In an alternate universe, Oscar-winning Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk filmmaker Barry Jenkins is currently putting the finishing touches on a Moneypenny spinoff movie set within the James Bond universe. Yes indeed, Moneypenny actress Naomie Harris herself—who worked with Jenkins on Moonlight and received an Oscar nomination for her stunning turn in the Best Picture winner—recently revealed that she and Jenkins hatched a plan to make a Moneypenny movie.
So what happened? Well, according to Harris, the Bond producers weren’t too keen on the idea. Asked about the potential Moneypenny spinoff on Good Morning America (via The Playlist), Harris revealed that Jenkins was excited to potentially make a “kickass” Moneypenny movie, but when they pitched the idea to longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, the woman who holds the keys to the franchise wasn’t too keen:
“Yes, [Jenkins has] wanted to do a kind of badass, kickass action thing with Moneypenny, which I’m all for, actually. I got together with Barbara Broccoli, our producer, and I was like, ‘Let’s make this happen!’ But she wasn’t so down for it. But maybe one day; who knows? The conversation has started, at least.”
Harris sounds optimistic that this project hasn’t reached the end of the road, but it’s also not hard to see why Broccoli might have turned the idea down. One imagines this idea was pitched back around the time that Moonlight was coming out and hitting the awards circuit, which was a year after the latest Bond film Spectre had hit theaters and received a ho-hum response. Moreover, Bond himself Daniel Craig was talking about how he’d rather “slash his wrists” than play James Bond again, so Broccoli was no doubt deep into trying to figure out how this lucrative franchise would continue.
It now appears that Craig’s run as Bond will come to an end with the Cary Fukunaga-directed No Time to Die, which is currently in production, but before the producers cast a new James Bond it could be extremely cool to see Harris take the lead in a Moneypenny spinoff. Make it for a smaller budget, a bit dirtier, a bit more grounded, and you’re off to the races.
I would love to see Jenkins’ touch on the franchise, especially with his longtime DP James Laxton behind the camera. The filmmaker moved into making the James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk after Moonlight and is currently in the midst of filming his Amazon Prime TV series adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel The Underground Railroad, but after that, who knows? Maybe well finally get this Moneypenny movie.
What do you think folks? Would you watch a Moneypenny movie from Harris and Jenkins? Sound off in the comments below, and click here for our ranking of every Bond movie so far.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 21, 2019