Idris Elba reportedly being considered for next James Bond

Thaluikhain

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Hades said:
Isn't that more the fault of the writers and directors rather than Craig himself? Yeah Craig's bond acted eternally grumpy and devoid of charm but that seems to be how that version of Bond was written to be.
Yeah, everyone has to be grumpy and angsty all the time, like the boring version of Batman.
 

Hades

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Thaluikhain said:
Hades said:
Isn't that more the fault of the writers and directors rather than Craig himself? Yeah Craig's bond acted eternally grumpy and devoid of charm but that seems to be how that version of Bond was written to be.
Yeah, everyone has to be grumpy and angsty all the time, like the boring version of Batman.
That was probably the general thought process behind it. Dark sells so that's what they did.
 

Saelune

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Hades said:
Saelune said:
I want to be mad, but Daniel Craig wasn't a good Bond either, and whatever, if it will also piss off some actual racists too, fine.


Hell, if he -acts- like Bond, which Craig did not, I will rank him higher than Craig.


Fuck Daniel Craig.
Isn't that more the fault of the writers and directors rather than Craig himself? Yeah Craig's bond acted eternally grumpy and devoid of charm but that seems to be how that version of Bond was written to be.
Craig did not have to go along with it. Based on all the money they threw at him to be Bond for so long, there is no way he did not have pull.
 

09philj

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Bond is a cold blooded psychologically damaged male-fantasy nightmare so Elba's an ideal choice. Also they need to use the classic line from the books "Women love semi rape. They love to be taken".
 

madwarper

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Agema said:
I suspect not, because he's too old.

James Bond as a character must be under 45,
Depends what you consider cannon...

John Gardner wrote about 50 year old Bond. In Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care, Bond was given the choice of when to retire. Also, Sean Connery made Never Say Never Again at 62.

The only point of contention I have with Idris Alba is whether "James Bond" is the character's name (prior to becoming a 00), or "James Bond" is a mantle given to the person along with 007 designation.

If "James Bond" is the character's name, I prefer Idris Alba to be a different 00 agent.
If "James Bond" is a mantle given, I wouldn't mind Idris Alba.

This is like Bruce Wayne vs. Batman. The mantle of "Batman" can be passed to Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, Terry McGinnis, etc. But, only Bruce Wayne can be Bruce Wayne.
 

Terminal Blue

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Hades said:
Isn't that more the fault of the writers and directors rather than Craig himself? Yeah Craig's bond acted eternally grumpy and devoid of charm but that seems to be how that version of Bond was written to be.
I think it's also to do with how the audience's perspective of the character (particularly outside of the target demographic of increasingly ageing men) has changed over time.

Like, look at James Bond as a character.

* He kills people. A lot of people.
* He displays no regret or human empathy for the people he kills, in fact, he often seems to enjoy it.
* He has sex with many, many partners (often under questionable conditions of consent) but never seems to form emotional connections with them.
* In fact, he doesn't really seem to form emotional connections with any human being.
* Despite routinely being in peril, he never displays any fear of death and seems to have complete faith in his own invincibility.
* Neither does he ever display signs of trauma or mental impairment, despite dealing with a lot of horrible shit.

In the 60s, when criminal psychology was less mainstream and popular news coverage of serial killings hadn't become a big deal yet, perhaps people didn't immediately pick up on an incredibly obvious interpretation of this characterization, but come on.. Bond is essentially portrayed as a psychopath. He does not display any relatable human qualities, and he does not give anything emotionally to the people around him. He kills. He fucks. He generally treats everyone around him like objects who are there for his amusement. He has no real emotions, he has no real vulnerability. He is superficially charming, but only to ensure he gets what he wants.

The Craig movies were marketed as a "grittier" take on Bond, which to be honest makes total sense. Craig's Bond seems to have specifically been written to address the interpretation of Bond as a psychopath by flirting with the idea, but also by showing a more "damaged" side of the character to ultimately dispel it. Unfortunately, in practice (and because the people who write and consume Bond movies can't be relied upon for subtlety) this comes out as angst. Lots and lots of pointless, directionless angst.
 

Squilookle

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evilthecat said:
Hades said:
Isn't that more the fault of the writers and directors rather than Craig himself? Yeah Craig's bond acted eternally grumpy and devoid of charm but that seems to be how that version of Bond was written to be.
I think it's also to do with how the audience's perspective of the character (particularly outside of the target demographic of increasingly ageing men) has changed over time.

Like, look at James Bond as a character.

* He kills people. A lot of people.
* He displays no regret or human empathy for the people he kills, in fact, he often seems to enjoy it.
* He has sex with many, many partners (often under questionable conditions of consent) but never seems to form emotional connections with them.
* In fact, he doesn't really seem to form emotional connections with any human being.
* Despite routinely being in peril, he never displays any fear of death and seems to have complete faith in his own invincibility.
* Neither does he ever display signs of trauma or mental impairment, despite dealing with a lot of horrible shit.

In the 60s, when criminal psychology was less mainstream and popular news coverage of serial killings hadn't become a big deal yet, perhaps people didn't immediately pick up on an incredibly obvious interpretation of this characterization, but come on.. Bond is essentially portrayed as a psychopath. He does not display any relatable human qualities, and he does not give anything emotionally to the people around him. He kills. He fucks. He generally treats everyone around him like objects who are there for his amusement. He has no real emotions, he has no real vulnerability. He is superficially charming, but only to ensure he gets what he wants.

The Craig movies were marketed as a "grittier" take on Bond, which to be honest makes total sense. Craig's Bond seems to have specifically been written to address the interpretation of Bond as a psychopath by flirting with the idea, but also by showing a more "damaged" side of the character to ultimately dispel it. Unfortunately, in practice (and because the people who write and consume Bond movies can't be relied upon for subtlety) this comes out as angst. Lots and lots of pointless, directionless angst.
You must be pretty late to the party if you really believe all that.

Before Craig, Bond showed *plenty* of empathy to the fallen- if they were on the right side. Sometimes even when they weren't. Killing Electra in particular seemed to really get to him. It's only with Craig that he stopped showing remorse for seeing partners dead.

Also before Craig- Bond's seductions were all either genuine, or orchestrated by the enemy to kill/exploit him. Except for Solitaire- that was a bit dodge. With Craig though, all's fair in love it seems. Remember, Bond has genuinely fallen in love twice now, and both times life kicked him to the curb because of it. Much as Bond would hate to admit a show of affection towards colleagues, we saw a brief tinge of apprehension at the prospect of Q retiring- and let's not forget Felix Leiter- Bond's best friend seen through many adventures, and who made Bond his Best Man at his wedding.

Bond shows plenty of fear towards death- he simply doesn't lose focus on doing whatever gives him the best chance of getting out of that peril. At this point you're not describing Bond- you're describing Archer. He's also on multiple occasions seen undergoing both physical and psychological evaluations. One injury would plague him for an entire movie, in fact. At the climax of License to Kill, he could barely even walk.
 

Natemans

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Johnny Novgorod said:
The problem with Elba is the same problem with Craig - suave as he can be he never looks like he's enjoying himself in anything.

I like Craig, but wow, did he look bored in Spectre
 

Natemans

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Zontar said:
Again? He's already said he isn't interested in the past. Plus, Henry Cavill is young and built enough to be perfect for the role.


Cavill works pretty well with the spy genre. He was pretty good in Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible - Fallout
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Fappy said:
Weird people are saying Idris Elba (45) is too old. He's younger than Daniel Craig (50) was when he made Spectre (he was 47).

It seems I am in the minority, but I actually like Daniel Craig as Bond (even if many of his movies were meh). I can definitely see Elba pulling off the same "grizzled" Bond if that's what they're going for.
Well, context is key here. Yes, Elba is younger than Craig, but if he were cast this instant he would still be WAY older than Craig was when he was first cast as Bond. Craig was thirty-five when he was cast, a full decade younger than Elba is now. Admittedly, there was been a 50/50 split with the casting, the oldest being Moore who was forty-five (like Elba) when production of Live and Let Die started. Heck, Elba would be even older by the time they started a post-Craig Bond and he'd probably be pushing sixty by the time he finished his tenure depending on how fast things went during production.

I mean, if they work something out, I'd be totally down for it. Elba is a great actor and I can see him doing some really cool stuff with the role, especially if he gets a great director and the films aren't plagued with the same production troubles as Quantum of Solace and Spectre
 

Chewster

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I hope this happens because it'll upset all the closet racists and the James Bond purists (not necessarily mutually exclusive).
 

Agema

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madwarper said:
The only point of contention I have with Idris Alba is whether "James Bond" is the character's name (prior to becoming a 00), or "James Bond" is a mantle given to the person along with 007 designation.

If "James Bond" is the character's name, I prefer Idris Alba to be a different 00 agent.
If "James Bond" is a mantle given, I wouldn't mind Idris Alba.
I have a much looser conception of James Bond: he's just a borderline sociopathic, womanising, British secret agent in the mould of Ian Fleming's books. Beyond that, he can be heavily reimagined.

You could imagine it like a legendary hero. The hero goes around and does their stuff in the ancient era; people in different locales tell the tales, embellish them or even make new ones up, and each area ends up with a slightly different conception of the hero. They're all right, and they're all wrong. Or consider portrayals of Jesus. In ancient portrayals particularly around the Levant, he's darkish skinned with dark brown or black hair. The more it moves towards northern Europe, his complexion becomes lighter and hair often becomes light brown or blond. In Ethiopian Orthodox images, Jesus is black. Who cares? They're all Jesus.
 

Agema

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Zontar said:
Again? He's already said he isn't interested in the past. Plus, Henry Cavill is young and built enough to be perfect for the role.
Cavill's despairingly wooden performances as Napoleon Solo and Superman do not inspire me: his acting seems to me like he's trying to audition with modelling agencies, not filmmakers. I don't think he looks mean enough, either - self-righteously determined or blandly serious, but not mean. On the other hand, maybe it's just the roles he's had.

* * *

I'd suggest there are lots of good choices for James Bond, although many perhaps familiar to British TV watchers more than Hollywood. A very obvious Hollywood choice would be Tom Hiddleston; for a less starry approach, someone like Luke Evans or James Norton.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Bond is such a painfully bland, boring male power fantasy character that anything hinting towards a different direction is a positive in my twattish opinion. I generally have a mild passing interest in the direction of the action and what charismatic acting the villian can provide, and even then only if I'm stoned enough to not worry about thinking too much.

Agema said:
Cavill's despairingly wooden performances as Napoleon Solo and Superman do not inspire me: his acting seems to me like he's trying to audition with modelling agencies, not filmmakers. I don't think he looks mean enough, either - self-righteously determined or blandly serious, but not mean. On the other hand, maybe it's just the roles he's had.
Oh God no. Cavill has basically the most typical American idolised image of white male perfection from the 20s to the 60s as the one thing going for him and would work way more effectively in a satire of the idea, but we are already way past even that. I am not surprised he appeals to a conservative mindset one bit however.
 

Cicada 5

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Saelune said:
I want to be mad, but Daniel Craig wasn't a good Bond either, and whatever, if it will also piss off some actual racists too, fine.


Hell, if he -acts- like Bond, which Craig did not, I will rank him higher than Craig.


Fuck Daniel Craig.
Craig did act like Bond. Specifically, Bond in the original novels.
 

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Squilookle said:
You must be pretty late to the party if you really believe all that..
Actually, I think the further back you go generally the worse it gets. In Goldfinger, Bond literally uses the head of a girl he's making out with to block an attack, and then murders the attacker by electrocuting him in a bathtub. Moore films are written to be more lighthearted, but by virtue of this they become some of the most unintentionally psychopathic. Moore's Bond is gleefully callous about death.

Dalton's Bond was the first attempt to reboot the franchise in a more serious direction, and surprise, surprise his Bond comes off as damaged and less invincible.. but he only got two movies. Guess that shit didn't fly.

Brosnan is like a weird amalgamation of previous depictions of the character. Yes, he gets "character moments" sometimes, and is written to display much more feeling towards some of the women he's fucking (because this was a post-women's-liberation era and people were starting to catch on to how creepy and weird the Bond films' attitude to women was, there's a reason why Goldeneye has a scene where M literally chews Bond out for being a "misogynistic dinosaur"). But he also gets Roger Moore like moments of icky callousness, and his body count tends to be incredibly high even by Bond standards.

Squilookle said:
Also before Craig- Bond's seductions were all either genuine, or orchestrated by the enemy to kill/exploit him.
I think this is probably the best way I can do this..


I don't even want to go into the novel's interpretation of this whole.. event. Needless to say, Ian Fleming had some strange views on women.

Squilookle said:
At this point you're not describing Bond- you're describing Archer.
Yes. Because Archer is (or rather was, originally) a satire of James Bond, and a very good satire of James Bond. Archer is an exaggeration of Bond's characterization for comedic effect, but the joke wouldn't be funny if there wasn't a grain of truth in it.

James Bond is not a real person, so I am not literally suggesting that this fictional person is a psychopath because fictional characters do not have real minds. The point is that there is something a little wrong with the characterisation. We are meant to accept this character as a good person whose behaviour is justified, yet they often display qualities which, if they were a real person, would make them an extremely bad person, or at least, a person with severe problems.

Daniel Craig plays the character like a person with severe problems. Like a person who has killed hundreds of people, and doesn't so much enjoy it as is just used to it and is as comfortable with it as a human being can be. Maybe that's not as fun as having Moore or Brosnan quip merrily over the cooling, shattered remains of a human life they've just ended, but it's not as creepy either.
 

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A massive part of me hopes that they return to a Moore-style campiness and silliness. So if Elba brings that tothe role, I'll automatically think he's the best James Bond ever. Barring Moore.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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evilthecat said:
Daniel Craig plays the character like a person with severe problems. Like a person who has killed hundreds of people, and doesn't so much enjoy it as is just used to it and is as comfortable with it as a human being can be. Maybe that's not as fun as having Moore or Brosnan quip merrily over the cooling, shattered remains of a human life they've just ended, but it's not as creepy either.
But then again, do we actually want that? I think the best possible critique of Bond is precisely the inherently enjoyable, and yet still ultra-silliness and campiness of a Moore that comes inherently with what was, in all extents and honesty, already a pretty creepy fanfic of SOE commandos born out of WW2.

A sympathetic Bond hasworked well in precisely one movie. Goldeneye. But not every James Bond movie is going to be fun if they're all Goldeneye.

He's not a sympathetic 'hero' ... he was basically a tool for a government on the tail end of blatant imperialism. The best possible commentary of that is a British 'gentleman' running roughshod over the lives and livelihoods of others across the world in notoriously nationalist bravado of mass murdering some peeps, and leaping off a clff, only to deploy a Union Jack emblazoned parachute to safety.

Unrepentingly; "This was awful, but gloriously cheesy AF."

That is about as reverent as you should be to these people. MI5 and SIS are not replete with nice people. They are not populated, nor have they ever been, with nice people. They are in fact unmitigated arseholes both currently and historically. I would settle for James Bond as per all Goldeneye ... because it was also campy, silly humour met with some sombre and overall really good dialogue and direction. By your critique, I think Timothy Dalton was a better Bond than Daniel Craig. For the reasons you put forward.

James Bond should not be targeting terrorist bombers across the world. He should be getting into comedy fight scenes with villains like Jaws, as a direct critique of the actual ridiculous nature of a government that funds these handful of people to the tune of 2.6 billion pounds ... and it comes down to a guy tackling less a grounded threat, but rather an overblown supervillain in plots so distantly removed from actual credibility as to make the organization itself downright laughable.

It should never escape the public's ire that your average State Crime taskforces are more effective with dealing with domestic terrorism, corruption and even foreign spies than MI5 and SIS are. And they sure as hell don't get more than a million pounds of funding each year per person by capita.

James Bond should always be; "Yeah, we do actually get this amount of money ... and we piss it away. To make fun of that, here's a tiny single seat folding wing plane Bond uses to escape, and likely jeopardises it and possible capture by pulling into a service station with it."

It is, ironically, probably as gloriously in touch with the realities of just how bloated with taxpayer money these organizations are ... and what sort of mindset the people working in them will get by that over-saturation of the weight of its coin purse and historicity combined.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
But then again, do we actually want that?
I think a problem is that there are a lot of different perspectives of what "we" want.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I think the best possible critique of Bond is precisely the inherently enjoyable, and yet still ultra-silliness and campiness of a Moore that comes inherently with what was, in all extents and honesty, already a pretty creepy fanfic of SOE commandos born out of WW2.
Maybe, but critique requires distance.

If you simply remade a Moore-era Bond film, you'd have to make it absurd somehow or people would just read it as sincere and either think it was a return to the series' high point, or a creepy tonal mess, depending on their personal interpretation and view. To function as a critique, you would have to specifically draw attention to the things you were supposed to ignore or gloss-over in the Moore-era films, like that James Bond is incredibly callous about killing people, or the fact that very few of the women he has sex with have any established reason to want to have sex with him (but do anyway, because porn logic).

Like, I can see the fun in going back to those movies and just laughing at them, but you're ultimately laughing at the lack of self-awareness. You can't really recreate that in a self-aware way.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
He's not a sympathetic 'hero' ... he was basically a tool for a government on the tail end of blatant imperialism.
But people treat him as a sympathetic hero, just as (much to my embarassment) most people in the UK are still emotionally predisposed to see blatant imperialism as a good thing or a point of nostalgic pride..

This is my point. Bond's role in the narrative is to be the good guy, or the sympathetic hero if you will, but the reality of his characterisation is actually kind of unpleasant. Any new treatment or interpretation of the character will need to negotiate this somehow, whether that is by giving the character a more sympathetic characterisation or by making it clear that you're not entirely supposed to like them.

Because while it may be strange, people do need to be told that they aren't supposed to like this character, or they will.