Ana De Armas’ Paloma Should Return (But Not In Bond 26)

While No Time To Die’s scene-stealing supporting star Ana De Armas should play Paloma in another James Bond adventure, the character deserves a spinoff movie of her own rather than a Bond 26 cameo for numerous reasons. Although it still isn’t clear who will be the next actor to play James Bond, plans for the suave super-spy’s next cinematic adventure are already underway. Whether Tom Hardy or Rege-Jean Page gets the part, there are already debates raging online over whether or not Q, M, Miss Moneypenny, and the rest of the franchise’s recurring characters should be recast alongside the new 007.

There is an argument to be made that a new version of James Bond should come with whole new support staff, and there is no denying that the arrival of Judi Dench’s M helped smooth the transition from Timothy Dalton’s rough-edged Bond to Pierce Brosnan’s smooth, self-aware charmer. However, Dench’s continued presence also lent Daniel Craig’s radical reinvention of the character some legitimacy with longtime James Bond fans, meaning there is also an argument for keeping the supporting cast in Bond 26. However, whether or not Bond 26 introduces a new Q, there is one character who definitively needs to return in the franchise’s future.

Related: Why Two Roger Moore’s Bond Movies Used The Same Opening

Ana De Armas’ Cuban CIA operative Paloma was a highlight of No Time To Die for a lot of reviewers, with the actor’s brief appearance stealing the show. Paloma’s limited screen time did not stop De Armas’ heroic Bond accomplice from making a huge impression, with the charismatic character’s scenes including some of the most unabashedly fun moments in the otherwise-elegiac No Time To Die. However, while Paloma should return to the James Bond franchise, this return should come in the form of a spinoff movie since the character can’t come back in Bond 26 for numerous reasons.

Ana De Armas made a big impression on the James Bond fandom with her brief appearance, and her charming character proved that a female equivalent to 007 could work. Like Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, Paloma was an addition to the cast who added something new to the franchise, being the first female CIA operative who could not only keep up with Bond but left Craig's aging 007 looking exhausted by the end of their intense shootout. Paloma’s popularity, along with the tonal brevity that her role provided No Time To Die, means that she deserves another appearance in the series. However, the James Bond franchise needs to be careful in how the series brings her character back.

Ana De Armas is only getting more famous with each passing year and the star is a leading lady by now, meaning that her presence in Bond 26 would likely eclipse whoever the sequel casts as 007. If a relative newcomer like Rege-Jean Page is Bond 26’s 007, De Armas will be one of the first Bond actors to have a higher profile than the movie’s leading man. This could lead to Paloma outshining the star of the franchise and Bond 26 being unsure which character to focus on, an issue that wouldn’t arise if Paloma’s return occurred in a later franchise installment.

After all, if Paloma has another brief cameo like in No Time To Die, viewers could rightfully feel shortchanged, but if the character played a major role in Bond 26, she could end up pulling focus from a new actor as they attempt to establish their take on the character of Bond. This leaves producers with the unenviable choice of giving De Armas’ character a role that once again feels like it was too short or giving their own leading man the short shrift, leaving the James Bond franchise producers with no way of keeping fans happy. That is, unless Paloma receives a movie spinoff of her own.

Related: Daniel Craig's James Bond Era Was The Bleakest (Which Is A Good Thing)

It is hard to argue against Paloma getting a James Bond spinoff movie of her own. This would answer the criticisms about James Bond always being played by a man without changing the character himself, and would allow the series to prove that it has potential outside of the classic character. However, if Paloma does get a 007 spinoff movie, this should arrive after the debut of the next James Bond adventure so as not to overshadow the original appeal of the franchise. Since Bond 26 needs to make 007 fun again and drop the grounded, grim tone of Craig’s movies, a Paloma spinoff could prove that the franchise isn’t entirely abandoning the Craig era while simultaneously showing that the series is more interested in action and self-aware humor than angst and tragedy.

If Ana De Armas’ upward career trajectory continues unabated and the actor’s popularity proves sufficient to sustain a Paloma spinoff, the James Bond franchise must wait until after Bond 26 to release this movie. The James Bond series has changed its leading man seven times now and never produced a spinoff movie, meaning the decision to release a Paloma movie before introducing the new Bond could effectively be seen as an attempt to replace 007. In contrast, a more fun, light-hearted Bond 26 that effectively introduced the new actor’s different take on the role would allow the series to expand into spinoffs without viewers leaving viewers to wonder whether Bond would be back after Paloma’s standalone adventure.

The question of why James Bond has never produced a movie spinoff before is a tricky one. The franchise’s tone and style has changed over the years as blockbuster cinema aesthetics evolved, but spinoffs that focused on Bond’s youth or the private life of Miss Moneypenny were always limited to novels. At least one reason for this is the fact that both those literary spinoffs didn’t have the same high-octane, action-packed stories as the James Bond movies, something that a Paloma movie spinoff would not struggle with. However, another reason that Bond has never before had a spinoff is that the tone of James Bond movies is tricky to replicate, with even the franchise itself occasionally getting too dark or too silly. As a result of this, it is understandable that the James Bond franchise has not yet pulled off a spinoff, although Ana De Armas’s popular No Time To Die character Paloma gives the series a perfect chance to do so (after Bond 26 is released, that is).

More: Why Michael Madsen’s Damian Falco Only Appears In One Bond Movie

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