Who should/could be a Bond actor?

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  • Posts: 12,680
    mtm wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    With Elba, I just didn't like how much he advertised himself for the role...

    I thought he generally kept quiet on it? I know there was that funny photo of him and Craig, but I don't remember much else. I do think he generally comes across as a spanner and rather full of himself, but hey, so does Bond! :)

    He did everything but keep quiet about it. He behaved exactly like that actor from Nip/Tuck: like the role was meant to be his by right. The thing, you don't inherit Bond, you are chosen to be Bond. And whether you're considered by Eon or you really, really want the role, the first thing you do is shut up about it.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited October 16 Posts: 5,015
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.

    Exactly. Race, physical appearance and gender do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.

    Also, as a response to the Axel Foley comments. He’s a black character and should remain as such.

    Axel Foley can talk his way into getting whatever he wants. If he wants a free room in a fancy hotel like the Beverly Palm Hotel, all he has to do is go up to the front desk and say they made a mistake with the reservation. When they contest this, he launches into a tirade about racism and makes a scene, after which they give him a room. The whole reason this is funny is because he’s black. The rules of this character (appearance, characteristics etc) have been set.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,865
    Ludovico wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    With Elba, I just didn't like how much he advertised himself for the role...

    I thought he generally kept quiet on it? I know there was that funny photo of him and Craig, but I don't remember much else. I do think he generally comes across as a spanner and rather full of himself, but hey, so does Bond! :)

    He did everything but keep quiet about it. He behaved exactly like that actor from Nip/Tuck: like the role was meant to be his by right.

    I'm looking through a few of the articles and I'm not really seeing any comments which come across to me like that. I'm looking at a Vanity Fair interview where they've asked him about it and he's said "Of course, if someone said to me "Do you want to play James Bond?", I'd be like, Yeah! That's fascinating to me.
    'But it's not something I've expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond."


    I dunno, I'm not getting the vibes that he's acting like it's his by right from that.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 3,978
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 16 Posts: 4,865
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.

    Exactly. Race, physical appearance and gender do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.

    Also, as a response to the Axel Foley comments. He’s a black character and should remain as such.

    Axel Foley can talk his way into getting whatever he wants. If he wants a free room in a fancy hotel like the Beverly Palm Hotel, all he has to do is go up to the front desk and say they made a mistake with the reservation. When they contest this, he launches into a tirade about racism and makes a scene, after which they give him a room. The whole reason this is funny is because he’s black. The rules of this character (appearance, characteristics etc) have been set.

    And when does James Bond do something like this? His race doesn't define him, no, you're wrong. Gender and sexuality, yeah sure, all the way: those do define him. But with race we're just used to seeing him be white, that's not the same as being defined by it. Driving two Aston Martins across a few films doesn't mean he was defined as an Aston driver and couldn't drive a Lotus. Nobody in the modern Bonds is defined by their race.
  • sandbagger1sandbagger1 Sussex
    Posts: 82
    mtm wrote: »
    As I already said, the point of Black Panther culturally is that he is black: it's actually in his name.
    Okay, this is so, so wrong. He's the Black Panther because that is the name of the animal. Yes, the two guys who created him were being cute, but the whole idea of calling someone with Afrocentric colouring and features 'black' is totally coming from a 'white' culture perspective (though Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were actually Jewish), and actually borders on the racist. The Wakandans would not themselves have labelled their ruler 'black' because his skin colour was brown. And the Black Widow is not actually of African extraction, either. There is/was an Asian bad guy in Marvel comics in years past called 'the Yellow Claw'... the cringe factor today is off the charts.

    You totally could change the Black Panther's race, it just depends on how many elements you want to say don't matter that much. Wakanda is a fantasy nation that supposedly has existed in secret, you could fill it with any race or mixture of races, or indeed place it anywhere around the globe. The film dealt with race but it didn't have to - the early Kirby written stories I read didn't revolve around it at all.

    You wouldn't want to change his race, though, and that's because he's one of the only big fantasy wish-fulfilment characters that represent that particular demographic, and not only is it healthy and worthwhile for such a large (and largely disadvantaged) section of the world's population to have such an empowering hero, economically it also makes sense as that section of the population will continue to support the character and films even when there is a dip in quality in the main product. Changing T'Challa's race would screw all that up, and would be seen as taking something away from them, or even as a rejection of them as a demographic.

    It's not a huge surprise to me that the most fanatical Bond fans I've encountered on the web are traditionalists coming from private school backgrounds like Bond himself, because he is their guy. Of course they're going to kind of pissed, he is a culture hero representing their specific culture. It affects them the most.

    Anyway, I'm rambling on and on. The actual decision over the race of the actor next playing Bond is not going to be a purely artistic decision made by one person. There is too much money involved in the huge sponsor-driven money machine that is the Bond franchise. Barbra Broccoli will have her say, but then Eon will get involved, and they'll look to their moneymen and their investors and their sponsorship deals, and they'll run their algorithms to work out whether a black actor will give them Black Panther money, or whether the up-and-coming economic powerhouse that is China means that an Asian actor is the way to go (I think Sen Mitsuji is very charismatic, and has a good English accent for an Aussie), or whether to stick with the traditional Anglo-Saxon/Celt, or whether to switch the franchise to a computer-game which might make more money and where you can change the ethnicity of 007 to whatever the player wishes, thus sidestepping the race question altogether.

    Really, all of our arguments are just thumb-twiddling whilst the corporate bean-counters plot out the franchise's future (or lack thereof) in our brave new post-viral apocalypse.
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Haydock, England
    Posts: 127
    mtm wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    DoctorNo wrote: »
    Waiting for the tea leaves to tell them

    Tea_leaf_reading.jpg

    When it clearly says Aidan Turner :D

    as much as I dont like him I prefer him over Henry Goulding or Idris Elba

    Golding or Elba as Bond is like casting Hugh Grant as ‘The Black Panther’ or Daniel Craig as Axel Foley. Just silly IMO.

    No, not really IMHO. As I already said, the point of Black Panther culturally is that he is black: it's actually in his name. There's nothing about James Bond that requires him to be white. Elba would have been pretty perfect I think, if he could posh it up well enough. Strong physical presence, very handsome, funny and charismatic, ladies get the hots over him, is a big enough star to lead a movie. Golding's decent and actually pretty charismatic but I haven't seen him in enough stuff to be sure- I have a little nagging doubt about how good an actor he is.
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Axel Foley actually could be played by someone of any another race. He was actually originally gonna be played by Sylvester Stallone - but the reason Hollywood wouldn't change his race in a reboot or sequel or whatever is because it defeats the purpose of casting a black man in the first place.

    Indeed, so not that silly. He just has to come from Detroit (was it?) and be streetwise as they used to say. It would, as you say, be hugely tone deaf to change his race at this point though. Movies don't exist in a vacuum: they show their audiences what's good and bad in the real world to some extent. And if anyone who's not keen on that idea has missed the fact that 007 has been defeating the evil thieves and murderers for nearly 60 years! :)

    Elba is 2 years north of 50 - the Bond role has well and truly passed him by. Remember when Sir Roger got the role at the grand age of 45 and was two years north of 60 before he finally retired? I’d rather a Bond around the age of mid thirties to early forties.

    I’ve got nothing against Elba per se, I just think his age would be the dealbreaker.

    Yes that's why I said 'would have been pretty perfect': past tense.

    Roger was 57 when he stopped, not 62.

    I stand corrected :D
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 5,470
    Elba would make an incredible suave , globe hopping, woman bedding spy...... as on original character, not James Bond.

    Come to think of it, he’s about to do this; I can’t wait to see it, I’m a big fan.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited October 16 Posts: 5,015
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?

    His physical appearance. It’s right there in literature and on film.

    Live and Let Die the novel and film make it blatantly obvious; “White face in Harlam, good thinking Bond.”
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 16 Posts: 4,865
    mtm wrote: »
    As I already said, the point of Black Panther culturally is that he is black: it's actually in his name.
    Okay, this is so, so wrong. He's the Black Panther because that is the name of the animal. Yes, the two guys who created him were being cute, but the whole idea of calling someone with Afrocentric colouring and features 'black' is totally coming from a 'white' culture perspective (though Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were actually Jewish), and actually borders on the racist. The Wakandans would not themselves have labelled their ruler 'black' because his skin colour was brown. And the Black Widow is not actually of African extraction, either. There is/was an Asian bad guy in Marvel comics in years past called 'the Yellow Claw'... the cringe factor today is off the charts.

    I know this, and I feel the same, but there it is. The word is in his name for a reason, and since the movie came out it has rather been recontextualised into something positive.
    I mean blimey, do you remember the names of the black Gladiators on the telly show in the 90s? That'll get you cringing even more! :D
    You totally could change the Black Panther's race, it just depends on how many elements you want to say don't matter that much. Wakanda is a fantasy nation that supposedly has existed in secret, you could fill it with any race or mixture of races, or indeed place it anywhere around the globe. The film dealt with race but it didn't have to - the early Kirby written stories I read didn't revolve around it at all.

    You wouldn't want to change his race, though, and that's because he's one of the only big fantasy wish-fulfilment characters that represent that particular demographic, and not only is it healthy and worthwhile for such a large (and largely disadvantaged) section of the world's population to have such an empowering hero, economically it also makes sense as that section of the population will continue to support the character and films even when there is a dip in quality in the main product. Changing T'Challa's race would screw all that up, and would be seen as taking something away from them, or even as a rejection of them as a demographic.

    You've answered your own point for me there: you couldn't change his race for those reasons.
    It's not a huge surprise to me that the most fanatical Bond fans I've encountered on the web are traditionalists coming from private school backgrounds like Bond himself, because he is their guy. Of course they're going to kind of pissed, he is a culture hero representing their specific culture. It affects them the most.

    Anyway, I'm rambling on and on. The actual decision over the race of the actor next playing Bond is not going to be a purely artistic decision made by one person. There is too much money involved in the huge sponsor-driven money machine that is the Bond franchise. Barbra Broccoli will have her say, but then Eon will get involved, and they'll look to their moneymen and their investors and their sponsorship deals, and they'll run their algorithms to work out whether a black actor will give them Black Panther money, or whether the up-and-coming economic powerhouse that is China means that an Asian actor is the way to go (I think Sen Mitsuji is very charismatic, and has a good English accent for an Aussie), or whether to stick with the traditional Anglo-Saxon/Celt, or whether to switch the franchise to a computer-game which might make more money and where you can change the ethnicity of 007 to whatever the player wishes, thus sidestepping the race question altogether.

    Yes and no: I honestly tend to think that although I'm sure it had to be run up a few flagpoles, the decision to cast Craig was Eon's own and they probably had a certain amount of pressure to resist doing so from studios etc. for the same reasons that certain parts of 'fandom' kicked back.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,015
    mtm wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.

    Exactly. Race, physical appearance and gender do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.

    Also, as a response to the Axel Foley comments. He’s a black character and should remain as such.

    Axel Foley can talk his way into getting whatever he wants. If he wants a free room in a fancy hotel like the Beverly Palm Hotel, all he has to do is go up to the front desk and say they made a mistake with the reservation. When they contest this, he launches into a tirade about racism and makes a scene, after which they give him a room. The whole reason this is funny is because he’s black. The rules of this character (appearance, characteristics etc) have been set.

    And when does James Bond do something like this? His race doesn't define him, no, you're wrong. Gender and sexuality, yeah sure, all the way: those do define him. But with race we're just used to seeing him be white, that's not the same as being defined by it. Driving two Aston Martins across a few films doesn't mean he was defined as an Aston driver and couldn't drive a Lotus. Nobody in the modern Bonds is defined by their race.

    The Harlem scenes in LALD specifically make fun of Bond being a White man in Harlem?
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 16 Posts: 3,978
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?

    His physical appearance. It’s right there in literature and on film.

    Live and Let Die the novel and film make it blatantly obvious; “White face in Harlam, good thinking Bond.”
    But I wouldn't say that defines his character though. That's a physical description from the novels. My point is that his race doesn't impact his role. That's why I expanded upon the Black Panther/T'Challa example because the character is defined by being the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

    It's why Felix Leiter and Moneypenny were able to be race bent, and Q was able to change his age because they weren't defined as white or as characters of a certain age, just by the roles they played in the stories. So James Bond is defined by being an extremely suave, handsome, and capable MI6 agent, so that'll always remain, but not by being white.
  • Posts: 7,953
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?

    His physical appearance. It’s right there in literature and on film.

    Live and Let Die the novel and film make it blatantly obvious; “White face in Harlam, good thinking Bond.”
    But I wouldn't say that defines his character though. That's a physical description from the novels. My point is that his race doesn't impact his role. That's why I expanded upon the Black Panther/T'Challa example because the character is defined by being the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

    It's why Felix Leiter and Moneypenny were able to be race bent, and Q was able to change his age because they weren't defined as white or as characters of a certain age, just by the roles they played in the stories. So James Bond is defined by being an MI6 agent, so that'll always remain, but not by being white.

    are there no good white actors to be 007? again my issue is Race changing just feels gimmicky much like the Women can kick ass that was in the Batwoman teaser trailer (never watched a single episode) or the Charley's angels films. it's pandering and a gimmick
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 16 Posts: 3,978
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?

    His physical appearance. It’s right there in literature and on film.

    Live and Let Die the novel and film make it blatantly obvious; “White face in Harlam, good thinking Bond.”
    But I wouldn't say that defines his character though. That's a physical description from the novels. My point is that his race doesn't impact his role. That's why I expanded upon the Black Panther/T'Challa example because the character is defined by being the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

    It's why Felix Leiter and Moneypenny were able to be race bent, and Q was able to change his age because they weren't defined as white or as characters of a certain age, just by the roles they played in the stories. So James Bond is defined by being an MI6 agent, so that'll always remain, but not by being white.
    are there no good white actors to be 007?
    Of course there are, we've been discussing loads of them. I mean my ultimate casting for the role (Callum) is very traditional, I'm just trying to help rationalise why an actor of a different race (while still British) could still get the role, like Barbara herself has stated.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 16 Posts: 4,865
    suavejmf wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.

    Exactly. Race, physical appearance and gender do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.

    Also, as a response to the Axel Foley comments. He’s a black character and should remain as such.

    Axel Foley can talk his way into getting whatever he wants. If he wants a free room in a fancy hotel like the Beverly Palm Hotel, all he has to do is go up to the front desk and say they made a mistake with the reservation. When they contest this, he launches into a tirade about racism and makes a scene, after which they give him a room. The whole reason this is funny is because he’s black. The rules of this character (appearance, characteristics etc) have been set.

    And when does James Bond do something like this? His race doesn't define him, no, you're wrong. Gender and sexuality, yeah sure, all the way: those do define him. But with race we're just used to seeing him be white, that's not the same as being defined by it. Driving two Aston Martins across a few films doesn't mean he was defined as an Aston driver and couldn't drive a Lotus. Nobody in the modern Bonds is defined by their race.

    The Harlem scenes in LALD specifically make fun of Bond being a White man in Harlem?

    He also wears flares and smokes a massive cigar: neither of those define him for the next 50 years.

    Or less glibly, hitting women, being dismissive of them, smoking loads; these are character traits which actually did define his personality way more than one character pointing out that he's white in one movie 47 years ago, and yet they've all gone. And yet somehow he's still Bond.
  • MSL49MSL49 Finland
    Posts: 271
    Denbigh wrote: »
    MSL49 wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I call it the tuxedo argument. There's also the fancy car argument and the good looking Brit argument. The last one explains why Hugh Grant, Robbie Williams and Jude Law were all rumoured as Bond at the time.

    Yes, I guess it's why we keep getting the same photo of Adrian Turner in a dinner suit in an Agatha Christie play all the time ;)

    Denbigh wrote: »
    Again my thoughts remain the same, I trust EON, and if through the many auditions and screen tests they do, they find an actor whose black or otherwise whose able to fully embody James Bond, then I'll be on board and will still be there opening night :)

    Me too :) They'll be casting their net very wide; I don't think they should mess it up.

    I think Turner is a strong candidate.
    Callum? I know ;)

    Him too but i mean Aidan.
  • MSL49MSL49 Finland
    Posts: 271
    I would love to see Dalton's, Brosnan's and Craig's screentest's.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 5,470
    MSL49 wrote: »
    I would love to see Dalton's, Brosnan's and Craig's screentest's.

    I would love to see ALL of the screentest ever done.

  • sandbagger1sandbagger1 Sussex
    Posts: 82
    I'm not sure I've ever seen a good screentest. They always seem so flat. I don't know how anyone is ever cast from those things.
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    Posts: 2,428
    talos7 wrote: »
    Elba would make an incredible suave , globe hopping, woman bedding spy...... as on original character, not James Bond.

    Come to think of it, he’s about to do this; I can’t wait to see it, I’m a big fan.

    Me too big fan.
    I'm not sure I've ever seen a good screentest. They always seem so flat. I don't know how anyone is ever cast from those things.

    I believe it's not just audition that qualifies them, their might be more factors at play.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 4,865
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.

    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it, if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    Race [...] do define the character of Bond and those rules have already been set.
    But what? What about James Bond as a character is defined by his race?

    His physical appearance. It’s right there in literature and on film.

    Live and Let Die the novel and film make it blatantly obvious; “White face in Harlam, good thinking Bond.”
    But I wouldn't say that defines his character though. That's a physical description from the novels. My point is that his race doesn't impact his role. That's why I expanded upon the Black Panther/T'Challa example because the character is defined by being the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

    It's why Felix Leiter and Moneypenny were able to be race bent, and Q was able to change his age because they weren't defined as white or as characters of a certain age, just by the roles they played in the stories. So James Bond is defined by being an MI6 agent, so that'll always remain, but not by being white.

    are there no good white actors to be 007? again my issue is Race changing just feels gimmicky much like the Women can kick ass that was in the Batwoman teaser trailer (never watched a single episode) or the Charley's angels films. it's pandering and a gimmick
    MSL49 wrote: »
    I would love to see Dalton's, Brosnan's and Craig's screentest's.

    Yes it would be fascinating. I take it Glen directed Dalton and Brosnan's? And Campbell did Craig's I think. I guess they didn't screentest Brosnan for GE?
    I guess they don't really like to come out because the performance isn't quite there yet maybe. Craig's will be the first one we see for a guy who actually got it, is that right?
  • MSL49MSL49 Finland
    Posts: 271
    Did they test Connery, Lazenby they did, how about Moore?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 16 Posts: 4,865
    MSL49 wrote: »
    Did they test Connery, Lazenby they did, how about Moore?

    It’s a good question, if they did I’ve not heard of it. I guess with Moore his whole career had been a test for Bond up until that point (!) so I could understand if they didn’t, with Connery it’s a bit weirder. Maybe they just got him to read for them live?
  • Posts: 5,198
    Just to make a point:

    It's not that Bond's race defines him. It's just that Bond's race is defined in the novels. And I'm a sucker for intelectual property and original sources. But hey, that's just me and a few others apparently.

    But I do think we make a valid and fair point.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited October 16 Posts: 5,641
    Univex wrote: »
    Just to make a point:

    It's not that Bond's race defines him. It's just that Bond's race is defined in the novels. And I'm a sucker for intelectual property and original sources. But hey, that's just me and a few others apparently.

    But I do think we make a valid and fair point.

    I'm with you on that and I don't think any criticism of the position fuelled by ideas of it being 'racist' is merited. I understand the resistance and feel it myself; Bond, for me, is an extension of Fleming himself and the two are inseparable in personality and outlook. They are simplistic qualities but they are important nonetheless. It's why he's both likeable and unlikeable in equal measure at times. Naturally his skin colour is somewhat fundamental to my perception of him as a result and why any talk of it not being part of his character doesn't ring true to me.

    However, conversely, I do think that the films have deviated from that same source a few too many times in order for it to matter too much anymore. Sure, we had CR in '06, but that is a film that comes along maybe once in a generation and I don't see them repeating it. For me, it's less a case about liking it and more accepting that it is inevitable.

    It wouldn't be what I would do, of course - but then again I wouldn't have made half the Moore films the way they were made or made Die Another Day the way that it was made either. Or Spectre for that matter. Movie Bond is what it is - it's its own thing. It's a unique predicament to be in, I think - a credit to the filmmakers that they've created an enduring icon who survives long enough to have to face these questions!

    Admittedly, it would be very strange to me if they go smaller scale with the first film of the next guy and take any direct inspiration from the books as they did with CR, especially if the actor was of a different skin colour. Interesting, though.
  • Posts: 5,198
    A great, lucid and sensible post, @CraigMooreOHMSS.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 16 Posts: 4,865
    Univex wrote: »
    Just to make a point:

    It's not that Bond's race defines him. It's just that Bond's race is defined in the novels. And I'm a sucker for intelectual property and original sources. But hey, that's just me and a few others apparently.

    But I do think we make a valid and fair point.

    I'm with you on that and I don't think any criticism of the position fuelled by ideas of it being 'racist' is merited.

    Has that stance actually been taken though?
    However, conversely, I do think that the films have deviated from that same source a few too many times in order for it to matter too much anymore. Sure, we had CR in '06, but that is a film that comes along maybe once in a generation and I don't see them repeating it. For me, it's less a case about liking it and more accepting that it is inevitable.

    It wouldn't be what I would do, of course - but then again I wouldn't have made half the Moore films the way they were made or made Die Another Day the way that it was made either. Or Spectre for that matter. Movie Bond is what it is - it's its own thing. It's a unique predicament to be in, I think - a credit to the filmmakers that they've created an enduring icon who survives long enough to have to face these questions!

    Yeah exactly: Bond is indeed defined in the novels as being white. With a comma of black hair, blue-grey eyes, scar down the cheek, living in the 1950s, wearing a shabby old suit, smoking 60 a day, driving an ancient Bentley, suffering accidie, living on benzedrine, thinking homosexuals can't whistle etc. etc. I don't see much of that in the movies. Bond has moved beyond the original source and is, arguably, more interesting than Fleming ever made it. He was also happy to sell Bond off and abandon those details: let's not forget the first screen Bond was CIA operative card-sharp Jimmy Bond. Fleming himself was happy enough so take the cash for that, so I think the idea it has to stay perfectly original to the source has been rendered somewhat moot by the author himself and the idea that we've never seen an accurate Bond onscreen. If anyone thinks we have, feel free to point out the scar. Harry Potter managed it! :)
    I'm fine with Bond not being accurate in every detail to the books. I read the books, I enjoyed them a lot, but I don't expect the films to be the same and I enjoy what they add to the experience. Roger Moore isn't Fleming's Bond, but I love him all the same.
    And that's why I rather love the idea that the latest film is named after a movie that Cubby made: because he's now as much responsible for the success of Bond as Fleming was if you ask me. There's nothing intrinsically more pure or clever about reading a paperback thriller than there is watching a big movie that hundreds of people have spent years crafting, both are artistically valid. James Bond started as a successful book character and he'll always have his roots there, but he's grown beyond that into a movie icon.
    Admittedly, it would be very strange to me if they go smaller scale with the first film of the next guy and take any direct inspiration from the books as they did with CR, especially if the actor was of a different skin colour. Interesting, though.

    I could actually see them doing that doing even more to establish the link, to be honest. It worked for Craig after all. It's unlikely to be a straight adaptation as per CR of course because the cupboard's pretty bare there
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 17 Posts: 3,558
    mtm wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    James Bond is a British secret intelligence service agent, code number 007, residing in London but active internationally, who in the world we live in, could be a black man or a man of any other race as long as the character remains British.
    That's an incomplete characterisation, from which race, gender and overall physical characteristics were taken away. So I'd say that's only half of it - if that. James Bond is more than what you've depicted @Denbigh, my friend.
    But despite the obvious gender and overall physical characteristics, that description is the simplest explanation of who the character is, just as the description of Black Panther is. The point is that one character is literally defined by their race, another isn't - in my personal opinion.

    If I was to explain James Bond to someone who didn't know who he was, I don't think I'd ever mention the fact that he's white, or consider it an important factor, whereas his gender for example probably would be - which is why to me, James Bond could be black or of another race, and not a woman.

    Exactly: he was written as a fairly inconspicuous comfortably-off man who came from 50s London. It just so happens that a man like that at that time is more likely to be caucasian, but his race was never a key trait of his character or his cultural significance, unlike Black Panther as you say.
    Now that he's in the 21st century his race is less likely to be just one thing and is even less likely to be an issue in the world Bond lives in, which we've seen is an idealised one without racism. He's got be handsome and ideally athletic, an alpha male. But beyond that he doesn't need a comma of black hair over his right eye, a scar down his face and on the back of his hand, blue-grey eyes or be a ringer for Hoagy Carmichael or drive around in a 90 year old Bentley. We've managed 58 years without all of those things so far so I think they've been shown to be pretty non-essential. He doesn't even need black hair.

    This is exactly right, but I feel like I've made this argument many times; you're never going to change anyone's mind in here.

    At the end of the day, I think you have to look at the stories being told, as to me, stories are the most fundamentally important thing about film. Black Panther is a story about African culture, and therefore Black Panther's race is inextricably linked to the story they're trying to tell. James Bond films are stories about international espionage and intrigue, one British agent up against a megalomaniacal villain with infinite resources bent on manipulating the world to his or her own gains. Nothing there implies any race must be set in stone.

    I'll say this again: one of Bond's characteristics, as written, is that he's white, for sure. IMO, though, that characteristic isn't inextricably linked to the the character of James Bond because it isn't important to the stories they're using the character to tell. Of course an argument could be made for Live and Let Die, where Bond's appearance in Harlem as a white brit is absolutely part of the story. But we've had our Live and Let Die adaptions (film, comic). There's no need to pigeonhole the character that way going forward. We're all huge fans of the character James Bond, but to put the character before the story is to put the cart before the horse.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone else, that's just how I see it.

    EDIT: As a counter argument, I would never say you could cast a black actor in the role of Derek Vinyard, provided they wanted to make a new American History X. That character must remain white, because of the importance of that character's race to the story. That logic doesn't apply to Bond, IMO.
  • edited October 17 Posts: 10,974
    I think we should keep Bond blond, yet go far younger. Perhaps about 14 or 15?
    Instead of working for MI6 he could work at a burger joint and perhaps be an aspiring YouTuber?
    What we're looking for is a real life replication of THIS GUY to be the next Bond.................


    latest?cb=20120108001944


    Oops, I think I made this joke or one similar months ago.
    Never mind. Not funny anyway.
    Carry on......................
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 17 Posts: 3,558
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I think we should keep Bond blond, yet go far younger. Perhaps about 14 or 15?
    Instead of working for MI6 he could work at a burger joint and perhaps be an aspiring YouTuber?
    What we're looking for is a real life replication of THIS GUY to be the next Bond.................


    latest?cb=20120108001944


    Oops, I think I made this joke or one similar months ago.
    Never mind. Not funny anyway.
    Carry on......................

    lol, I sort of feels like this helps to illustrate my point; Bond's employment by MI6 is a characteristic that is inextricably linked to the character; take that away, and the James Bond stories fall apart. IMO, the same effect doesn't happen when you change his race.

    EDIT: Full disclosure, I know you were joking, of course.
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