Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins star Henry Golding recently declared he wants to radically alter film icon James Bond much like he is doing to Snake Eyes.
In an interview with the United Kingdom’s The Guardian, Golding was asked about James Bond and whether it was time for Hollywood to introduce it’s first half-east Asian 007.
Golding responded, “It is the opportunity for change. Be it female, male, bi, gay, straight, trans, Asian, black, Latina.”
He continued, “Now is the time in our history where it doesn’t matter. That is the most amazing feeling. So the possibilities are endless.”
When asked if he had been approached by anyone on the Bond team, Golding stated, “I’m not being drawn into this trap!”
Golding previously discussed the possibility of playing Bond with Attitude magazine.
He told the publication, “It does seem to be a question that always comes up. It was definitely from Crazy Rich, maybe (the scene with) the white suit coming out of the park.”
“(And) because I’m Asian and everybody’s fighting for a diverse Bond – sorry, white guys. I don’t know. It’s an honour to even be in the conversation. It’s one of the greatest film roles ever, you’d be stupid to be like, ‘I don’t want to do that shit,'” Golding continued
He then added, “F***, no, it would be the wildest ride. I’m super excited to see Daniel Craig’s last venture… but isn’t it great that we’re having that conversation?”
Golding concluded saying, “Isn’t it great that people are like, ‘OK, now’s the time, why the hell can’t we have a black Bond, an Asian Bond, a mixed-race Bond, a non-distinct Bond?”
Ian Fleming originally described James Bond in Casino Royale. He wrote:
“As he tied his thin, double-ended, black satin tie, he paused for a moment and examined himself levelly in the mirror. His grey-blue eyes looked calmly back with a hint of ironical inquiry and the short lock of black hair which would never stay in place slowly subsided to form a thick comma above his right eyebrow. With the thin vertical scar down his right cheek the general effect was faintly piratical. Not much of Hoagy Carmichael there, thought Bond, as he filled a flat, light gunmetal box with fifty of the Morland cigarettes with the triple gold band. Mathis had told him of the girl’s comment.”
Hoagy Carmichael was an American actor, singer, and songwriter who composed the songs “Stardust,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “The Nearness of You,” and “Heart and Soul.” He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951 for “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.”
Golding isn’t the only actor to want to radically alter James Bond. Suicide Squad actor Idris Elba spoke to Variety about changing Bond back in 2018.
He stated, “There’s no such thing as a black Bond. Are we interested in having a Bond character other than a male? It could be a woman, could be a black woman, could be a white woman. That character everybody would like to have, you know. Do something different with it. Why not?”
Former Bond actor Pierce Brosnan would also express his interest in having Bond changed. He told The Hollywood Reporter back in September 2019, “I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
Brosnan went on to say that Bond has to change for the #MeToo movement as well. He explained, “I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth would also call for a radical change to James Bond.
Speaking with Australian morning show Sunrise in February 2018, Hemsworth stated, “Yeah. Look. Any actor would jump at that opportunity. I’m certainly a fan. A whole lot of pressure comes with that, though. I think the Bond fan base is probably more critical than the comic book fanbase.”
He then added, “But I don’t know, there’s plenty of guys that would do a better job than I would. Plenty of English men or women that could probably take over that one.”
Current James Bond actor Daniel Craig has also advocated for radically altering the character. In April 2019, British tabloid The Mirror reported that Craig stated, ““I think that everybody should be considered. Also for women and for African-Americans, there should be great parts anyway, across the board.”
While a number of male actors have advocated for radically altering Bond, female actors have stated the opposite.
Bond girl Eva Green, who played Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, told Vanity Fair that James Bond should remain a man.
She explained, “I’m for women, but I really think James Bond should remain a man. It doesn’t make sense for him to be a woman.”
Green added, “Women can play different types of characters, be in action movies and be superheroes, but James Bond should always be a man and not be Jane Bond. There is history with the character that should continue. He should be played by a man.”
Daniel Craig’s wife and Black Widow actress Rachel Weisz also noted that James Bond should not be female. She told The Telegraph, “Fleming] devoted an awful lot of time to writing this particular character, who is particularly male and relates in a particular way to women.”
She added, “Why not create your own story rather than jumping on to the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors? Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories.”
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli also declared that Bond would stay male back in October 2018.
She told The Guardian, “Bond is male. He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as male.”
Broccoli continued, “And that’s fine. We don’t have to turn male characters into women. Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”
She also declared, “It was written in the 50s, so there’s certain things in [Bond’s] DNA that are probably not gonna change.”
However, she did note that she believes the franchise can change and adapt, “But look at the way the world has changed. And I think Bond has come through and transformed with the times. I’ve tried to do my part, and I think particularly with the Daniel [Craig] films, they’ve become much more current in terms of the way women are viewed.”
One thing does appear to be clear, actors like Golding will continue to advocate for radically altering iconic characters like James Bond despite how they were originally created and have been traditionally depicted.
What do you make of Golding’s comments regarding James Bond? Do you think James Bond will eventually be radically altered given the demands of people like Golding?