-trotting spy thriller that won several awards. Bier’s work is also the most convincing argument yet that Tom Hiddleston could take over as James Bond.

Melina Matsoukas

melina matsoukas

(image: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence)

Melina Matsoukas has been delivering stunning visuals for years, but her breakout work in Beyoncé’s Lemonade has reinvented the visual album. Matsoukas has also displayed her prodigious talents in shows like Master of None and Insecure, and is attached to direct the upcoming FX series Y, based on Y: The Last Man. There’s no doubt that she could make the most visually arresting Bond film we’ve ever seen.

Reed Morano

reed morano

(image: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The cinematographer behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade blew audiences away with her stunning directing work on The Handmaid’s Tale. Morano’s breathtaking visuals artfully captured the oppressive, claustrophobic regime of Gilead, winning her several awards and making her a possible contender to direct a film in the Star Wars universe. They should be so lucky.

Patty Jenkins

patty jenkins

(image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Did you really think I was gonna finish this list without Patty Jenkins? The Wonder Woman director gave us everything in her hit film that we want out of a Bond movie: gorgeous locations, riveting action and fight sequences, romance. Jenkins is more than up to the task for Bond 25. Besides, if they ever wanted to do a gender swap of James Bond, I hear she knows Gal Gadot.

Who would you like to see directing Bond 25?

(via Collider, image: MGM/Columbia Pictures)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.