Would you accept a black Bond?

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  • Murdock wrote:
    ChickenStu wrote:
    To all those who are opposed to it I say this "THESE ARE ONLY MOVIES. WHO CARES?"

    Dedicated fans of the source material. And they aren't just movies. For many of us they are part of our lives.

    I am a dedicated fan of the source material. I have read all of Fleming's books - have all the movies on DVD and Blu-Ray - I'm as dedicated fan as any of you.

    I am also well aware that this is FICTIONAL. ENTERTAINMENT. I'm more concerned right now about stuff that happens in the real world. Bond to me is escapism from that. I don't take it seriously.

    So again: THESE ARE ONLY MOVIES. WHO CARES?

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 18,003
    ChickenStu wrote:
    Murdock wrote:
    ChickenStu wrote:
    To all those who are opposed to it I say this "THESE ARE ONLY MOVIES. WHO CARES?"

    Dedicated fans of the source material. And they aren't just movies. For many of us they are part of our lives.

    I am a dedicated fan of the source material. I have read all of Fleming's books - have all the movies on DVD and Blu-Ray - I'm as dedicated fan as any of you.

    I am also well aware that this is FICTIONAL. ENTERTAINMENT. I'm more concerned right now about stuff that happens in the real world. Bond to me is escapism from that. I don't take it seriously.

    So again: THESE ARE ONLY MOVIES. WHO CARES?

    It's a given that Bond IS entertainment and only books and movies, but the Fleming purists are a strong minority one goes up against at their peril....so I can't see a black Bond happening for that and other reasons.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    Well, as this is a Bond forum we care enough to discuss darn near every aspect of that character. So, yeah, many of us care to at least give thought to this topic and say our take on it.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,314
    I wouldn't mind if the next Bond is black as long as he is a fantastic actor and can bring something new to the role besides his skin color. I can more than understand some fan's objections to it though. As long as it's not done as some sort of publicity stunt then I would have no problem with it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 18,003
    pachazo wrote:
    I wouldn't mind if the next Bond is black as long as he is a fantastic actor and can bring something new to the role besides his skin color. I can more than understand some fan's objections to it though. As long as it's not done as some sort of publicity stunt then I would have no problem with it.

    Yes, there is much of merit in this view, @pachazo.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 12,837
    Murdock wrote:
    Changing Bond's skin color is basically making him a new character altogether.

    And Daniel Craig isn't black so your counter argument is irrelevant. I'm not trying to shoot you down, but I base my opinions on what Bond's race should be based on Fleming's writing.

    But they've already made him a new character altogether already. Why base your opinions on what Bond's race should be on Flemings writing but not how Bond acts? Why is it ok for Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan to act nothing like Fleming's Bond but it's not ok for an actor to have different skin colour to him?
    Dragonpol wrote:
    but the Fleming purists are a strong minority one goes up against at their peril

    They're still just that though, a minority. Average movie goers are what matters at the end of the day, not Fleming purists.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    edited March 2014 Posts: 16,340
    Murdock wrote:
    Changing Bond's skin color is basically making him a new character altogether.

    And Daniel Craig isn't black so your counter argument is irrelevant. I'm not trying to shoot you down, but I base my opinions on what Bond's race should be based on Fleming's writing.

    But they've already made him a new character altogether already. Why base your opinions on what Bond's race should be on Flemings writing but not how Bond acts? Why is it ok for Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan to act nothing like Fleming's Bond but it's not ok for an actor to have different skin colour to him?

    Because Moore and Brosnan look similar to Fleming's Bond and do act like Fleming's Bond in one form or another. And It's not okay because Bond isn't black or was written as so. Call me biased but My opinion still stands. Bond should always be white. How would you feel if you wrote a character to be a specific way and some studio decided to change their characteristics?
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited March 2014 Posts: 12,459
    Well that is why we are giving our views, to discuss and share. I rather understand what you are saying, Murdock. I just take a different slant to it and am not bothered by Bond not being exactly like, including skin color or 50's attributes, what Fleming wrote.

    I know how I feel about Jack Reacher being portrayed by Tom Cruise. #-o

    But that is really a different thing for me than Bond being black, Asian, white, Indian, mixed. etc., any race or skin color.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 12,837
    Murdock wrote:
    How would you feel if you wrote a character to be a specific way and some studio decided to change their characteristics?

    But they already changed Bond's characteristics years ago. Why does changing the characters entire personality not matter but his skin colour does? If he was still alive then I doubt Ian Fleming would be happy with the majority of the Bond films.

    They act like Fleming's Bond in one form or another? Still doesn't make them Flemingesque. You could turn Bond into an entirely different character and have him act like Fleming's Bond in one way or another. EG- You could turn Bond into a woman and have her working at Mcdonalds rather than MI6. But if she liked scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast, then she'd be acting like Fleming's Bond in one form or another.
    Murdock wrote:
    Because Moore and Brosnan look similar to Fleming's Bond

    Moore looks nothing like how Fleming described Bond.
    I know how I feel about Jack Reacher being portrayed by Tom Cruise. #-o

    I think the difference there is that by casting Cruise they lost a lot of what made Reacher special. His size and strength is a big part of what made Reacher special. Bond isn't defined by his race the way Reacher is by his size, at least notin this day and age.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,340
    Moore looks nothing like how Fleming described Bond.

    Tall, Blue Eyes, medium build. Close enough. Watch FYEO. Moore was pure Fleming in that film.



  • edited March 2014 Posts: 12,837
    Murdock wrote:
    Moore looks nothing like how Fleming described Bond.

    Tall, Blue Eyes, medium build. Close enough. Watch FYEO. Moore was pure Fleming in that film.

    Fleming's Bond had black hair which fell over one of his eyebrows and looked like some Jazz singer (the name escapes me but Moore looks nothing like him). A black actor could be tall with blue eyes and a medium build.

    I've seen FYEO and although the story is more down to earth and he has some darker moments, he's still very much his own version of Bond. I doubt Fleming's Bond would've grinned happily and quipped about driving in the country while escaping baddies and when getting his revenge on Blofeld Fleming's Bond beat him a fight and strangled him rather than just smiling and dropping him down a chimney.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    edited March 2014 Posts: 16,340
    Well I gave my opinion on the matter and I explained why. But I'll bow out if you don't like it.

    But to answer the question of the thread. No, I would not accept a Black Bond.
  • Posts: 14,911
    Ludovico wrote:
    But the line is not only drawn at skin colour. I am not certain how a redhead Bond would be accepted (a gingerhead Bond with freskles, forget about it), but there are other things people would not accept: a fat or chubby Bond, a Bond that is too short, etc. I brought forward some actors here at future Bonds and thought they'd do fine... until I saw their height on IMDB. Not short, but not tall enough. And I thought: no, that would not do. And I am talking here about actors I suggested.

    Isn't the real height of Daniel Craig a kind of secret ? :)

    As far as I'm concerned, at first I would have said that I'd found a Bond with a moustache even less likely than a black Bond ! And yet in The Rock, Sean Connery plays basically James Bond, with a moustache. And his character works somehow. So in fact, all the criteria you can imagine will disappear once you see the performance : it works or not as a whole.

    For instance, when you see him in Pacific Rim, you can imagine Idris Elba can play M, IMO.

    Daniel Craig is taller than the average height for a man. He may not be as tall as the others, but he looks far more lethal than Brosnan or Moore. And your point about Connery having a moustache in The Rock is non sequitur: he never had one as Bond AND he played a pseudo-Bond in The Rock decades after he had been established as Bond. Had he played an Iranian prince (he may have had, who knows), that doesn't mean an Iranian actor, however talented, could play Bond.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 12,837
    Isn't Craig being too short one of the criticisms the idiots over at DCINB use? As long as he's not really short I don't think height matters.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 18,003
    Murdock wrote:
    Changing Bond's skin color is basically making him a new character altogether.

    And Daniel Craig isn't black so your counter argument is irrelevant. I'm not trying to shoot you down, but I base my opinions on what Bond's race should be based on Fleming's writing.

    But they've already made him a new character altogether already. Why base your opinions on what Bond's race should be on Flemings writing but not how Bond acts? Why is it ok for Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan to act nothing like Fleming's Bond but it's not ok for an actor to have different skin colour to him?
    Dragonpol wrote:
    but the Fleming purists are a strong minority one goes up against at their peril

    They're still just that though, a minority. Average movie goers are what matters at the end of the day, not Fleming purists.

    All fair points, @thelivingroyale. Can't argue with that.
  • Posts: 14,911
    Isn't Craig being too short one of the criticisms the idiots over at DCINB use? As long as he's not really short I don't think height matters.

    Height is relative, but Craig is obviously not too short. Heck, he is not a short man, period.

    But how about a fat Bond? There are plenty of talented fat actors. Of course nobody would want that, because Bond has a certain physique, a certain appearance and you cannot stray from it so much as to denature the character altogether. Not to mention that casting a Black actor would be perceived as a PC move. And this not only goes for Bond: a young Blofeld wouldn't work, a fit Goldfinger wouldn't work, a chubby Sherlock Holmes wouldn't work.
  • Posts: 908
    You could of course do that,but it would contradict the way Bond was conceived by Mr. Fleming. Bond is a product of the British establishment in a way that no non white could ever be. The absolute self confidence of his character could not have grown in any western society. Say whatever you will of how far we have progressed ,when it comes to the equality of privileges in the industrialized educated world,there is still racism (subtle or not) in abundance. Eton or not,our black Bond would have met plenty of it,which in return would have prevented him being such a unconditionally blunt and loyal instrument.
  • Posts: 1,706
    Since they're only movies, who cares?

    So how about a black Sherlock Holmes, Spock, Captain Kirk, Elizabeth Bennett or Bridget Jones? For that matter, why not a white Super Fly, or Frank Shaft? I'm thinking Meryl Streep could certainly bring something new to Bond.

    Maybe a spin off of The Wire could continue with the discovery that Stringer Bell's death was faked and the role will now be played by Daniel Craig.

  • Ludovico wrote:
    And this not only goes for Bond: a young Blofeld wouldn't work, a fit Goldfinger wouldn't work, a chubby Sherlock Holmes wouldn't work.

    Or a young Q, a female M, a black Leiter, a young Leiter, an old Leiter, a chubby Leiter, etc.. ;)
  • Posts: 5,634
    This is just going over old ground, but say again, and I hope for the last time, would never want Bond any color other than white. Isn't that what Fleming intended ? - a white British secret agent ?, and that's what we've had for as long as anyone can remember, so why change it now. I hope it never sees the light of day

    They've made some significant changes in the franchise in recent times - sometimes not always for the better - but changing the skin color of the most important factor of all - James Bond himself - would appear taking things a little too far. Maybe get back to this in due course, but that's all I got to say on the issue for now
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 2,015
    I don't think anyone is thinking about the hypothesis of having a black Bond for the sake of it. We're just thinking about the producers casting a new Bond. The screen tests for all the white actors go meh. But this unknown guy who has been casted for Felix Leiter turns out to have an incredible charisma, he could be Bond, women like him, men want to be like him, he likes like the most interesting guy in the room and yet you can believe he could kill you instantly, and most of all the camera loves him. But his grandfather is black and well it is clear from the slight darkness of his skin that some won't call him "white". What should the producers do ? They could put a hairpiece on a balder and balder Connery, but this time you can't hide it...
  • Posts: 7,653
    A black Bond will not be commercially accepted, hell a BLOND Bond was almost a bridge too far.
    From Blond to Black is several bridges too far.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,728
    What's next? A white Lando in the new Star Wars? :))
  • SuperintendentSuperintendent A separate pool. For sharks, no less.
    edited March 2014 Posts: 871
    I don't know, probably not. The reason is I'm a traditionalist. Bond has been white since I started watching Bond films as a kid, and that was almost 30 years ago.

    For the same reason, I had a problem accepting a female M. The scenes when Bond is being briefed by M are the symbols of Bond universe for me. I loved everything about those moments - the atmosphere, the office, the suits, the old guy with the pipe... M becoming a woman was wrong IMO, though Judy Dench was excellent. I'm glad Ralph Fiennes is the new M, and should he stay in the role for the next 5-10 years, he'll only get better. He's still a bit young for my taste.

    That said, I didn't mind black Felix and Moneypenny at all. I was never attached to them in the same way.

    I also had no problem with Craig's hair colour. Roger Moore was almost blond in some films:

    http://www.filmchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/moon083.jpg


    Then again, if Bond becomes black, I would certainly watch the film and save judgement for afterwards.

    After the copyright for James Bond expires, everybody will have a chance to deliver their vision of Bond. Until then, I want Bond to stay white.






  • Posts: 1,595
    No, I would not accept it. For the same reason that I wouldn't accept a fat Bond, a female Bond, or an American Bond.
  • Posts: 14,911
    Ludovico wrote:
    And this not only goes for Bond: a young Blofeld wouldn't work, a fit Goldfinger wouldn't work, a chubby Sherlock Holmes wouldn't work.

    Or a young Q, a female M, a black Leiter, a young Leiter, an old Leiter, a chubby Leiter, etc.. ;)

    M is a title, so this is non sequitur. Q was so defined by Llewellyn they had to take another approach to avoid comparison. Leiter has been inconsistently cast for decades to begin with. As for Moneypenny she is a minor character and her race has little to no importance.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited March 2014 Posts: 12,459
    Am I interpreting this right? That those who do not want Bond to be anything other than white it is mainly because:

    a) that sticks with the character Fleming wrote
    b) it fits his background, Eton, etc.
    c) his culture was of the 50's and 60's and that included being part of that particular British Caucasian culture and background, so to be authentic that should continue ...
    and possibly,
    d) it is just too big a change for the main character.

    If I am missing a main point, please let me know. And I'm not trying to persuade anybody, I just wanted to be clear in my understanding. I accept that we have different things that we can be flexible about, and not flexible in some others.

    I know we can really want our favorite character to stay the same; that is natural, I think. For whatever reason, I am flexible in some ways as far as Bond goes - including hair and skin color. But for me, the one main thing is that he has to be British.
  • Posts: 2,107
    If they find the right actor, then I don't know why not. Anything's possible and even though one thing that maybe should be kept is Bond's ethnicity and that he's portrayed as englishman.

    But... if the right british actoc comes along and he's black...then why not? It would just need some adjusting, but if the portrayal is good and the movies are good, then maybe that might happen and I'd be okay with it.
  • Posts: 1,548
    if this ever happens I will give up my love for the frannchise.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    LeChiffre wrote:
    if this ever happens I will give up my love for the frannchise.

    It's silly, needlessly provocative comments like this that make such conversations difficult to have. A sweeping statement without any justification or explanation as to 'why'. Perhaps you should have just kept the statement to yourself?
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