So Roger Moore thought the erstwhile star of The Wire and Luther couldn’t play James Bond because Bond should be “English-English,” which is to say white. And the author of the latest James Bond novel who is not Ian Fleming thinks Elba can’t play James Bond because Elba’s too “street,” which I think is code for “too black.”
You know who first pitched the idea of Idris Elba as James Bond?
Behold: a screen shot from Mollie’s Twizzler feed, when she retwitted a twit from my now defunct Twizzler account, dated September 28, 2011.
But do I get any credit? No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o. Now if Elba goes on to play the role, as he should, because the franchise is going to need to be shaken and perhaps even stirred once Daniel Craig goes the way of all Bonds, will I at least get an invite to opening night? How about a pass to a local showing? A coupon for when it comes out on Blu-Ray?
I would never say that anyone who disagreed about such casting was just racist. I don’t play those games. I would say, however, that anyone who disagreed was definitely lacking in imagination. Elba would be one of the coolest double-ohs yet.
8 thoughts on “Idris Elba and the James Bond Kerfuffle”
1. The moustache.
2. His age.
3. The four post-reboot films have been quite obsessed with Bond’s origins and have established that he comes from a long line of Catholic Scots in the highlands. Can Elba play that? What are they going to do, reboot the entire franchise all over again? They only brought Q and Moneypenny back into the picture one movie ago.
Elba doesn’t have to play that. They can drop a Bond film with the character in media res. They don’t have to have yet another “origins” episode.
I know…I know — how could they pull that off? It’s not like this whole thing is, I dunno, FICTION.
As if in 1983 they didn’t have two completely different actors playing Bond at the same time.
This is like the objection to Michael B. Jordan playing the “human torch” in The Fantastic Four, because as we know from our history books, Johnny Storm was half-English and half-Dutch.
And if they reboot the character in media res, what happens to all the other characters? Does someone else replace Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and so on — and so soon after the franchise finished setting them up? Or do all those characters now continue interacting with Elba as though he’s the same guy they were dealing with in the other movies, Scottish ancestral home and everything?
Personally, I’d say this is more like the objection to Elba playing a Norse god in the Thor movies.
And who is this “they” from 1983 that you refer to? Those were rival productions. They had nothing in common.
You’re joking, right? You can have two rival Bond pictures with two completely different casts, but you can’t have a new Bond with a new cast — as if there is something sacrosanct about the Craig bunch? How did Ralph Fiennes get to be M, when we all know he’s really Bernard Lee?
I’m going to assume that you’re just being silly now, as with your comment on the “Concussion” post.
It’s been fun playing, though…
When somebody suggested Wil Smith as Bond, I didn’t care for it. Elba’s a whole other deal. Because he’s awesome, possibly too awesome for the role.
Actually, I’d like to see Bond done in period. The ’50s and ’60s, without personal computers or cell phones. In that case, Elba would be wrong. But in terms of the modern, supercharged, ever-evolving Bond, he’d be great.
And he didn’t wear a mustache in “Luther.”
Will Smith? Good grief. You can’t cast an American in the role. (Though I know the producers have considered it. Have you ever seen that test footage of James Brolin in the role? <shudder>)
You’re right about Smith. Just as a Bradley Cooper, even if he could pull off the accent, would be all wrong.
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