Movies

Of Course Idris Elba Can Play James Bond

Culture-war scuffle of the day

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Bell. Stringer Bell.
HBO

There's a notion floating around that Idris Elba should play James Bond. Elba is black, so the idea rapidly devolved into a culture-war scuffle about whether it would be OK to have a Bond who isn't white. No one has actually hired Elba for the part, so this is the purest, fiercest sort of culture-war battle: the completely hypothetical argument with absolutely nothing at stake.

My position:

1. I stopped caring about the James Bond movies when Roger Moore left the franchise, so I'm not all that interested in who gets the job.

2. But: Sure. Idris Elba is a good actor, so why not? If he played Bond, I might actually pay to watch it.

3. In a franchise that cared about continuity, suddenly changing your lead character's race could be a problem. But at this point the Bond of the Ian Fleming novels would be about 95 years old, so it's safe to say we're dealing with one of those figures, like Sherlock Holmes or Dracula, who is regularly reimagined in different hands. (Note: Thanks to Morgan Freeman and The Electric Company, when I was a kid I thought of both Holmes and Dracula as black.)

Would it be difficult to reconcile a black Bond with some of 007's old character traits? Well, I have a hard time imagining Elba as the James Bond of this passage from Fleming's Diamonds Are Forever

"Be right with you," said the Negro casually, his big feet slapping against the wet floor as he sauntered off about his business. Bond watched the huge rubbery man, and his skin cringed at the thought of putting his body into the dangling pudgy hands with their lined pink palms.

Bond had a natural affection for coloured people, but he reflected how lucky England was compared with America where you had to live with the colour problem from your schooldays up. He smiled as he remembered something Felix Leiter had said to him on their last assignment together in America. Bond had referred to Mr Big, the famous Harlem criminal, as "that damned nigger." Leiter had picked him up. "Careful now, James," he had said. "People are so damn sensitive about colour around here that you can't even ask a barman for a jigger of rum. You have to ask for a jegro."

The memory of Leiter's wisecrack cheered Bond up.

U.N. Jefferson, CIA
Warner Bros.

…but I think most of us can agree that the series is better off without that kind of crap. Felix Leiter, by the way, has now been played by at least two black actors, Jeffrey Wright and the great Bernie Casey. If Leiter can change races, his partner in racial snickering can too.

Next debate: I think Harry Dean Stanton would make a fine Doctor Who. Who's with me?

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  1. Jesse’s favorite Doctor is obviously William Hartnell.

    1. Who? πŸ˜‰

      1. What what’s that, my boy? Speak up, hmmm.

  2. I kind of wish they would have made that old fan theory about ‘James Bond’ being a code name for numerous different agents (to explain the actor changes and historical period shifts) true. But Sky Fall seemed to double down on Bond being a singular character.

    1. Bah, Craig was never Bond.

      1. I think he’s done very well with the role (except for “Quantum of Solace”).

        The thing people miss about the Bond films is that the actor who plays Bond matters a lot less than the director and screenwriter. Timothy Dalton wasn’t a bad James Bond because he didn’t fit the role…he was a bad James Bond because the cinematography looked like it was for a made-for-TV movie, the script sucked, and John Glen was a mediocre director. Skyfall wasn’t great because of Daniel Craig (because Quantum of Solace sucked and Casino Royale was good but not great)…it was great because Sam Mendes took over direction from Marc Forster (who’s only good at putting together quirky films) and he and his writers crafted a compelling story to go with the action.

    2. I always thought that James Bond was a code name, he is a secret agent after all. I think Tony Leung would make a great Bond. He’s handsome as hell and can handle the action scenes like a boss!

  3. The only concession I’d want from the filmmakers would be for them to acknowledge that ‘James Bond’ is just the code name for whoever gets dubbed ‘007’. At which point, any actor can fill the role. It makes perfect sense and requires the fewest retcons. (A grand total of one scene where moore visits Mrs. Bond’s grave would be rendered non-canon)

    1. *and we’d just erase Dan Craig from continuity. That would improve it significantly too.

      1. Wait, you’ve seen the *Moore* movies and you want *Craig* gone?

  4. Where’s Wallace? WHERE THE FUCK IS WALLACE?

    1. Who?

      Speak sense, mein herr.

      1. He’s quoting “The Wire”. That’s what D’Angelo Barksdale kept screaming at Stringer Bell (Idris Elba’s character) when he knew that Bell had Wallace (one of the dealers who worked with D’Angelo) killed.

        Great scene. Larry Gilliard has never gotten the recognition he deserved for playing D’Angelo…although that’s true of a lot of actors on “The Wire”. Although that seems to be changing for Elba.

        1. Well, Omar (Michael Williams) got the role of Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire. But you’re right: There was a lot of great acting in The Wire, and very little recognition afterwards.

  5. What “they” need to do, regardless of who plays Bond, is improve the writing.

    Daniel Craig was really good as Bond in Casino Royale. The last two installments have sucked, though.

    1. Exactly that. It is not a difficult part to play. Numerous people have done it reasonably well. It is however a difficult part to write, as evidenced by the low quality of so many Bond movies.

    2. Don’t talk shit about Skyfall. Javier Bardem was great.

      1. Bardem gives me the No Country for Old Men creeps. Bolt gun *shudder*.

        1. “Call it.”

      2. Javier Bardem is great in everything.

        Best villain in Bond, in my opinion.

    3. Daniel Craig’s got nothing to apologize for.

      http://dangerouslee.files.word……jpg?w=560

  6. How the fuck does Easy Reader make you think of Holmes or Dracula?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u8MY7PjSXU

  7. Sean Connery is the only Bond. Unless you’re going with the fan theory mentioned above which is the only thing that makes sense at this point.

    1. Don’t be dissin’ Woody Allen.

  8. First, Craig is a great Bond. Second, Roger Moore??? Are you kidding me? Puke. Sean Connery was the only real Bond. Craig is still great though.

    1. ^This. Thank you, DWC.

    2. What no love for Timothy “Depressing Bond” Dalton?

      1. No.

        Best Bonds: Connery, this space left blank since nobody else even comes close, Craig, Brosnan, another big gap, eveyone else.

        1. Gonna have to agree with Tonio on this one.

        2. Dalton was best in Flash Gordon.

          Of course, everyone was best in Flash Gordon

        3. Roger Moore in “the man with the golden gun” is my favorite. Although I did watch moonraker recently and forgot how terrible it was. I loved it as a kid. Pew pew, space fight!

          1. Moore could have been really good – but by that point the scripts had degenerated into flash and gadgets.

            They made a small move back towards grit and realism with Dalton’s movies and then its back to the cheese with Brosnan.

        4. Agreed. I’d only rate Dalton above George Lazenby and David Niven.

          It’s unfortunate, because Dalton’s a good actor…he just got stuck with a bad director and terrible script.

      2. Ironic that Daniel Craig is praised for doing the same things Timothy Dalton was criticized for as James Bond.

        A man ahead of his time, I guess.

        1. Daniel Craig wasn’t saddled with John Glen as director, like Dalton and Moore were.

      3. I liked Dalton, though Connery is by far the best.

    3. Obligatory Roger Moore was Fleming’s original choice…

      Also, the smarminess is what MAKES him Bond. You have to revel in it!

      1. Moore is a funny man, not a great Bond, but quite funny.

        My acting range has always been something between the two extremes of ‘raises left eyebrow’ and ‘raises right eyebrow.’

        1. Why I like Moore:

          1. He was Bond when I was 12.

          2. He’s funny, and I tend to like the James Bond movies best when they make me laugh. (*)

          (* When they make me laugh on purpose, I mean.)

          1. You’re just jealous of Connery’s duck hat.

          2. It’s true. The best actors for the role are always the ones we encountered when our disbelief was most suspended.

    4. Sean Connery was the only real Bond.

      This is so true, that if you argue it…

      …YOU ARE HITLER!

      1. You know who else was Hitler?

        1. Anthony Hopkins?

        2. The correct answer is Willy Hitler.

        3. Dick Shawn was the only real Hitler.

          1. Dick Shawn…best possible death for an actor. πŸ™‚

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Shawn

          2. Incidentally, I don’t suppose this is *the* Voros McCracken, the sabermetrician?

            1. Its the internet.

              He’s probably a dog.

              1. Haha…true. πŸ™‚

        4. Donte Whitner tried to become Hitler, err I mean Hitner…

    5. I thought Moore was a good Bond.

      1. I liked him in the first few films, but the series got too campy during his tenure. Still, Live and Let Die is one of my favorites.

  9. Jason Statham as John Shaft

    1. Shut yo’ mouth!

      1. Well, he is one bad mother-fu…

        1. I can dig it.

          1. Ya damn right!

    2. David Alan Grier as his sidekick, who intones, “Now, John was high yella, so he could pass….”

      1. That made me spit…

        Thank you.

  10. If they were making a film adaptation of one of Flemings novels, and doing it as a period piece, “no” for obvious reasons. Otherwise, “yes.”

    1. I’ve long thought they should do exactly that–film his books as period films (or do it on a series basis, like Game of Thrones). Of course, Bond and Fleming’s attitudes on sex, race, etc. would get some people’s ire up, regardless of the mores of the times.

      1. They’re doing that with e ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ movie.

  11. Next debate: I think Harry Dean Stanton would make a great Doctor Who. Who’s with me?

    When Matt Smith transformed into Peter Capldi, Matt’s character said “He sounds old. Please tell me I didn’t get old. Anything but old. I was young. Is he grey?”

    Could the Doctor make a similar comment about being black?

    1. It’s a British show, so I think you’d have to go with Pakistani or Indian for it to line up.

      1. “Please tell me I didn’t turn into a Paki. I hate curry.”

      2. There was talk for awhile around various geek sites about how the next doctor should apparently be a woman. Fucking bunch of knitted scarves.

        1. Which is just stupid. Time Lords always keep the same sex.
          Maybe they could retrieve Romana from E-space if they want a powerful female lead.

          1. Which is just stupid. Time Lords always keep the same sex.

            You mean like The Master coming back as The Mistress (Spoiler!)? I see you haven’t seen the latest season.

            1. God don’t get me started on the latest season. Who’s just getting more and more stupid.

            2. Really? Weird.

              I don’t accept the new format as canon anyway (not that the original was particularly consistent).

              1. I don’t accept the new format as canon anyway (not that the original was particularly consistent).

                I got into the latest run during the Matt Smith days, and have watched them all since.

                The first actor to play the Doctor in the new series looks just like the singer from Men At Work.

                http://cheezburger.com/7762859008

            3. I heard that Tom Baker offered to play the Master in the new series.

    2. Could the Doctor make a similar comment about being black?

      Obviously not. But being old has objective drawbacks that being black does not.

  12. If he were still alive, Bernie Mac should have been the first black James Bond. Make Bond an every man.

    1. They should re-cut Bad Santa as a 007 film.

  13. The Daniel Craig movies would’ve been better without the Bond franchise attached. If he was just some randomly named MI-X agent and they didn’t have to shoe-horn in all the Q and M garbage, they would’ve been fine.

    Trying to combine nostalgia into a modern take is just hamstringing yourself.

    That being said, I think that chick from Precious would make a better Dr. Who.

    1. I think you are right about that. Craig is one of the few actors who can play an action hero these days.

      1. I liked him in that movie where he was some kind of Jewish partisan fighting the Nazis.

    2. I sort of agree. I think Ben Whishaw played Q perfectly. The Q character got saddled with the campy image because of Desmond Llewyellen being in that role forever…followed by regrettable performances from John Cleese as his protege. I thought Whishaw did a great job of making the part his own, and gave Q something to do besides introduce new equipment. They actually gave him a full personality and made him a character rather than a caricature.

      I disagree about M as well. Judi Dench did a great job with that role in every film she was in…both in the Brosnan and Craig films.

  14. Awesome alt-text

  15. Piers Brosnon was the best Bond!

    *ducks and runs*

    1. Pierce Brosnan was, by far, the second best Bond. Not even close.

      1. Yeah right. Next you’re going to say Remington Steele wasn’t the best show of the 80s.

        1. You say that like Magnum didn’t exist. He did, and he’s asking you whether you saw the sunrise this morning.

            1. That was an amazing moment. Good guys didn’t do stuff like that.

              1. My best friend and I still talk about that scene.

                1. It’s come up with my brother in recent years. Fucking bad-ass.

  16. I like Idris Elba’s work a lot. But isn’t he a little old to start playing Bond? Shouldn’t it be a 30ish not 40ish actor?

    1. This was my only reason for being hesitant. If Spectre is Craig’s last film, Elba wouldn’t start filming his first Bond film until his mid-40s at the earliest. I’m not saying Bond can’t soldier on into his 60s a la Sean Connery, but it seems like Elba would have a much shorter window to play the character.

    2. Brosnan and Moore were both older than him when they played Bond.

      Personally, I don’t know that Elba is a good cast, although I love him as an actor. His portrayal of Stringer Bell on “The Wire” was amazing (a drug kingpin who reads Adam Smith, takes business classes, and discusses market saturation and Robert’s Rules of Order!!!). But I think when you take an iconic character like Bond too far from his roots, the audience really has trouble buying in. It’s seen as a move simply to generate buzz rather than something done on merit.

      That said, it didn’t seem to cause any problems when they did it with Nick Fury in the Marvel films, and if they do go with a black actor for Bond, I think Elba is a great choice for the part and has the best chance of pulling it off.

      1. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Nick Fury was drawn into the Ultimate Marvel universe specifically to look like Samuel L. Jackson. And the new Marvel movies and Avengers series much more closely resembles the Ultimate universe than the original. So it’s actually not a huge leap to have Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury, since that’s precisely who the character is modeled after in the comics that the movies are based on. (God, I hope that doesn’t sound like circular logic.)

        1. Nick Fury was a white guy with brown hair with graying temples for the 40 years before Samuel L. Jackson got his role. If comic book fans can come to accept Jackson as Fury, I suspect that Bond fans can eventually accept a black James Bond if they get a good actor playing the part. πŸ™‚

  17. Fuck it, let’s have Leo Dicaprio play Django.

  18. my buddy’s mother-in-law makes $61 an hour on the internet . She has been out of work for five months but last month her pay check was $19835 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here………
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  19. Wasn’t Idris Elba already a Norse God on film? I mean isn’t that more of a stretch than a British spy?

    1. I was about to say exactly that. A black guy as a god in Norse mythology was enough of a capitulation to PC bullshit.

      1. Is that actually true? Because that is…insane.

        1. Behold the mighty Thor! I suppose next time there’s a mythology movie about African deities there won’t be any backlash when Edward Norton or some other white devil is cast as the holy overlord of black people.

      2. To be fair, this at least takes place in Marvel’s stupid world, where the Nazis had laser weapons and someone pulls a Jesus weekly.

        1. Hell, I’m not going to even touch the racial politics in Captain America as compared to the actual historical ones.

          1. Of course you know that Captain America is now black? They replaced Steve Rogers with Sam Wilson, the guy who was the Falcon. People lost their shit about it for awhile, since a) the Falcon was a pretty good character in his own right, and b) they saw it as Marvel simply trying to generate buzz.

            I personally hated the move, but I do find it kind of cool that the guy they chose to be the new Captain America has the same name as the guy our government used as the model for Uncle Sam on the recruiting posters. πŸ™‚

      3. I thought he was an extremely good choice for Heimdall. Powerful build, deep voice, solemn expression. I don’t know who would’ve been better.

      4. Is it about being PC? I doubt it. It’s more like “fuck it, what’ll create more hype and sell more tickets.”

    2. In fairness to Marvel, Asgardians are more akin to highly advanced aliens that just happen to resemble Norse gods than actual gods.

  20. I heard they were going to make him gay and that MATT DAMON was going to be the first “Bond Boy.”

  21. Hah! Watching “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” as we speak. (type?)

    I always ragged on Lazenby before, but he’s actually an excellent Bond. The issue is with THIS movie, and the wussy ending. James Bond doesn’t cry! So – sorry, Lazenby, for being a hater all these years. And Moore’s better than I remembered, and The Great Connery is actually…not always that good (see “You Only Live Twice” if you can stand it).

    And I like Daniel Craig, so F U!

    The End

    PS OK with anyone playing Bond as long as they got the chops. How about holographic Bruce Lee as Bond? He could pull it off…

    1. I agree that Lazenby is underrated, but some of the early Connery is good, such as From Russia With Love.

      You Only Live Twice was where the series descended into camp. I blame Roald Dahl.

  22. More importantly, I defy Samuel L. Jackson to recite the entire filmography of Bill Paxton, Patrick Swayzee, and Gary Busee, and if we get one Bill Pullman, Kurt Russel, or Nick Nolte he has to turn over his official ‘Angry Black Man’ title. Or at least give it to some other angry black guy.

  23. Next debate: I think Harry Dean Stanton would make a fine Doctor Who. Who’s with me?

    Rowan Atkinson

    1. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm… no

    2. Rowan Atkinson

      You probably already know this, but it’s been done.

      1. Yes I know. He was so good in it, I want to see him as the “real” Doctor.

    3. They should rip off Dr. Who and make an American version. Starring a good American, like, I dunno Hugh Laurie.

  24. What is the controversy. Will Smith in Wild Wild West proved how well this works.

  25. Brosnan was the best Bond.

    1. I think he is the most Bond-like but I don’t know if he was the best Bond. The worst is obviously Timothy Dalton.

      1. Wrong. The worst was David Niven…then George Lazenby.

  26. How about a one-time Bond with Avery Brooks? He still looks young enough to pull it off. He can bring back some of his Hawk from “Spenser for Hire” attitude. I think he’d be good.

    1. I fucking love Hawk. When DS9 was still airing and Brooks went to bald with a goatee, I knew the show would be okay. Hawk makes everything a little better.

      1. He didn’t make his spinoff show “Hawk” better.

        And it pains me to write that, because I loved “Spenser For Hire”.

        1. You have no appreciation for the spirituality of violence.

          1. Motherfucker, I’ve watched “Dredd” 20 times and spent the last week binge-playing Grand Theft Auto…don’t even try to denigrate my love of the spirituality of violence. πŸ™‚

            1. Hawk is the Buddha of violence.

              1. Dredd’s Lawgiver would kill him not only in this life but the next as well. πŸ™‚

                1. Are you kidding? Hawk is too bad for that shit.

    1. ^Hi-larious. Great bit.

  27. I think James Bond is a specific character written by Ian Fleming. He’s Scottish. Yes, movies often change or butcher source material, but that doesn’t mean I have to approve. You want a black secret agent character? Create one.

    1. But by this logic, Moore and Brosnan, being from London and Ireland respectively, already ‘butcher’ the source material by not being Scottish. And I wouldn’t call either of them poor Bonds.

      1. Yes, they do. And they were indeed poor Bonds.

        1. That’s, like, your opinion man.

      2. And none of them were actually named James Bond, which really killed the realism for me.

        1. Obviously it’s a matter of degree. Film adaptations always change some things, but the more you change, the more you screw with the writer’s intentions. You could rewrite Bond to be an immortal female space alien, but it’s going to lose something.

    2. Actually, Fleming re-wrote Bond to be Scottish, after being impressed with Connery’s performance. Before then, his nationality was assumed to be English.

    3. Have any of the Bonds besides Connery been Scottish? If Elba was raised in Scotland instead of England would he be acceptable or does his African ancestry disqualify him? Bond has obviously been changed in the movies from his original conception by Fleming, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing – it’s completely natural and necessary. While I think his British nationality is obviously still a crucial part of his identity, I don’t think his race is of any importance at this point. If Daniel Craig had black skin, would the last few movies differ at all?

  28. I stopped caring about the James Bond movies when Roger Moore left the franchise, so I’m not all that interested in who gets the job.

    Then why the hell should we care about your opinion?

    The relevant opinions in this matter are the people who are willing to pay money or otherwise sacrifice in order to continue the franchise, not SJW assholes with too much time on their hands. Maybe Idris would be a fantastic choice for Bond. OTOH, maybe it would be like casting Chris Tucker for the role of Gandalf — and the only ones who can ultimately decide on this matter are the original creator of the work in question and the community which has formed around the work. It sure as hell is not racist to reject Idris for whatever reason concerning this point.

  29. Where’s the black Sherlock Holmes?

    1. *pitches a sitcom about a black Sherlock named “Yo, Holmes!” *

  30. “Martini, shaken not stirred.” “Purple drank, with codeine not hydrocodone.”

  31. Til I looked at the bank draft that said $9222 , I didn’t believe that my father in law woz like they say actualey bringing home money part-time on their laptop. . there best friend has been doing this 4 only about 1 year and just now repayed the morgage on there villa and bourt a brand new audi .
    Check This Out ………….. http://www.jobsfish.com

  32. Speaking of Dr. Who, the current Dr. Who side kick, Jenna Coleman is a babe. She just drips cute.

    1. I agree. She radiates confidence, and cleaned up real nice for that clapper dress, but Karen Gillan is still my favorite. What can I say? I’ve got a thing for gingers.

      1. She is very cute, but that picture is weird.

      2. There’s also no question that Karen Gillan is a much better actress than Coleman. Gillian was able to seamlessly go from showing arrogant self-confidence to sheer terror, to helplessness, to bold bravery, to sadness, without ever sounding cheesy, cheeky or too cocky. Unlike Coleman, who seems to make an effort to get as many one-liners as possible on a single breath, at least during her stint with Matt Smith.

        Curiously, I could understand almost every word said by the lovely Scott with the ginger hair but Coleman sounds like she wants to play John Moschitta, Jr.

  33. Am I the only one who keeps reading “Ebola” can play James Bond?

  34. Are the Bond movies still a British production? There seems to be a lot of race-blind casting there. Which is a little weird sometimes (my wife was into a show about Merlin which had Guinevere played by a black actress). But I think it’s fine, especially when it is just casting someone because they are a good actor and not for PC silliness.

    1. Merlin was a good show. Is it still on even?

      1. No, it ended. I thought it was pretty good. More of a kid’s show, but once you accept that it has only tenuous connection to actual Arthurian legend and no consideration for historical accuracy it’s pretty entertaining and well done.

        1. I watched a few seasons with the wife. We both liked it.

  35. There’s a notion floating around that Idris Elba should play James Bond.

    We already had this discussion when Hollywood decided to integrate Robin Hood’s Merry Men in “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.”

    Next thing you’ll know, they will want a black actor playing Leif Erikson.

    1. At least with Robin Hood it is realistic to imagine that some black people might be around, having come back from the holy land with crusaders or something.

    2. Next thing you’ll know, they will want a black actor playing Leif Erikson.

      Or Peter Dinklage. Little people are under represented in leading roles.

      1. I think Peter Dinklage would make an awesome protagonist in a revenge-action flick.

        1. He was a martial arts expert in Elf.

  36. I think you’ve got a better shot of seeing an albino Australian aborigine woman playing James Bond than you do of seeing an American playing Dr Who. And Stanton would’ve been a great Dr Who 20 years ago, but he’s too old now, unless they did something similar to John Hurt’s role in the anniversary movie.

    As to Elba playing Bond, of course he could do it, and do it well. James Bond is so different now from his character in the Fleming books as to be unrecognizable if you didn’t have the name to go by. Changing the race of Bond from what it is in the books is, therefore, not much of a leap from what the movie franchise has already done to Fleming’s creation.

  37. Why do people think Elba is a good actor? Just can he can sort of do a passable American accent?

    1. “Do you want to die HEAR, or in a YEAH-GAR?” – Pacific Rim

      I don’t know. He’s an OK actor.

    2. I haven’t seen him in much besides the Wire. But I thought he was good.

      Why do you think he’s not a good actor?

      1. Because he has never overcome Stringer Bell. Meaning every acting job he takes he basically does the same shtick.

        Compare him to Eamonn Walker, another British-accented black actor who is able to take other acting jobs and not make you think of Kareem Said, an even more iconic role than Stringer.

        1. Women think Idris Elba is mad hot.

          When the hell did you think “Bond” was an ‘acting challenge’?

          1. Idris Elba could play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and I would go see it.

        2. “Oz” did not get nearly the buzz that “The Wire” did, so there’s no way Said could be considered more iconic. “The Wire” is still talked about as the cutting edge of political commentary on a TV show while “Oz” (which I liked) is largely forgotten.

          And I disagree about Elba. His character in “Luther” is different from Stringer. His biggest issue is that he, like so many other excellent actors on “The Wire” didn’t see that translate into follow-on work in challenging roles. That’s why Wood Harris is still playing small roles as drug dealers, and why Larry Gilliard basically disappeared until he popped up on “Walking Dead”, and why most people have no idea who Clarke Peters is.

          While I get tired of hearing constant accusations of racism, to me the fact that some of the best actors on “The Wire” never saw much of a career bump after that show tells me that Hollywood really does have a problem with creating roles for black actors that don’t fall within the traditional categories of criminal, slave, or sidekick (although it’s gotten better).

  38. “Hello, Q, what do you have for me today?”

    “Glad you asked, James. You see, you’ve become too recognizable lately, which is not good for a secret agent. So I’ve come up with an excellent disguise for you. Please disrobe and step into my Colorizing Machine…”

  39. “1. I stopped caring about the James Bond movies when Roger Moore left the franchise”

    Whoa whoa whoa

    Don’t you mean, “when That Shit Timothy Dalton showed up”?

    I liked ‘Karate-Chop’ bond ok as an amusing alternative to the ‘Punch to the Jaw’-ideal, but one does not just praise Moore so much as bemoan the insufficiency of his subsequent replacements.

  40. You code-name theory supporters disgust me. I mean did Andrea Anders fake her death? Thank you Ben Hecht for creating this nonsense.

    the great Bernie Casey

    Eh Never Say Never Again was pretty poor.

    so I’m not all that interested in who gets the job
    So why are you talking about it?

    I stopped caring about the James Bond movies when Roger Moore left the franchise

    Not hipster enough. Barry Nelson was the best.

  41. Idris Elba? Isn’t it Will Smith’s job to fuck up iconic roles with the inappropriate race changes? Elba should play it safe and stick with Heimdal.

    I am so sick of this. Heimdal black, Johnny Storm black, Nick Fury, Robert Neville, Jim West. Why?

    It’s like someone said, ‘instead of doing the hard work of creating enjoyable, interesting and engaging black characters, let’s just black-up some we’ve already got’. It is patronizing and wasteful.

    1. “instead of doing the hard work of creating enjoyable, interesting and engaging black characters, let’s just black-up some we’ve already got’. It is patronizing and wasteful.”

      Good point. Soft Bigotry! I DEMAND BLACK SPIES = not white spies in blackface

      some lefty lit-critic would point out that most of these ‘spy’ franchises are originally born from novels, and that there simply isn’t any comparable black character in literature that provides the same kind of mythos.

      I would counter = John Shaft, baby.

      Not that old characters like that should be perpetuated, but rather that there’s no reason you can’t re-invent a modern version of the same “Black Badass”, only in the ‘international espionage’ context.

    2. To me there’s a difference between casting a black actor in a traditionally white role for the sake of making the character black, and casting an actor who happens to be black into that role. Idris Elba is one of the best British actors out there who could pull off Bond, I don’t think he should be excluded from consideration due to his race. It’s not like the character these days is that close to the source material and the plots are obviously not from Fleming.

      1. In ‘I am Legend’, the whole point of the story is Neville coming to the understanding that he is the monster, that his very presence can instill revulsion and fear. If black people are to be believed, this feeling is something they understand, via racism, and would thus come as no shock and completely undermine the entire point of the movie.

        And, in fact, this is exactly what happened, the entire premise of the film changed. It went from being the progenitor of the entire zombie/last man on earth genre to a rote expression of the formula.

        Willd Wild West had the same problem. Jim West traveled the country, fighting bad guys in interesting ways. Black Jim West fought racism. Loveless became a racist. All the bad guys–racists. Every interesting thing about the show had to be forced through the ‘what would a black guy do’ lens.

        Different people have different experiences in life. Those experiences color who they are and how they react. There are aspects of the character of James Bond that are intrinsically tied up with his being a white person of scottish extraction–and, undoubtedly, some could be altered for Elba–but, in doing so, you move from Bond to someone similar to Bond, in some ways, but someone who isn’t Bond.

  42. Don’t forget Connery’s comment that Bernie Casey was cast to make Leiter “interesting” as if being black is an interesting character trait in and of itself.

  43. Obviously, 007 is a Time Lord who regenerates every now and then!

    πŸ˜‰

  44. When he’s as good as Daniel Craig, I’ll have no problem with it. But he’s currently not.

  45. Ian Fleming apparently wrote in one of his first books that Bond was a white, Scottish guy. Idris Elba, or any black guy, as James Bond makes as much sense as having a black guy play Travis or Crockett at the Alamo.

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