“Bond. James Bond.”
That is one of the most memorable lines ever in a movie. The line brings up images of the dapper British agent and a slew of beautiful international women as he takes down evil villains from one exotic locale to another.
Of course, James Bond has been played by a series of different handsome actors over the years - Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig, among others. And now comes the next in the line, according to some reports.
Full stop. Idris Elba? Something is different about this Bond than all the others. He is good looking, so that’s not it. He is British by birth, so that’s not it. Oh yeah, there is the fact that he is black. What the what? A black James Bond?
Needless to say, the thought has stirred up quite a few people. A black stormtrooper is nothing compared to the exposed nerves the idea of James Bond being black has caused.
Even Rush Limbaugh had to chime in on this one.
"James Bond was invented, created by Ian Fleming, a former spy, MI6, and James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is. But now Sony is suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton rather than a white from Scotland. But that's not who James Bond is, and I know it's racist to probably even point this out...We had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond is white. Bond was never black. Ian Fleming never created a black Brit to play James Bond. The character was always white. He was always Scottish. He always drank vodka shaken not stirred and all that."
This reminds me of the controversy over the FOX News host, Megyn Kelly, who stared at the camera to counsel people that Santa Claus is and always has been white. Here’s the thing she, Rush and others need to note, Santa Claus is not real and neither is James Bond. They are fictional characters, therefore they can be be whatever the creators and audience want them to be. I don’t actually know that Bond creator Ian Fleming ever wrote that Bond was white. Of course we all assumed he was based on history and portrayals. And likely Fleming certainly envisioned a white Bond. But nothing in the story is different if Bond is still British, handsome, fit and black. Not in today’s world.
By the way Limbaugh tried to belittle the idea by saying then whites should be able to be cast as Mandela in a movie or Obama if a movie or portrayal came up. That’s stupid. Those are real people. No one is saying cast Idris Elba as Winston Churchill. Or Queen Latifah as the Queen of England.
The world is changing fast and our concepts of fiction can and should change and adapt with it. A black Annie? Well why not? Again we are talking about a fictional character whose story fits a black girl or Hispanic girl as much as a white one.
Some people just need to accept that the world is just ready to see a much more colorful depiction of our characters in film and TV. So bring on a black James Bond. I know I’d watch that just because it makes it fresh and interesting. And that folks is the point of this new colorblind casting.