For years, moviegoers have wondered who will take over the role of British secret agent James Bond after Daniel Craig, but recent rumors that he's leaving the franchise have added even more fuel to the speculation fire. Tom Hiddleston’s name came up pretty much immediately, and he feels like a pretty safe bet considering his natural charisma and charm. A huge chunk of the internet also still wants Idris Elba to land the role, but he’s busy playing a different used-to-be-white protagonist in “The Dark Tower.”

But what about if we went in an entirely different direction? What if this time… if Bond was played by a woman?

photo: NBC

Okay, yes I know, there are a lot of barriers to this becoming a reality — starting with your garden variety sexists who will never accept a woman leading any franchise they used to care about as children, and ending with pedants who will argue that Bond is a very specific (and white) character based on Ian Flaming's own experiences in the British Secret Service.

The former point need not be dignified with a response, of course. But to the latter point, I say: who cares? The modern version of Bond has more in common with the title character of “Doctor Who” than he does with Fleming’s original character; these days he’s basically a classy British cipher that new writers and directors use to make gritty action movies. 

Besides, it’s not as if Fleming himself didn't publicly change his mind in favor of different interpretations of his text — he even added Scottish heritage to the character’s biography in a later book after Sean Connery first started playing the role. Of course, his original writing was still pretty racist and sexist by modern standards, but what better way to update his legacy than to allow marginalized people the chance to participate in it directly?  

If changing the character is good enough for Sean Connery, then it's good enough for you.

photo: Eon Productions/Columbia Pictures

When you think about it, a female Bond would make more logistical sense anyway. Most of history’s famous, most successful spies are women — like Mata Hari, Virginia Hall, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Harriet Tubman. And you wanna know why women make such great spies? Because as spy parodies like “Archer” and “Spy” (and more straightforward spy stories like “Marvel’s Agent Carter”) have rightfully pointed out, the handsome white upper-class man in a tuxedo tends to stick out like a sore thumb.

In contrast, even the most glamorous woman will be underestimated by her opponents, which will always give her an advantage. It’s like pitching left-handed, but with your whole body. Your whole lady body.

This doesn’t mean a female Bond couldn’t also be attractive and wear a tuxedo and sleep with Bond Girls, of course. Heck, that would be half the appeal — how often do women get to do that sort of thing in movies? (Especially the sleeping with Bond Girls part.) And let’s face it, there are plenty of amazing actresses who would have no trouble slipping into that womanizing, debonair role. For example:

1

Gillian Anderson

Sure, the “X-Files” star isn’t actually British (although tell that to the accent she affects every time she’s over there doing work on "The Fall"), but she’s also Dana freakin’ Scully so she gets a pass. She's already gotten her own fan-made 007 movie posters thanks to the magic of the internet, so clearly people want to see her in the role — and she's down to make it a reality. 

2

Priyanka Chopra

photo: CBA

The “Quantico” star’s been rumored as a possible Bond Girl for years. When asked about it by Complex Magazine, though, she shot back, “Fuck that — I wanna be Bond.” Yes. And why shouldn't she? Technically she's not from the UK either, but Britain did take over India for a couple of centuries there, and an Indian Bond would be an amazing commentary on that shared history. 

3

Hayley Atwell

photo: Marvel Studios

I mean, duh. She literally invented an entire spy network in the Marvel Universe. Now that her character's been killed off for good, though, she's got plenty of free time to prove her worth in a male-dominated secret service force somewhere else — assuming her new ABS series "Conviction" doesn't take off, of course. 

4

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

photo: Fox Searchlight

Gugu's no stranger to spy stories, as she starred in J.J. Abram's short-lived series "Undercovers." Plus, imagine her and Naomi Harris' Miss Moneypenny flirting with each other over the earpiece while she dodges henchmen, though. That's a world I definitely want to live in. 

5

Rebecca Ferguson

photo: Paramount Pictures

She was literally the best part of "Mission Impossible — Rogue Nation," and in that she was basically already playing a female Bond. All she needs now is the name, a new suit, and a martini to shake and not stir.  

6

Tilda Swinton

photo: Warner Bros.

You wouldn't even have to change the gender of the character if you gave Bond to Tilda Swinton — it's not like she hasn't played plenty of dapper dudes in suits. She's versatile like that. 

7

Gwendoline Christie

photo: HBO

If you aren't making the same face as Tormund Gianstbane at the very thought of Gwendoline Christie in a full three-piece herringbone suit, driving a jet ski and firing a PPK pistol without ever spilling her drink, then I simply don't know what to tell you. I think you might be broken. Go sit in a corner and think about how broken you are.