New poll (2020): Who do you want as the next James Bond?

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Comments

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent

    I guess I lean towards British, but I suppose we have had two non-Brits play him so far, and any issues they had didn't stem from their nationality I'd say (that's ignoring the ones who became American!). And of the six we've only had three Englishmen.. maybe it doesn't matter too much.

    If, let's say, Hugh Jackman had been up for it in the early 2000s I'd have had no issue with him doing it at all.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,760MI6 Agent

    Per Fleming, Bond is not even an Englishman. Hence why I’d like to see him played by a Scot again this time around!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent
    edited May 2023

    Yeah I'm never entirely sure on how Fleming or Bond himself saw Bond's nationality. I think Bond refers to himself as a Scot doesn't he? But then Joe Biden says he's Irish despite clearly being American; I take it in much the same vein. Generally he seems to be English but with a Scots/Swiss heritage mentioned towards the end of the book series.

    Maybe it's time we got our first Swiss actor playing him! 😁

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,584Chief of Staff

    Bond refers to himself as Scottish in TMWTGG, twice in the same sentence. In YOLT there's an indirect reference. OHMSS of course states things most openly. As emtiem says, this comes towards the end of the book series ie after the movies had started and Sean Connery was playing Bond on-screen.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent
    edited May 2023

    Yeah, he calls himself a Scottish peasant, but does he really think of himself as a peasant too? Because that's not exactly his lifestyle! 😄

    I think he is talking more of his roots and origins in a slightly more metaphorical way, as in the Biden example I give above. He may say in his heart that he's a Scottish peasant, but I wonder if in a more formal/literal situation (job interview or the like) he'd describe himself as 'an English civil servant' or not. I'm not really sure either way. I guess because it's only mentioned in the last couple of books it feels like it's not a strong aspect of his identity i.e. certainly no accent gets mentioned.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,760MI6 Agent

    No question that Fleming did it as a nod to Connery. And I tend to agree that it’s not a fundamental part of Bond’s identity. But it’s certainly canon. And in that sense, a Swiss actor might be more appropriate than an Englishman. :)

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,864MI6 Agent

    I agree that the half Scottish Bond is canon, but not a defining characteristic. But English is Bond's native language and not German or any of the other languages spoken in Switzerland, so a Swiss actor isn't the way to go.

  • HalfMonk HalfHitmanHalfMonk HalfHitman USAPosts: 2,340MI6 Agent

    Actors can play different nationalities of course (and some, like Gillian Anderson, even claim more than one), but as a matter of tradition and cultural institution, I think the whole thing carries more weight when actor playing Bond is British. Serving the crown, even if it's conflicted/inverted/going rogue, feels a little hollow if it's not a British... I was going to say "subject" but a quick Google search tells me that's something that's shifted somewhat over the years.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,864MI6 Agent

    I remember the Croatians actor who was up for the role of Bond in 2006 trained himself in speaking better English during the process. I think it ruins the impression of the actor speaks accented English or even makes mistakes in interviews or other situations. English should be the actor's native language in my opinion.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,584Chief of Staff

    The "peasant" part has to be taken in context - he's refusing a knighthood at the time

    so he's saying that he's a Scottish peasant as opposed to a knight.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent

    Yes indeed; as I say- it’s more metaphorical than literal.

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,452MI6 Agent

    To me, as an American, Bond’s Britishness is the defining aspect of his persona. Yes, he’s been played by actors from elsewhere, but there was a reason Danny Boyle shot that scene with Craig and HRH for the London Olympics. To the world, Bond (for all his failings and sins) represents the UK’s best qualities and traditions.

    I’m struggling to come up with analogous characters from around the globe. Captain America doesn’t have the same cache. But it would be farcical to cast an Australian, for example, to play him.

    Obviously YMMV but I doubt I’m alone in feeling this way.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent

    It's a good point. Whereas funnily enough, casting a non-native or even a person of a different race as Superman would make sense, as he's supposed to be an immigrant! 😊

  • HalfMonk HalfHitmanHalfMonk HalfHitman USAPosts: 2,340MI6 Agent
    edited May 2023

    The superhero casting world has been dealing with this for a while; there was an interesting article (maybe 2012/2013) about how Superman, Spider-Man, Batman were all being played by Brits, and the theory was that this was because in countries like the UK and Australia, the performing arts and athletics aren't quite the binary, either/or prospect they are in the States. A rugby player could tear it up on the field and then go sing in a musical, where American pop culture is a little more rigid/prejudiced about that sort of thing. Christian Bale could do Newsies and Velvet Goldmine and still be Batman, etc. Hugh Jackman could get shredded as Wolverine and then go play Peter Allen on Broadway.

    But the Marvel producers knew it'd be a public relations nightmare to cast a non-American as Captain America. The meta layer underneath would've mattered to the audience. I think this is ultimately also true of Bond.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,760MI6 Agent

    Good points. And for the record, I was joking about a Swiss Bond. Would like to see a scot, but I think being from the the UK or Ireland is a requirement.

  • LuciusNightmareLuciusNightmare Posts: 253MI6 Agent

    Toby Wallace possesses a unique combination of attributes that could make him a captivating choice for the iconic role. Firstly, his age brings a fresh perspective to the character, as he represents a new generation of actors stepping into the shoes of the suave British spy. With his youthful charisma and undeniable talent, Wallace would infuse Bond with a sense of modernity and relatability. He has a 'bad boy' James Dean vibe. Moreover, his diverse career showcases his versatility, having delivered notable performances in films such as "Babyteeth" and "The Society." These roles have demonstrated his ability to navigate complex characters, hinting at his potential to bring depth and nuance to Bond. Adding to his appeal, Wallace's background as a British-Australian actor adds a touch of international intrigue, aligning with Bond's global nature. This fusion of age, career accomplishments, and nationality makes Toby Wallace an exciting choice to revitalize and reimagine the iconic spy in the world of James Bond.


  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 164MI6 Agent

    I find it odd that when some people suggest Bond as being a non white actor, specifically this tiresome Idris Elba trope, any negative response is viewed through this tiresome lens of "you must be racist" . I am firmly of the argument that feels Bonds foundations and core should be rooted in Flemings character, and obviously not completely in a stilted 1950s way, but akin to what that person would be like today, stepping out of Military Intelligence / Special Forces into a modern global intelligence community, not subverted into a modern version of what BB / MGW & Hollywood executives and producers think is appealing to goodness knows who. I don't get why the character should be subverted "because that would be wonderful". IMHO there appear to be many untalented and uninspiring writers in Hollywood and the absence of a standout non white espionage character appears to be beyond their reach or talent. David Washington (Tenet) and Sope Dirisu (Gangs of London) were inspiring and engaging and there are hundreds of great actors out there who can fulfill a new role as an independent character, competition within SIS or as a friend and colleague, even in a separate story. ATJ, Henry Cavill or even Nicholas Hoult are all talented guys who would be great. I just hope they can go back to basics of who this person is today. I hope they'll get rid of thedreadful Purvis and Wade but maybe that is hoping too much.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent
    edited June 2023

    I’m not sure why that would ‘subvert’ the character.

    A man stepping out of Military Intelligence / Special Forces into a modern global intelligence community today may well not be white, hardly seems impossible to me. I'm not sure who you're quoting with the "you must be racist" thing.

  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 164MI6 Agent

    Then you are probably the kind of person who thinks the character could be or should be non-white and i'm quite clearly quoting people, perhaps like yourself who'll say that he shouldn't necessarily be white. is that so ? The vast majority of people who fit this small criteria are white but that's not racist it's just demographics of the UK and who join the military > SF > SIS, sorry to burst that bubble for you. Anyway, you know what i'm talking about, and if you are saying you are completely unaware of the racist comments then , sure. How unlike you to try and turn the point on its head. Would (or should) Shakespeare's Othello or Ernest Tidyman's literary Shaft be played by a white British males ? Of course not, because their authors imagined these characters in their mind to be played by African/Moorish or AA actors. My question is Why shouldn't a white British actor play Flemings Bond ?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,864MI6 Agent

    To the credit of the whole forum, I can't remember a single time a member arguing against a non-white Bond was accused of being racist.

  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 164MI6 Agent

    Well, TBF, I didn't say it was in this forum did I ? there *are* other forums and social media outside of this one where people discuss this as well.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent
    edited June 2023


    We've all heard the 'what is Shaft were a white guy' false equivalence nonsense before: try picking a black character who isn't in the most part defined by his race (as James Bond isn't) - best not to pick one famous for being in Blaxploitation films.

    Then you are probably the kind of person who thinks the character could be or should be non-white and i'm quite clearly quoting people, perhaps like yourself who'll say that he shouldn't necessarily be white. is that so ?

    You appear to be accusing me of being 'perhaps' someone who will accuse you of being a racist. When I haven't done that at all.

    Thus I get the feeling you're just spoiling for an argument rather than a conversation. Not interested, buddy. Get out and enjoy the nice sunny Friday evening: I'm off for a pint.

  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 164MI6 Agent

    Wow, if there is one person in this forum that likes to try and twist commentary, then "buddy" it's you, that is the reason people often ignore or avoid engagement in your banality. Your own nonsense is often contrived and often unfathomable, such as "James Bond isn't defined by his race" which is hilarious. More mental gymnastics. I think this is where our wordy sparring definitely ends, its distracting from the discussion and tedious.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,584Chief of Staff
    edited June 2023

    And that is enough. No more personal posts, take that to PMs if you have to. Any further posts along those lines will be deleted.

    Edit- this thread will be temporarily closed to allow a cooling off period.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,584Chief of Staff

    Re-opened.

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 820MI6 Agent


    Will be interesting watching the MI finales imagining Hoult as the main villain if those Hulu contractual commitments hadn't made him have to give up the role. Still ticks all the boxes for me, whichever tonal direction they go in, he can do comedy and grit.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent

    Although I'm not totally sold on him, I think his large amount of experience in movies makes him one of the stronger candidates. I don't see them going for someone who hasn't got plenty of experience, it's just too big a role.

  • HalfMonk HalfHitmanHalfMonk HalfHitman USAPosts: 2,340MI6 Agent

    He'll be the first Bond that most older Bond fans first saw as a child actor, which will be an adjustment!

    But I'm on board. He's very physical, tall, and might be able to bring a lighter touch back.

    At the risk of gently re-opening the non-white/white Bond conversation, I think it's worth examining that for so many who bang the "that's not what Fleming wrote" drum, we've gone along with brown eyes, blue eyes, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, at least three different hair colors and a trip to outer space.

    We've race-shifted Moneypenny and Felix (twice if you count NSNA), and de-aged Q by about 30 years. M was made a woman. Bond has changed and evolved from the moment he first appeared on screen to the moment he blew up onscreen. But Bond's race is, for many, some untouchable line in the sand. It's worth examining - inwardly, if not on message boards 😛 - why that is. And it's not calling an individual a racist to suggest that the deep-seated reasoning behind the protestations is rooted in racism.

    And while I cynically think the "don't change his race crowd" have nothing to worry about, the passion of their protestation on this one matter is curious and worthy of examination by adults who aren't threatened by the conversation.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,760MI6 Agent

    There’s something a bit boyish about Hoult that puts me off of him as Bond. As I’d like to avoid another “origin” type story, I want an actor who projects a mature, refined masculinity. Hoult doesn’t do that for me.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,864MI6 Agent
    edited June 2023

    I just watched an episode of the documentary series "My grandparents' war". This episode was about Kit Harrington's grandparents. It turns out two of his grandparents (husband and wife) worked in the intelligence. His grandmother worked in Barbados reading diplomatic mail. Her unit discovered nine nazi agents in Latin America. Her husband worked in Naval Intelligence and must've known Ian Fleming. He was sent to Jamaica to spy on the rather pro-nazi ex king who had been given the job as governor there. We know Ian Fleming visited Jamaica during the war. The grandfather was a real spy who also worked for MI6 and MI5.

    Kit Harrington commented that this will probably be his closest link to James Bond. His grandparents were tall, but to Kit's regret they didn't pass on the "tall genes" to him so he can never play Bond.

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