With Daniel Craig’s time as Britain’s most dapper secret agent drawing to a close, speculation on who will step into his very big, very well-shined shoes has hit a fever pitch. There’s a short list of candidates that is headlined by odds-on favorite Damian Lewis, with Luther Star Idris Elba trailing close behind. The latter has seen a groundswell of support from fans who believe that he checks all the right boxes, but Variety reports that a former Bond weighed in yesterday and called Elba’s candidacy into question.
“Anything is possible for sure, but I think he’ll be male and he’ll be white,” Brosnan told the Press Association of his thoughts on who might play the character. Brosnan then added “There’s wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there’s no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond.”
The veteran actor was probably just speculating (perhaps based on some insider info), but his prediction is newsworthy in light of the racially insensitive comments of Bond author Anthony Horowitz, who called Elba “too street” to play 007. Others, like controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, have been less subtle. Said Limbaugh on his radio program early this year “… we had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond is white. Bond was never black.”
As others have pointed out, Bond wasn’t Irish (like Brosnan) or blond-haired (Like Craig) either. Whatever Ian Fleming’s original intention may have been, the character has clearly taken on a life of his own.
We just hope that whoever is cast can continue the momentum built up by Craig and company, whose films have revitalized a franchise that had become a bit stale.
Spectre, the latest Bond adventure, his theaters on Nov. 6.