Black James Bond

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Comments

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,222MI6 Agent
    That's what folks said when 'Sherlock' was announced though- 'You can't have him not in Victorian times, why not create a new character if you want to do it in modern day?' and yet when we saw Sherlock it was very much a Holmes adaptation. So I don't think that it would require a new character to be created.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,501Chief of Staff
    MV5-BMDEy-N2-U1-YTIt-NDY1-Zi00-Yjlj-LWI5-Yz-It-NWU3-YWVi-Yjhi-ZTgx-Xk-Ey-Xk-Fqc-Gde-QXVy-Njg4-Nz-Ay-OTA-V1.jpg

    ...my dear Watson.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,095MI6 Agent
    I actually like Elementary more than Sherlock. It doesn't have the same need to go "big concept".
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    I enjoyed Basil the great
    Mouse detective. ;)
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,189MI6 Agent
    I enjoyed Basil the great
    Mouse detective. ;)

    The documentary?
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 332MI6 Agent
    Seeing that this thread was about if a black actor could play our beloved Bond, I'd like to address that. I am newish to the forum so I didn't have a chance to hit some of these older threads.

    I think anyone could play the character, but not sure that it would be the right choice. I am pretty openminded so I am open to change. In Hollywood, of late, some white actors, both male and female, have stepped down from their jobs voicing characters that are of varying race. I get it. Since Bond was created as a white male character it would probably make sense to keep him that. In the same vein, I don't think the historical character Shaft should be changed to a white actor. Also, keep him, Bond, a male. I'd watch Bond regardless of the actor or the race of the actor though.

    To us, Bond is a Superhero, but not a perfect one. Maybe the anti-hero, but still a hero. Not all heroes are white, nor should they be. Not all heroes are male, nor should they be. The next Thor will be a female, for example. For my money, I'd be interested in a spin-off of sorts where we can follow Felix on his adventures. Keep Jeff Wright in there or someone else. Whomever buys the rights to Bond, should it be sold, could do a great job on a tv series for Leiter. Just at few thoughts.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,222MI6 Agent
    edited August 2020
    People keep bringing up Shaft (literally since the first few posts in this thread, 11 years ago), but it's really not the same thing at all. Black and white should be equal, but you'd have to have been living on the moon the last few months to not notice that they aren't. Shaft was a blaxploitation character: he was designed as a black private dick, in a film supposed to accentuate and lean on race and subculture. His race was pretty much the sole reason he existed, because black people are a minority and the film was made to exploit that.
    James Bond on the other hand, was never designed as a 'white' secret agent i.e. his race was never even considered to be an important part of his character, because white people were/are the majority so his race was simply part and parcel of a man having that job at the time. The stories were never a comment on white men living in Britain. James Bond and Shaft aren't comparable because one is a comment on race, and one isn't. The whole point of Shaft is that he's black, whereas Bond is a spy who just happens to have black hair and white skin- not the same thing at all. Black and white people aren't the same currently, so swapping a black man in for a character previously played by a white man is not the same culturally as doing the reverse. If you think it is then try considering why 'All/White Lives Matter' is a phrase with a much different meaning to 'Black Lives Matter'.

    In the fictional universe that Bond lives in, however, black and white people are the same and racism doesn't exist, in just the same way that foreign powers get along nicely and the Double-O section is only needed to fight terrorists who are trying to make themselves piles of cash- no political ideologies or religious fundamentalism to worry about. So in that world, having a James Bond who happens to be black would change nothing at all.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    There are many fine Black actors who could play Bond, for years to this question
    I'd always name Adrian Lester

    1009552low-reshustle.jpg

    Although Like Idris Elba he's probably too old now.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,095MI6 Agent
    Adrian Lester was born in 1968 :#
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    He's still a kid :p
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 332MI6 Agent
    First I will say, I completely agree with you. Second, I was attempting to do a compare and contrast between the two, but seemed to have failed in my attempt. I feel we can compare them, since both are fictional characters, without them having to be identically similar just as we can compare apples and oranges as they are both fruits. What we do tend to see more are the contrasts more than any similarities. Shaft is clearly blaxploitation, just as you have mentioned. You also mentioned in the world we are in black and white aren't seen the same. You are right, sadly. We should all be the same. Period. Because of that fact and, because the media has asked the question "Can a black man (or at one time a black woman) play James Bond", James Bond has now been pulled into the arena where it has become a comment on him being a white man, in my opinion. Whether it should be that way or not it does appear that it is becoming that way.

    All-in-all, I think a black man or any man for that matter could play Bond. I see Bond in the movies as being similar to Sherlock, Batman, Superman, etc. where anyone can play him and the stories don't exactly have to have continuity. They don't all have to be the exact same Bond from Dr. No to Now. Know what I mean? Honestly, I am excited to see any one play Bond so long as they are good and believable in that role. If Cate Blanchett can play Bob Dylan and if Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, Cathy Rigby and Allison Williams (all I can think of off hand) can all play Peter Pan then a man that isn't white can play Bond, in my opinion.

    Hope that clears it up more.
    emtiem wrote:
    People keep bringing up Shaft (literally since the first few posts in this thread, 11 years ago), but it's really not the same thing at all. Black and white should be equal, but you'd have to have been living on the moon the last few months to not notice that they aren't. Shaft was a blaxploitation character: he was designed as a black private dick, in a film supposed to accentuate and lean on race and subculture. His race was pretty much the sole reason he existed, because black people are a minority and the film was made to exploit that.
    James Bond on the other hand, was never designed as a 'white' secret agent i.e. his race was never even considered to be an important part of his character, because white people were/are the majority so his race was simply part and parcel of a man having that job at the time. The stories were never a comment on white men living in Britain. James Bond and Shaft aren't comparable because one is a comment on race, and one isn't. The whole point of Shaft is that he's black, whereas Bond is a spy who just happens to have black hair and white skin- not the same thing at all. Black and white people aren't the same currently, so swapping a black man in for a character previously played by a white man is not the same culturally as doing the reverse. If you think it is then try considering why 'All/White Lives Matter' is a phrase with a much different meaning to 'Black Lives Matter'.

    In the fictional universe that Bond lives in, however, black and white people are the same and racism doesn't exist, in just the same way that foreign powers get along nicely and the Double-O section is only needed to fight terrorists who are trying to make themselves piles of cash- no political ideologies or religious fundamentalism to worry about. So in that world, having a James Bond who happens to be black would change nothing at all.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,222MI6 Agent
    JTullock23 wrote:
    First I will say, I completely agree with you. Second, I was attempting to do a compare and contrast between the two, but seemed to have failed in my attempt. I feel we can compare them, since both are fictional characters, without them having to be identically similar just as we can compare apples and oranges as they are both fruits. What we do tend to see more are the contrasts more than any similarities. Shaft is clearly blaxploitation, just as you have mentioned. You also mentioned in the world we are in black and white aren't seen the same. You are right, sadly. We should all be the same. Period. Because of that fact and, because the media has asked the question "Can a black man (or at one time a black woman) play James Bond", James Bond has now been pulled into the arena where it has become a comment on him being a white man, in my opinion. Whether it should be that way or not it does appear that it is becoming that way.

    All-in-all, I think a black man or any man for that matter could play Bond. I see Bond in the movies as being similar to Sherlock, Batman, Superman, etc. where anyone can play him and the stories don't exactly have to have continuity. They don't all have to be the exact same Bond from Dr. No to Now. Know what I mean? Honestly, I am excited to see any one play Bond so long as they are good and believable in that role. If Cate Blanchett can play Bob Dylan and if Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, Cathy Rigby and Allison Williams (all I can think of off hand) can all play Peter Pan then a man that isn't white can play Bond, in my opinion.

    Hope that clears it up more.

    That's cool; I'm onboard with that :)
  • James SuzukiJames Suzuki New ZealandPosts: 2,387MI6 Agent
    Interesting thoughts and I am always impressed with the level and depth of discussion on these topics which could be perceived as controversial. IMHO, no matter whoever is playing him albeit an Australian, a Kiwi, someone who is Black or from whatever origin, Bond must stay British. They need to keep to that island off the mainland of Europe backstory. So having Bond be played by someone like Idris Elba, who is as British as fish and chips, is fine by me.

    But I'm my personal preference I'd like them to keep faithful to the books and hire white black haired actors for most of the time (except for the odd casting when you have someone as special as Sir Roger Moore, or Daniel or idris even though he's too old now). I always worry about the purpose behind any sudden change in the expected casting to be a form of tokenism. I think my biggest problem with the 13th doctor casting wasn't the fact that the cast a woman, or that they cast Jodie Whittaker even, but that it felt like a stunt for the sake of it, without any real purpose or without anything fun or inventive besides that.
    Anyway my two cents. -{
    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
    -Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,020MI6 Agent
    Black James Bond? Please no!

    Those who know my own back ground will realise I am, not being racist!

    No - just no!

    Although he has to move with the times, he has to be faithful as possible to Ian Fleming character with his background and heritage.

    To me this idea is just as ridiculous as having a white man to play Nelson Mandela!
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,020MI6 Agent
    I would like to see a black 006 or 008 in the next film though!
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,095MI6 Agent
    Nice to haveyou back, Joshua :)
    I'm sceptical to a black Bond too.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,306MI6 Agent
    edited November 2020
    Here's my thinking about the way forward for Bond in the context of this question.

    No doubt the phenomenal popularity of 'Black Panther' (2018) has given producers of action genre movies plenty to think about, including Eon, yet the platform of BP's success was the particular construction of the MCU (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and its roots in Marvel Comics. Since T'Challa's comic book origins in 1966, his black identity has been inflected with different cultural meanings, reflecting changing times, but (i) his place as a hero of colour in the MCU needed no racial re-boot - he was always black - and (ii) BP, as a movie with a largely black cast of characters, was able to fit in a whole franchise of films without those films' other established characters intruding on its own dynamic and space. In other words, BP presented as 'being' a statement without needing to 'make' a statement. Then 'Infinity War' (2018) assimilated Wakanda in the larger dynamic of the MCU, according it central significance in a multicultural universe.

    Bond's legacy and fictional platform are different. So what are the options there? a) A swan song Bond could be a retired agent, his OO prefix assigned to another agent - who may be a woman of colour. Back in 1989, 'Doctor Who' was already in that territory. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), a stalwart of the show in the 70s, comes out of retirement from UNIT to make an heroic last stand in the serial 'Battlefield', finding himself working alongside his replacement, Brigadier Winifred Bambera (Angela Bruce), as well as the Doctor, in defeating The Destroyer. b) A new Bond for the next cycle of Bond movies could be a liberally minded white male character in his 30s or 40s, operating in a contemporary world shaped by Black Lives Matter. Or c) a new Bond for the next cycle of films could be played by a black actor.

    Casting Bond with a black actor would present as making a statement in a way that, in the MCU, BP never needed to: just because of the legacy of who Bond has always been; and the legacy of Bond's international milieu, which historically has been configured largely from white perspectives. Which isn't to say that bullet couldn't be brilliantly shot. If a black male actor... Bond for sure. If a black woman... why not simply give Naomie Harris a new franchise as Eve, or Lashana Lynch a new franchise as Nomi? Bond could be rested altogether... (The obvious answer to that question is that, if Eon's way forward was indeed a female actor of colour as the lead, she'd probably inherit the 'Bond' moniker: 'Bond' is the trademark which sells the franchise.)

    I think a black male Bond is more likely, post-Craig. But it would also be great if, let's say, we got a new white male Bond cycle alongside a sister franchise in the same universe, with a Nomi/Eve in her own series of films (as at one point was mooted for Jinx. Or if two stables of movie are one too many from a commercial point of view: team up, on a genuinely equal footing, a male Bond with a female OO in the same series of movies...? Wouldn't work; Bond doesn't 'do' equal footing with allies, not in real terms; he's not 'buddy movie' material... So yes, on balance, I think the way forward is more likely to be a single black male Bond...).
    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,222MI6 Agent
    Yeah I think Nomi is shaping up to be a pretty supercool character who I would potentially be interested in seeing more from, but I don't really see the point in giving her her own series because she appears to be a British superspy who works for M, gets gadgets from Q, drives an Aston Martin and wears an expensive diving watch, and there's not much point in making that film when you have James Bond films being made (and they'll make more money, not because of race or gender but simply because he's a more established character).
    Unless she ends NTTD in a totally different place: if she leaves MI6 or something or has some other unique position in the world then perhaps that could become more interesting.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,306MI6 Agent
    edited November 2020
    As a note further to my post and your reply, there's something else I'd welcome: a series of faithful period adaptations of the Fleming thrillers, as somebody has already suggested, but as a lower budget sideline. At least for those novels, such as 'Moonraker' and 'Diamonds Are Forever', which were never properly adapted in the first place. Maybe as VOD TV films - so as not to step on the toes of an ongoing progressive Bond franchise in the cinema (in a world where the cinema even survives). To quote a publicity line for CR67, everything Bondian that would be cool is "too much for one James Bond"!
    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,222MI6 Agent
    Could you do them on a lower budget? I don't know.
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