Can any iconic character be given a race adjustment? We've seen debates recently with Spider-Man and Superman, and now the question of whether or not James Bond can be black is up for discussion. Actually, most people seem to be all for the next 007 being black, especially if he's played by Idris Elba
. An Essence poll
is currently at 97.1% favorable, while a US Weekly poll
is 66% favorable, and Skyfall's
Naomie Harris just recently noted
that Elba has already discussed the possibility with Bond producers. The rising British actor, best known for his role as Stringer Bell on The Wire
, would also be interested if given the opportunity -- with one little request, which he told NPR
"I just don't want to be the black James Bond," he says. "Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."
Of course, he would be called that. Probably not in the movie, but by nearly everyone outside the movie, whether they're protesting or celebrating or just simply addressing the casting. He'd be called that even if it weren't a James Bond movie. He could simply star in a purely original spy movie and he'd likely still be called the black James Bond. If the xXx franchise were based in England, Ice Cube would likely have been referred to as a black 007.
I don't imagine EON Productions would ever do this anymore than Warner Bros. would do a black Superman movie (other than Steel, that is), but hopefully Elba could forgive the certainty of the label since people all over the Internet would love to see him don a tux and succeed Daniel Craig as Bond. Fan approval aside, though, he might have to fight Jamie Foxx for the part,
or maybe David Alan Grier.
What do you think? Could there ever be a black James Bond, and would you like to see Idris Elba take on that part?
Note: Parts of this post were originally published on September 30.