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James Bond was originally meant to be a woman, expert claims

James Bond was originally supposed to be a woman, a 007 expert has claimed.

Steven Jay Rubin, the author of ‘The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia’ has suggested that Ian Fleming’s spy was earmarked for the Oscar-winning actress Susan Hayward in the 1950s before the late Sir Sean Connery took the part.

Steven said: “Writer Lorenzo Semple and producer Gregory Ratoff were in the process centring on Bond as a woman.

“Considering it was the mid-1950s it was very controversial but Susan Hayward was a real commodity.”

The Bond historian added: “Bond would be a natural move for her. But for whatever reason it just didn’t happen.

“There are a million reasons why a studio may consider something and then change their mind.”

Daniel Craig is set to portray the legendary spy for the final time in the new film ‘No Time To Die’ but recently shot down suggestions that a woman should take over from his as 007, as he believes “better parts” should be created for actresses instead.

When asked if he would support a more “diverse” appointment as his replacement, he replied: “The answer to that is very simple.

“There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour.

“Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”

The 53-year-old star also confessed that he struggled to cope with the fame that came with being Bond when he first landed the iconic role.

Daniel said: “My personal life was affected by being that famous all of a sudden.

“I used to lock myself in and close the curtains, I was in cloud cuckoo land.

“I was phyally and mentally under siege.

“I didn’t like the newfound level of fame. It was Hugh Jackman who helped me to come to terms with it and appreciate it.”

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