The name is Bond, James Bond; licensed to sort you out if you’re a bad ass villain and entitled to get the Bond Girl for a sweet ending. Creator of this suave yet rugged hero Ian Fleming based this world-famous character on himself and American singer Hoagy Carmichael who I had never heard of until now; I found him on YouTube and his chiseled features are very Bond like. The one thing that Ian Fleming and ole Hoagy have in common is that they are white males, yet every time we hear a whisper of an anticipated new Bond film there are calls from certain quarters suggesting the next secret agent be black.
I watch Idris Elba and in my imagination can see he’d make a great Bond; anyone who can do physical action scenes without breaking a sweat and still look dashing in a suit should definitely be up for the role of roles! But for all Bond fans who know the history of Bond and his Scottish roots this would be a change that would certainly cause a stir and leave them a little shaken. Fans everywhere like change and have come to expect new gadgets to suit the numerous Bonds through the decades. In a recent interview, Idris said he didn’t want to be known as the first ‘Black Bond’ and I can see his point.
If you’re a serious and thoughtful actor who believes and respects the integrity of the role you will want to do it justice for all the right reasons; not because you are jumping on the PC gone slightly mad band wagon. Would the people calling out for a black actor to play Bond also think Benedict Cumberbatch would make a credible ‘Shaft’? That would be highly unlikely, the only similarity being the long dark signature coats worn by Shaft and Sherlock!
The choice however for the new Q in Ben Wishaw is genius and totally believable bringing geeky enthusiasm, fresh wit and credibility to a character who is a firm part of the Bond franchise. There is a new breed of acting talent in the UK who are bursting to get out from behind the stage curtain and as a lover of film and cinema I wouldn’t mind a glimpse of these new faces on my TV screen portraying the carefully constructed, familiar characters we have grown quite fond of over the years. We have seen a glimpse of the future and I think it’s time, time for new talent not for inconsiderate headline news.