A few days ago Irish actor Pierce Brosnan caused stir suggesting the James Bond character might be portrayed as gay or by a “great black actor”. For our younger audiences let us start by recalling Brosnan has played the Bond role in four of the film instalments.
I’ve always thrown Colin Salmon’s name in the mix. He’s somebody I have worked with closely over the years. He would be outstanding and I think it would be absolutely essential: Pierce Brosnan.
[ Related: Is James Bond an impotent drunk? ]
As a result of Brosnan bold suggestion, our friends at Yahoo! Movies got a little bit carried away and came up with a list of 26 actors who could play James Bond next. Some interesting names can be found there, including Oscar™ nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, Superman impersonator Henry Cavill and superhero film villains Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy, among many others. David Oyelowo and Idris Elba were the two British actors of African heritage mentioned in the list.
But is the world ready for a black James Bond? Are moviegoers and novel enthusiasts ready to watch a beloved character change radically? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Fictional characters as Spider-Man have evolved that way (enter Miles Morales) sparking mixed reactions among fans and critics.
My opinion: Political correctness is one thing and few people want to strongly put it aside and face the outpour of sanctimonious souls slamming ideas and expressions. That does not mean writers should necessarily adapt existing characters to contemporary conceptions.
Why not make him Vietnamese?
Sometimes such adaptations are made for the sake of marketing more than the urge to be politically correct, granted! But who could honestly say James Bond is in need of a marketing boost to meet the box office goals?
In any event, Daniel Craig is the actor currently assuming the James Bond persona and there is no rush to write him off just yet. If ‘Spectre’ (to be released in a couple of months) becomes a success, it is probable that Craig will be hired for the role one more time thereby proving his five-film contract was real from day one. Furthermore, I believe the franchise should be let alone for a few years before rebooting it, something we have not seen (but need) with the X-Men or Batman.
September 2nd, 2015.