James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli recently addressed the possibility of casting Idris Elba to play the next 007.
Broccoli appeared alongside her fellow Bond producer Michael G. Wilson on Deadline’s Crew Call podcast with host Anthony D’Alessandro.
During their conversation, Alessandro asked about Elba possibly being the next James Bond.
The producer responded, “Well, we know Idris. I am friends with him and he’s a magnificent actor. It’s been part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have the conversation when you have someone in the seat.”
“I think we have decided that until No Time To Die has kind of had his run and Daniel has been able to—well, we’ve all been able to savor the—reap the benefits of Daniel’s wonderful tenure, we’re not going to think about or talk about anybody else, actors to play the role, or storylines, or anything really. We just want to live in the moment, the present,” she asserted.
Broccoli has previously made it clear she does not believe that James Bond should be gender swapped.
Back in December, she told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond.”
“I believe in making characters for women and not just having women play men’s roles. I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make movies for women about women,” she elaborated.
However, she did leave the role open to any race saying, “He should be British, so British can be any [ethnicity or race].”
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In October 2020, Broccoli addressed a rumor that Tom Hardy would be the next James Bond. While addressing the rumor she explained to Total Film that the next actor who takes on the role would reimagine the character, “It will have to be reimagined, in the way each actor has reimagined the role.”
“That’s what is so exciting and fun about this franchise; the character evolves. Eventually, when we have to think about it, we’ll find the right person,” she added.
Broccoli would go on to state that in this reimagining of Bond that he might not be a “white man.” She detailed, “He doesn’t need to be a white man. Not as far as I’m concerned.”
Bond is male,” Broccoli told the Guardian in October of 2018, adding, “He’s a male character. He was written as a male and I think he’ll probably stay as a male. And that’s fine. We don’t have to turn male characters into women.
Further, Broccoli toyed with the idea of introducing new female characters instead of attempting to gender-swap Ian Fleming’s secret agent, asserting, “Let’s just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters.”
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Elba, for his part, has advocated radical changes to James Bond in the past.
He told Variety in 2018, “There’s no such thing as a black Bond. Are we interested in having a Bond character other than being a male? It could be a woman, could be a black woman, could be a white woman. I think that character everybody would like to see it, you know? Do something different with it. Why not?”
While, Broccoli claims that Bond can be of any ethnicity or race, James Bond creator Ian Fleming gave Bond a distinctive look in his Casino Royale novel.
Fleming 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,” Fleming penned.
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Hoagy Carmichael was a popular American actor, singer, and songwriter in the 1950s. He composed the songs “Stardust,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “The Nearness of You,” and “Heart of Soul.”
In fact, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951 for “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.” He also happens to be a white man, as you can see below.
On top of this description and the fact that Carmichael is a white man, the 1955 paperback edition of Casino Royale published by Pan MacMillan shows Bond as a white man. According to The Guardian this was also the “first ever published picture representation of 007.”
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Aside from addressing the possibility of Elba taking on the role of James Bond, Broccoli would also discuss the possibility of spin-offs without James Bond.
She said, “I kind of think it’s like doing Hamlet without Hamlet. Bond is the central figure. Bond is the one who I think people come to see. All the other characters are really interesting and we try to make them interesting and complex as possible, but most of it is how they relate to Bond and in his world.”
“And we’ve stayed away from it. And also it takes a lot of concentration and effort to make these movies. We spend three, four years making them. We haven’t really felt like bifurcating our minds and hearts and everything to go and make spin-off movies,” she stated.
Broccoli then added, “Also he lives in the contemporary world. He’s not like a fantasy character like the Marvel people where you can have Batman fighting Spider-Man. Do you know what I mean? It just doesn’t feel right to us. But who knows what will happen in the future.
What do you make of Barbara Broccoli’s comments about the possibility of casting Idris Elba? What about her thoughts on franchising out James Bond?
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