There is another James Bond movie in the works, the 24th in the series of gun-slingin', sex-havin', Russia-or-whoever-it-is-nowadays-hatin' flicks to appear on-screen since Sean Connery kicked the whole thing off. But next year's film, Spectre, features something rarely seen in the Bond world: an age-appropriate co-star.
The so-called "Bond girl," in this film, is Monica Bellucci, age 50. For a franchise that has been built on the idea that Britain's most famous spy has no qualms about romantic entanglements with a teenager (Aliza Gur was a teenager while filming "From Russia With Love"), it's a step forward.
Over the course of the Bond films, only three times has a female co-star been older than the actor playing James Bond, according to our analysis of this comprehensive list. That includes Bellucci. (And let's just let out a collective "ugh" to that phrase, "Bond girl.")
Her co-star, Daniel Craig, is 46. The average age of the actor playing James Bond in all of the films is 43.5. That's 14 years older than the average of 28.8 for the women whom he's battling/rescuing/seducing/all-of-the-above.
The ages of the films' female stars have risen and fallen over time, but generally hover around 30-year-olds. Bond movies, meanwhile, rely on consistency in the title role, so Bonds tend to age as the actors that play them do.)
The only two other times a female co-star has been older than Bond were in the first two films, starring an unusually-young-for-Bond Connery. At the 1962 release of "Dr. No," Connery was 32, and Zena Marshall was 36. In the next year's "From Russia With Love," Eunice Gayson was 35 to Connery's 33. Then there was "On Her Majesty’s Secret Service."
We should remember that Bond falling for an older woman is not only unusual for him, but men at large. As reported by FiveThirtyEight, Christian Rudder of the dating site OKCupid created two graphs showing the ages of people most attractive to men and women as they grew older, according to the site's data. As a woman ages, she finds attractive the photos of men in her age range, or perhaps a few years younger. But it's much different for men, who prefer women in their early 20's even if the man is 30, 40 or 50.
We'll note, by the way, that we used a wide definition of "Bond girl" (ugh), incorporating 007James.com's list entirely, which includes some minor characters. If we apply that to Spectre as well, some minor love interests (there are so many) may drag the average down. But for now, we're content with James Bond appearing with the oldest co-star since Maud Adams' Octopussy.
Which serves as a good reminder that James Bond is not exactly the most politically forward franchise in Hollywood history.