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Idris Elba is/isn't the new James Bond

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  • Idris Elba is/isn't the new James Bond

    Interesting contrast between the BBC and The Guardian this morning on this old chestnut. The Beeb think his latest tweets suggest he will be, the latter thinks they suggest he won't.

    Elba has the looks, physique and charm but I was pretty much shared the view expressed a couple of years ago that he was 'too street', too much of a Cockney wide boy, to play such a well-educated, refined (albeit psychopathic) character. However, Clive James describes him as our most 'kingly' actor sinceRichard Burton and a better actor, so maybe there is something I have missed in his performances.

    I would have pegged David Oyelowo was a more obvious choice.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post
    I was pretty much shared the view expressed a couple of years ago that he was 'too street', too much of a Cockney wide boy, to play such a well-educated, refined (albeit psychopathic) character.
    Did you see him playing an American gangster / drug dealer / wannabe businessman in “The Wire” or playing Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long walk to freedom”. He’s an actor. He can put on different accents and styles

    I think he’d be great as Bond

    Steve

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    • #3
      I didn't see him as Mandela, but have seen him in things like Beasts of No Nation and The Mountain Between Us and he is a terrific and charismatic actor, just hadn't pictured him as a middle class, elitist snob that is Bond. Whereas I can see Oyelowo in that character.

      That said, I wouldn't have pegged Connery as that either, he also has this working class vibe going on and he,IMO, is the best cinematic incarnation of Bond. I guess, I have talked myself round.

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      • #4
        If I was Elba, I would think myself lucky not having to have the huge expectation of playing Bond hanging over me - who needs the grief?

        He is actually a very good actor, both in drama (excellent as Mandela) and in action films. But I suspect if I was looking for a followup to Craig, I would be doing the classic Bond thing - find someone who is a safeish choice, with the Bond swagger, who isn't that well known, who isn't too expensive. Elba is 45 (only 5 years younger than Craig), and high profile. Oyelawo is an excellent actor as well (its strange to thik that the bulk of the high profile Selma parts were played by Brits), but I suspect he sees his career as more flexible than one that Bond would offer.

        Variety has a report which points out the obvious - Craig is confirmed for Bond 25, so they don't need a Bond at present. But Barbara Broccolli etc are meeting with people over casting other parts in 25. And Idris would make a very cool villain..
        Last edited by Bonekicker; 12th August 2018, 05:07 PM.

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        • #5
          He's make an excellent Bond. He has both the gravitas and the menace.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
            If I was Elba, I would think myself lucky not having to have the huge expectation of playing Bond hanging over me - who needs the grief?

            He is actually a very good actor, both in drama (excellent as Mandela) and in action films. But I suspect if I was looking for a followup to Craig, I would be doing the classic Bond thing - find someone who is a safeish choice, with the Bond swagger, who isn't that well known, who isn't too expensive. Elba is 45 (only 5 years younger than Craig), and high profile. Oyelawo is an excellent actor as well (its strange to thik that the bulk of the high profile Selma parts were played by Brits), but I suspect he sees his career as more flexible than one that Bond would offer.

            Variety has a report which points out the obvious - Craig is confirmed for Bond 25, so they don't need a Bond at present. But Barbara Broccolli etc are meeting with people over casting other parts in 25. And Idris would make a very cool villain..
            I think Elba's age is against him. The rate they make Bonds these days means he will be 50 before he makes his debut which must leave a question mark on his longevity. There would be no five film contract for him.

            I agree reed he would make a formidable villain, though, and a distinct step up. It is a mark of Craig's Bonds that the villains thus far have been pretty forgettable.

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            • #7
              I have actually quite liked the villains so far - they are mostly extremely threatening in their own way (Quantum of Solace was a bit bland, although the General was fairly repulsive), and catching a bit of Skyfall last night, it reminded me how good De Silva was as a character.

              I suspect that Elba has been cast in Bond 25, but whether he is a villain (Bloefeld must have a deputy...?), Felix Leiter or perhaps another double oh agent, who knows? But I am sure that he will do a good job, given the right script, etc.

              The makers of Bond are very good at whipping up interest, not that they need to try very hard to get people to endlessly speculate, argue, etc. If you look at the threads for previous Bond films on the old website, you will find that 90% of the rumours, media reports and speculation were total nonsense, or just castles in the air (worth reading when you see what the same People say about the next one) . People get very strange about Bond, and tend to come up with strange theories to justify their own strangeness.

              So the best thing is often just to sit back, ignore the froth, and look at the fundamentals - what actually makes sense to a super commercial film franchise, and what's actually been confirmed? After that, it's just going to actually see the thing. At the end of the day, it's only a movie...

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              • #8
                The problem is this. Eon Productions decided many decades ago that James Bond was an actual person with a back story. Ludicrous as that may be we did have Roger Moore putting flowers on the grave of "his" wife Theresa and many other back references. In view of this how on earth can this person with a back story suddenly become black? It would have been far better if Eon had gone down the road of James Bond being a cover name for the agent currently holding licence 007, then they could cast anybody in the part. Colour blind casting may be acceptable, even desirable in many roles, but let's face it, if somebody decided to make a new "Shaft" film and cast a white actor in the part there would be a massive outcry.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
                  The problem is this. Eon Productions decided many decades ago that James Bond was an actual person with a back story. Ludicrous as that may be we did have Roger Moore putting flowers on the grave of "his" wife Theresa and many other back references. In view of this how on earth can this person with a back story suddenly become black? It would have been far better if Eon had gone down the road of James Bond being a cover name for the agent currently holding licence 007, then they could cast anybody in the part. Colour blind casting may be acceptable, even desirable in many roles, but let's face it, if somebody decided to make a new "Shaft" film and cast a white actor in the part there would be a massive outcry.
                  Don't really buy the back story argument, if the filmmakers stuck to what they had already committed to on celluloid, not only would Bond have that inconvenient wfe but he would be over ninety years old!

                  Anyway, is there anything in the backstory that says he isn't black? It might have been unusual, given the times, for a black man to have experienced what Bond did, but Bond is an unusual man. Shaft, on the only hand, is an explicitly black character.

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                  • #10
                    The thing is, Bond has always been portrayed by white actors. It would be ridiculous to switch now to a black actor no matter how fine an actor he is.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shirley Brahms View Post
                      The thing is, Bond has always been portrayed by white actors. It would be ridiculous to switch now to a black actor no matter how fine an actor he is.
                      But why, Shirley? There is nothing about the character, the world he operates or the tasks he performs that makes him, by necessity, white. It's not like he is an historical figure and these are realistic portrayals.

                      I'd understand your point if this was a period piece about MI6 in the 1950s but given Bond has been reinvented for the 21st century, what stops him from reflecting the era he now lives in?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post

                        But why, Shirley? There is nothing about the character, the world he operates or the tasks he performs that makes him, by necessity, white. It's not like he is an historical figure and these are realistic portrayals.

                        I'd understand your point if this was a period piece about MI6 in the 1950s but given Bond has been reinvented for the 21st century, what stops him from reflecting the era he now lives in?
                        Because he is so well established as white. He was white when Ian Fleming created him, he was white in every (how many?) movies through all the decades - including when he was reinvented for the 21st century. Simple as that.

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                        • #13
                          Paxton Milk - logically, your totally right. But people are strange...and with Bond, very very strange.

                          From Eons point of view, Bond being black gets them grief, and not more money. There really isn't an upside, because all the coverage will be 'but they cast a black guy', when what they want is 'wow, he will be great as Bond'. If the film is a failure, the poor guy will be blamed forever, not because of anything he had done, but simply by being black.

                          Which is why Elba doesn't need the hassle - no matter how good you are, your never going to be as good as the previous white guy, just because people on the internet think so. Carve out your own role instead. Remember how much ,media time that idiot who objected to Craig because he was BLOND got some years back. And poor Naiome Harris got a lot of abuse for being Moneypenny while black (I think she is super). Twitter would explode, (helped no doubt by the curremt occupant of 1600) and it would be very ugly. And you don't kill the golden goose.

                          Eon does evolution, unless revolution is forced upon it. Bourne forced it to reboot with Craig (try watching Die Another Day, and then even the first Bourne film - world's apart), but a black Bond would be really radical, and they don't need to be radical.

                          Spinoff would be nice - black 009. Hell, they were going to spin off Michelle Yeohs character and Jaz, but the studio didn't get their act together. Who knows?

                          DC and Marvel have been playing around with race and gender swapping for various characters for some years, and they have taken some grief for it, but often it's been really refreshing. They can afford to take more risks, but it's nice to see. What I would like is for a really interesting black female agent type character on screen - not just doing bullet time moves or wiping out whole armies with CIG, but more in the Bourne mould - sometimes that you think don't just think 'another stunt, another quip. In short, treating the audience like adults.

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                          • #14
                            If it aint broke don't fix it !!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post



                              Anyway, is there anything in the backstory that says he isn't black? It might have been unusual, given the times, for a black man to have experienced what Bond did, but Bond is an unusual man. Shaft, on the only hand, is an explicitly black character.
                              Just read the book Live and Let Die when Bond and Leiter go to a night club in Harlem.

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