The suggestions for who plays the next James Bond has gone from a black man to a woman and now a black woman, as suggested by actor Idris Elba.
The famed black British actor became a popular name across the Twitterverse as the potential man to replace Daniel Craig as the secret agent who prefers his martinis shaken, not stirred. Though Elba never snagged the role, he now suggests that even casting him would not be woke enough.
Speaking with Variety at the Sundance Film Festival, Elba reflected on the future identity of James Bond.
“Are we interested in having a Bond character other than being a male?” Elba asked. “It could be a woman, could be a black woman, could be a white woman, but I think, that character, everybody would like to see it have — do something different with it, why not?”
And there you have it: "Why not?" as the Frankfurt School pupils would say. There are a dozen reasons why not, most notably because it could degrade minorities in the same way that affirmative action does. By casting a (pick your social justice cause) in the role of James Bond, it sends the message that a black man or woman can open a movie only if they are handed a tired, dead-end franchise, once the main role is no longer interesting.
Why not create another character with their own universe, launching a whole new franchise that competes with James Bond?
To Hollywood's credit, they did try for that, at least in part, with the movie "Atomic Blonde" this past summer. Unfortunately, the movie failed to grab audiences attention. A similar picture, "Red Sparrow," due out in March, has drawn lauds from critics.
The upcoming "Black Panther" movie starring Chadwick Boseman could potentially launch a successful franchise headlined by a black man, and pre-ticket sales for that have already exceeded expectations.
As both Marvel and "Ghostbusters" recently learned, changing characters around in beloved franchises to support a social justice cause always backfires in the end. Best always to get creative and present new and innovative ideas.