Is that you, Mr. Bond?
Idris Elba is a quality actor, and I’m a little disturbed at how much hate people have reserved for the Golden Globe winner when him and Bond get mentioned in the same sentence. Sometimes it’s about him being black (actually, most of the time it’s about him being black) but occasionally you see someone trying to mask their own preferences and biases with bullshit excuses. Let’s gather the facts, he’s brawny, handsome, talented, can play a bad ass, and is from the UK. I don’t see much of a reason to get pissed off about this notion. James Bond actors always catch a little slack in the start, but Idris hasn’t even been given the official okay. In fact, Daniel Craig still has a contract for 2 more movies! Yet I see heated discussions on the topic all the time. (Granted I frequent no-holds-barreds forums). But I’m finally sick of it and have sat on the topic for a bit of time. Here are a few of the reasons why they nay-sayers and especially the color haters, are probably a little slow, in my humble opinion.
1. James Bond was white in the books:
Well, Bond was described in From Russia with Love, in case you’re like me and wondered which book. And as per Wikipedia, (the most reliable source on the web) you’d be wrong,” Bond’s physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a “cruel” mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead. Physically he is described as 183 centimetres (6 feet) in height and 76 kilograms (167 lb) in weight.”– no mention of skin color but one could argue that it’s implied with the light eyes. I’ve seen descriptions of Bond with a more muscular build rather than slim, and a clear definition of blue eyes… but who cares. I mean we’ve had a brown eyed Bond, and frankly I don’t think a blue eyed black man would fare too awfully– let’s not pretend like we don’t have colored contacts in 2013! If we can look past the little details that weren’t quite there for the past actors I think we can give Idris some contacts and call it canon! And news flash, Daniel Craig is blond. U mad?
Oh shit… well, he doesn’t have a cruel mouth so…
2. I think he’d be better as “M”… or anyone else:
I love this argument because I don’t remember people being THIS pissed off when “M” was made a woman for the past [almost] 10 years! I didn’t see Judi Dench damping the box office sales. It’s also a way to not attack Idris as a quality actor because there are no legitimate reasons to not cast him. Personally I thought Anne Hathaway was a terrible choice for Cat Woman… but I got over it quickly. Bond is a name that sells no matter what– much like Star Wars. How many of you bitched and still bitch about the terrible prequels, however went to see Episode 1 opening night in 3D? Exactly, shut the fuck up. The gender and color of an actor should not be a major factor when you consider certain movie roles. Idris has said himself that he didn’t come to the USA to play black roles- just roles. And that’s exactly what he’s doing. James Bond is a fictional character, it’s not like you cast Will Smith to play the Queen of England, it’s fiction not documentary. Remember when I mentioned Daniel Craigs hair, well he could have dyed it. But he didn’t and I’m glad he didn’t. Both Skyfall and Casino Royale did exceptionally well despite his hair, I know I enjoyed them both.
We should be considering talent the paramount feature here, right?
3. They should make a new character– based off of James Bond:
Great idea! This one is my favorite because it’s the easiest to dissect. This suggests that someone should make an almost identical franchise only with black people! I’m sure that hasn’t been done before— has it Tyler Perry? No? Well, let’s have you and Spike duke it out for a minute then! — Anyone who would suggest this isn’t even trying to not sound racist. Yeah, I said it, racist. What the fuck is wrong with people that they are so turned off by the color of an actor that they’d suggest they make an entire new franchise for him instead! How is that even fucking logical?! No, really, who says that out loud? If you at some point thought this was a good argument against casting a black Bond… stop, because it’s not. It’s so insulting to insist that some unchangeable physical qualities of an actor should not allow him or her to be in an already successful franchise. And then in the same note suggest that said actor could do very well in a different, unassociated, but similar one. Being black isn’t like being obese, it’s not due to faulty glands or bad habits. Do you see what I mean? Being a purist Bond fan is one thing, but this type of argument is blatant ignorance. Please, spare us all your stupidity! You’re probably the same kind of person who would protest affirmative action because you think college didn’t give you financial aid for being the wrong color. Yeah, that’s fucking wrong too but it’s the same exact fucking problem.
4. I’m Just Against Liberal Socialist Hollywood Standards:
This suggests that Hollywood casts actors of different races solely because it’s politically correct. And unfortunately as long as we have scumbags who see life as black
and vs white, perhaps there will always be some truth to it. But take a moment to read a quote by Idris from 2011 and then tell me for certain that Idris doesn’t deserve a shot at the role because he’s dark skinned. When Linda Wertheimer of Morning Edition asked Idris if he’d consider trying out for the role of James Bond he proclaimed, “I’d not only get in the cab [to meet with producers] but I’d take the taxi driver out of the car, hostage…jump out while it was moving, jump onto a pedal bike that was just past the door as I got on it, and then get onto a plane—on the wing—land on top of Sony Studios, slide through the air conditioning, and land in the office,”– Sorry, but he at least deserves a casting call for his resume and enthusiasm. And not just him, but LOTS of actors could be good Bond characters and even Bond himself. We let color get in the way of our considerations and that’s why something as horrible as racism still exists in all shades and cultures. It’s a fucking virus and it needs to be stopped! Not regulated, it needs to be consciously stopped and taught through compassionate and sane individuals who breed. That’s not me being a liberal, that’s me being empathetic.
Black, Brown, Yellow, or Normal!!!
5. He’s Too Old… or He Will Be:
You know, this is the only argument I’ve seen that I can agree with. Why? Because Daniel Craig (as I mentioned before) is in contract for 2 more movies. By the time they decide on a director, a book to shoot, various other red tape yadda yadda yadda… it will probably be too late for Idris. So yeah, CC: me on this argument and I’ll cosign. But even still, he’s not that old. With the right director and cast he’d still be convincing even after all those years. Then it’s just a matter of contract. I’m not going to go too into this because it’s self explanatory and this article is long enough.
Take it with you that I’m not saying Idris is the end all and be all to the Bond Legacy. I hope that we still have yet to see the best of the best when it comes to our cherished spy. Just don’t be so quick to spew ridiculous slander over such a non-talent-factor. Fans of the comic petitioned and roared over Elba being cast in Thor. And he played the part of the Heimdall the Gatekeeper seamlessly! Actually, if it weren’t for my interest in James Bond I never would have even known that anyone gave a fuck that he wasn’t white for that role! I didn’t realize people still gave a shit about this and perhaps that’s what prompted me to care in the first place. In NYC the color of the act isn’t why you give your money or go out and support the talent. I mean I know people have preferences with dating and mating… not that I’m promoting that either, but do you really care about the color of Heimdall? It’s not affecting your life! That’s so fucking shallow it’s unforgivable.