Idris Elba as James Bond

I’m a little late, but this is worth commenting on:

Idris Elba has posted a cryptic tweet suggesting he could be the next James Bond.

Days after reports that a producer of the franchise is tipping him to be 007, he posted: “My name’s Elba, Idris Elba”.

Fans are taking it as a big hint that he could be about to take on the role when Daniel Craig leaves next year.

There’ve been rumours linking Idris to the Bond role since 2014, which he’s neither confirmed nor denied.

Taken in isolation, this isn’t too bad an idea. Idris Elba is a decent actor (although he has turned in some awful performances), and like Daniel Craig he has both physical presence and suavity. Personally I think the James Bond franchise should have been binned once and for all after the godawful Spectre, but if they’re going to insist on flogging this dead horse you might as well cast Elba as anyone else. Sure he’s probably too old and many will wonder how MI6 ended up recruiting a Baltimore drug dealer as their top agent, but neither of these should count against him. Again, taken in isolation, nor should his being black. A black James Bond might seem a little odd and out of whack with the books, but that ship sailed a long time ago. So in itself, and as a comment on Elba’s suitability for the role, I don’t have a problem.

However, any decision to cast a black actor as James Bond cannot be separated from the culture war which is raging around us. It would be nice if people could adopt the same attitude to Elba as rugby league fans did to Ellery Hanley when he became captain of Great Britain in 1988, or damned near everyone did when Daley Thompson cleaned up in 1984. I understand this era was pretty awful for black or mixed-race kids at school or on the street, but nobody in those days was trumpeting the achievements of a talented black person as being a victory over whitey. People cheered for Frank Bruno, Jason Robinson, Martin Offiah, Nigel Benn, and Chris Eubank as well as the numerous black performers and musicians in Britain’s cultural scene without resorting to zero-sum race war score-keeping. But we live in a different era, one where we’re told that a black person taking a nominally white position is hugely important in itself, a redressing of the balance currently tipped in favour of “white privilege”. And unfortunately, after a decade of poisonous identity politics, they are right: Idris Elba playing James Bond would be important in itself, and not in a good way.

Something the ZMan has pointed out is that minority groups are increasingly acting as though they’ve won the decisive battle in a war. Pulling down the symbols and statues of one’s enemy is the act of a conquering army, and that’s precisely what’s happening in the UK, US, and Canada. Meanwhile, within mere weeks of the Supreme Court ruling in his favour over his refusal to make a cake for a gay wedding, the Colorado baker is back in court after a transgender woman filed a discrimination suit against him. When someone decided to remake Ghostbusters in 2016 with an all-female cast, it was presented by culture warriors as a victory for feminism. When it tanked, misogyny was blamed. The forces behind identity politics spare no efforts in seeking opportunities to capture ground, celebrate a victory, and in it rub the noses of those they see as their enemies, i.e. ordinary white men and their families. Indeed, New Labour’s entire immigration strategy seems to have been created purely to spite the native British population by shoving “diversity” in their faces and calling anyone who complains a racist. Within minutes of the rumours of Elba playing Bond hitting social media it was full of SJW’s delighted by how much this would upset “racists”, by which they mean anyone getting a little fed up of identity politics being rammed down their throats twenty-four-seven. For instance:

There is plenty of this sentiment echoed on Twitter, and they might have a point if the only people who have mixed feelings about the idea are racists who don’t like blacks. But what I suspect is bothering many people is that Elba cast as Bond will deepen the wounds of the ongoing culture war. We’ll have endless Guardian articles telling us on the one hand that a black James Bond shows how wonderfully multi-cutural and diverse Britain is, while on the other it’s still steeped in racism and unable to move on from its colonial past. Anyone who objects to such extrapolations from a single casting will be denounced as racist and, probably, banned from Twitter – along with anyone who gives the actual film a less-than glowing review. And if there was not at least one article in a mainstream media outlet demanding a transgender James Bond, I’d be astounded.

As the Zman said, the SJWs and militant minorities believe they’ve won and are enjoying what they think are victory parades. In reality, the war has barely got started and all we’ve seen so far are small, opening battles which is shaping up to be a long and bloody campaign which can only have one winner. Given where we are now, compared to even five years ago, I’d hazard a guess a lot of people uncomfortable about Elba playing Bond are less concerned with the colour of his skin than how it will be used by sections of the left to further and deepen the ongoing culture war. It was not the racist right that created identity politics but the woke left; ordinary people have been fervently wishing this war would end but, with no prospect of that in sight, increasing numbers have decided enough is enough and started to push back. Unfortunately, this means fighting on the ground the left have chosen, and in this case it’s Idris Elba playing James Bond. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but sadly it is. It’s a shame because Elba seems like a good sort and I’m sure he didn’t ask for this, but as Trotsky didn’t quite say, culture war is interested in you.

I don’t think there’s anything to the rumours of Elba playing Bond – they’ve been circulating for years – but if the producers move ahead with it, they should prepare themselves for an shitstorm that may render the film unmarketable. It won’t be a question of right wingers objecting to Elba’s casting per se, but of its inevitable weaponisation by those who want to see them eradicated, or at least cowed into silence. Nobody batted an eyelid back in 2006 when Felix was played by a black man in Casino Royale, and I doubt a black Bond would have done much other than raise a few eyebrows and cause some muttering. Alas, that was a long time ago. We’re now neck-deep in a nasty, vicious culture war which is taking no prisoners, and until recently has been heavily one-sided. But now the other side is turning up, the rules are about to change. Depressingly, this probably means a black James Bond is a near impossibility – at least for a while.

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43 thoughts on “Idris Elba as James Bond

  1. Did it never occur to the left that forcing us all towards identity based politics might, at some point, mean that the majority native identity would awake from its previously disinterested slumber and say ‘OK then how do I play?’. If white politics is now a thing you can thank Millie Tant and her ilk.

  2. I like Elba as an actor in most things he’s done. I don’t get the casting as Bond; Bond is a character with an established Scottish/Swiss back story that doesn’t really fit with a black actor.

    Neither is it the end of the world. If they want to re-imagine Bond, that’s totally ok, but it’s a different Bond, not the Bond of the books. And they should probably shut up about white actors playing supposedly ethnic roles on the other side.

    Totally agree about the ramming-down-the-throat of diversity. I deleted the BBC news app because every third ‘story’ was about some identity politics cause, whilst reporting on actual world events outside the main headline was woeful. I’m not even one of those people who had huge problems with their bias, but it was just so dull feeling like I was being lectured every morning.

    I just checked – today we have Dev Patel cast in Dickens, #metoo, fighting racism with comedy. Stormzy’s Cambridge scholarships (ok maybe that last one is a little different/interesting).

  3. As far as I can tell, the Left is a pitch-forked mob and not much else. They are not afraid of destroying their own society as we’ve seen before. As you say, they use any weapon they can get.
    I had a practical problem with Elva being Bond. Would he be spying on Russia for instance? I’m sure he’d blend in just fine over there. Nobody would suspect a thing.

  4. “I had a practical problem with Elva being Bond. Would he be spying on Russia for instance? I’m sure he’d blend in just fine over there. Nobody would suspect a thing.”

    Exactly. I can’t see him doing too well in the Middle East either.

    As Ive said before, the whole SJW thing is a civilizational shit test.

  5. Years ago some old (British through and through, yes really!) actor said he was playing a part where he pretended to hate someone else and they (the other actors) pretended to hate him.

    There we have it: it is all pretence. Playing in the dressing up box. Trouble is, we have to pretend we like that PoC — or even slightly PoC — people must have a key role in all movies and TV shows. I subscribe to Netflix and almost every production features PoC in leading roles. Still, on Netflix there are no ads, you know, the ones where the PoC man and a bunch of mixed race kids flop down on a sofa they have just bought from a PoC man in a shop populated by, er, more PoC customers.

    Apart from that opticians ad where a partially clothed PoC man opens a blind to reveal behind him a white woman in bed who may, or may not, have enjoyed his personal company moments before.

    And, naturally, in every show the PoC guys are smart, clever, sophisticated and will help out the dumb, useless whites with no problem. So it is logical that the likes of Elba will play Bond*

    We all eagerly await Rowan Atkinson as Mandela or Penelope Keith as Michelle for the balance. Good times ahead.**

    *Hasn’t Elba already been Heimdall in Asgard?

    **Does any of this matter? It’s all pretending anyway.

    Last note: tried to post this on Safari and something called Wordfence stopped me. But this got through on Brave?

  6. Last note: tried to post this on Safari and something called Wordfence stopped me.

    Hmm, that’s my security system to keep the crazies out. Were you foaming at the mouth by any chance, or reading The Guardian?

  7. “”….I had a practical problem with Elva being Bond. Would he be spying on Russia for instance…..””

    I think this time event may be for example in the United States where black super spy discover the Russian plot to put their guy into White House…:D

  8. The boss said: “Hmm, that’s my security system to keep the crazies out. Were you foaming at the mouth by any chance, or reading The Guardian?”

    I frequently foam at the mouth but never, ever read the Groaniad.

  9. ‘I understand this era was pretty awful for black or mixed-race kids at school or on the street…’

    From whom do you understand this?

    I was alive back then and conscious. I have no recall of life being any easier for non-black/non-mixed race kids at school or on the street.

    The difference being when a white kid got picked on it was ‘kids will be kids’, when a black kid got picked on it was ‘racism’. And little has changed.

    Given the number of non-whities who gained prominence and were feted by all skin tones at that time, it suggest things were not so bad between white and black as painted. (Psst… mixed-race is a bit of a giveaway.)

    But that does not fit the ‘narritive’ of the victmology industry.

  10. I’ve been blocked from posting here a few times on safari too. Can’t remember if it was wordfence but some kind of security thing.

  11. Elba might have worked 10 or 15 years ago, he is far too old for the role now. That said, he is prone to delivering two-dimensional, no, make that one-dimensional performances. Not that that has stopped many of the past Bond actors, I guess.

    I will grant Craig that he has made, in my view, the best Bond film to date (Skyfall), but also the worst (Spectre). I would like the series to regain some of its SoH, and stop being a remake of Jason Bourne.

  12. I will grant Craig that he has made, in my view, the best Bond film to date (Skyfall)

    I thought that was rubbish, mainly because it was a film about Judy Dench. I thought Casino Royale was excellent, and thoroughly enjoyed Quantum of Solace too.

  13. I though Quantum of Solace was one of the worst Bonds, I really hated the jump-cutting (if that is the right phrase). Made me nauseous. I quite liked Spectre, while acknowledging that it was a bunch of arse (love that French girl though).

    However I very much agree with your post; Idris is a decent actor, charismatic and seems a good sort. But him as Bond is bollocks* and it is the same bollocks that we are treated to day in, day out.

    I saw a review of McKellen’s Lear at the National, which pointed out that ‘colour blind’ casting made it impossible to tell who was who and if they were related.

    Until recently, I have given no thought to my white identity, but thanks to identitarian cunts I certainly do now.

    *better him than Tom fucking Hiddlestone though…

  14. My problem with Spectre was that Craig seemed to be just reading his lines. It looked like whatever they do to choreograph the thing before the dress rehearsal. The undress rehearsal I guess it’s called.

  15. I went through a phase of sitting through an awful lot of dreary Idris Elba films. They were all Mrs. Bloke’s choice. I can’t understand what she saw in them. Totally flummoxed.

  16. 1. Idris Elba is a good actor, but like most actors he occasionally stinks up the screen, like he did in…

    2. The Marvel movies, where, it turned out, his was a bit of SJW stunt-casting. Therefore…

    3. We shouldn’t expect much from him as Bond. Especially since…

    4. James Bond is shit and always has been.

  17. Elba is a little old for my taste in Bond, but I’m a sucker for films with explosions where I don’t need to think much so I’m sure I’ll like it.

    The remake of ghost busters was so bad I got about 40 mins in and gave up. It just seemed to be mostly purile fart jokes not done very well. Not surprised it bombed, it was terrible.

  18. Don’t mind Elba but maybe one of the lesser known actors like the chap playing Ragnar on ‘Vikings’ should be given a chance
    , other Bonds were relatively unknown or small screen stars only.

  19. For work and cultural reasons, I end up hanging out with quite a few rural types across a swath of middle America.

    I never used to see normal, non-racist people entirely and continually conscious of the fact that they are white people. It’s common now.

    I never used to hear people talk about how they need to be voting for people who will work for white interests. It’s common now.

    I sporadically stop in at a bar in a mid-South Dakota farm community that has a year-old sign over the bar that says “White Lives Matter.” On Friday nights, group toasts are raised to that sign, by people who are not the least bit racist. The difference is, they’re not anti-anyone so much as they’ve become pro-white, in self-defense.

    When every other race becomes an entirely self-serving interest group, it would be foolish for whites not to.

  20. Bond is a character with an established Scottish/Swiss back story

    No. That was added in the last of the Fleming books (prior to which Bond had no backstory worth speaking of) as the first of the movies were being made, because Fleming was being pressured by the moviemakers to give Bond a backstory. Only a couple of the movies have so much as mentioned it. I would bet you could ask any number of Bond film fans what his backstory is and none of them would be able to tell you (barring Skyfall).

    I don’t think there’s a big deal with Bond being black. Real-world intelligence doesn’t work like in the movies, and especially Bond movies. Bond is a suave professional assassin and ladykiller, a sociopathic thug with a thin veneer of British upper-class gentility. If Elba can pull that off, more power to him.

    The real problem is that the trope of the black drug dealer/gangsta trying to go legit and adopt the mannerisms of the hereditary upper class has been done to death to the point of parody in the US, and there will be uncomfortable parallels.

  21. The remake of Live and Let Die should be entertaining. Idris won’t stand out like Roger Moore did and maybe he’ll even carry off the safari suit.

  22. Will Money Penny need to become white now? Mixed couples are all the rage, if washing adverts are to be believed.

  23. Katie Hopkins doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Sandhurst my arse, Commander Bond RN graduated from Britannia Royal Naval Colllage.

  24. I prefered the playboy Bond who fitted his spying around the more important actvities of diving in the Bahamas, skiing in Switzerland, gambling in Monte Carlo and of course chasing women. Craig’s Bond is a miserable bastard whose only off duty activity is drinking himself to death. I can’t imagine Elba or anyone else being much of an improvement.

  25. Interesting thoughts. I’ve noticed an obsession in British theater as well with black actors, whose presence in leading roles (especially at the National and Globe) is far higher than their percentage of the UK population would suggest. I’m used to nontraditional casting, if that’s the right word, here in Tokyo, but I often get the feeling in London that some actors, even in major productions, are chosen for their ethnicity rather than their talent, which does a disservice not only to the actors but to an increasingly skeptical audience (who are after all paying for this). Interestingly, I don’t see as many South Asians in such roles for whatever reason.

    The real problem is the lack of diversity in the audience. The four (superb) black actors in the Donmar’s recent “Way of the World” outnumbered black audience members by precisely four. And I have to admit that I’d be unlikely to go to a play where a white actor is playing a role that traditionally or culturally would be black (or, in Tokyo, Japanese) — it would feel like pandering. That’s not limited to the UK, of course; in the US, blacks and Hispanics make up 30% of the population but only 10% of theatergoers. But if the UK really wants more diversity, it might be better off promoting more diverse writers and producers, which could draw in more ethnically diverse audiences and thereby encourage more use of ethnic actors in a positive feedback loop.

    More here: https://sekenbanashi.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/london-theater-diversity-vs-quality/

  26. “Interestingly, I don’t see as many South Asians in such roles for whatever reason.”

    Yeah or even on TV full stop, outside the token family in eastenders and the countryfile bird.

    It always seems to be black Africans or afro-Caribbeans. So racist.

  27. “I understand this era was pretty awful for black or mixed-race kids at school or on the street,”

    This is complete fiction. In my school, in exactly this period, the big black kids ran the show and on the streets in SW London one was most likely to be attacked if one were white.

    I have no problem with a black Bond, like you said the “Realism” boat sailed long ago. I just think that there are better actors around. Timothy Dalton was the best actor as Bond, but being Vanessa Redgrave’s boy, he couldnt hide the fact that didn’t buy into the patriotic stuff. I quite liked Spectre until the last half-hour, which was crap and I thought Skyfall was just daft.

  28. Perlman, Oblong – that’s because our hang-ups about racism are largely imported from America.

    Worrying about racism is just a part of being upper-class these days, like, I don’t know, worrying about wanking was in the Victorian era. And since the upper-classes are globalised, and “globalised” basically means American – or rather, Californian, or Manhattanite, or whatever – then the racism we worry most about is the racism of America.

    Although, confusingly, not the racism of California or New York so much as the racism of the south – or rather, the racism of the south as portrayed in media authored by Californians and Manhattanites…

    Either it’s a complicated point, or I’m not making it well. I’m trying to say that racism is the excuse for upper-class Americans to feel superior to lower-class Americans, thus justifying their upper-classness; and that elites throughout the west are taking their lead from the Americans in this regard.

    Thus blacks are worth more diversity points in England than Indians, even though they’ve nominally experienced the same amount of discrimination.

  29. Perlman, Oblong – that’s because our hang-ups about racism are largely imported from America.

    Worrying about racism is just a part of being upper-class these days, like, I don’t know, worrying about wanking was in the Victorian era.

    Two excellent observations right there!

  30. Ah. Spectre. The “shoot down a helicopter with a (small) hand gun at 150yds, from a moving speed boat” did stretch credibility a tad. It wouldn’t matter if were Elba or Craig if they have such stupidity in it.

    The rest of the movie wasn’t bad though. Quite decent in parts.

  31. “The “shoot down a helicopter with a (small) hand gun at 150yds, from a moving speed boat” did stretch credibility a tad”

    Yeah – in a way that invisible cars, abseiling kits hidden in watches, killer boomerang hats, being ashpyxiated by a seductress’ thighs, taking over the world from a hollowed-out volcano, taking out machine-gun wielding KGB agents with a handgun, cars turning into submarines at the flick of a switch, and taking every girl you want to to bed don’t stretch credibility at all.

  32. Englishmen complaing that Hollywood wishes to cast Elba as Bond strikes me as being akin to Terry Waite complaining the radiator was too cold.

  33. Yeah – in a way that invisible cars, abseiling kits hidden in watches, killer boomerang hats, being ashpyxiated by a seductress’ thighs, taking over the world from a hollowed-out volcano, taking out machine-gun wielding KGB agents with a handgun, cars turning into submarines at the flick of a switch, and taking every girl you want to to bed don’t stretch credibility at all.

    Tbh, I always found James Bond to be rather silly, and I was ploughing a lonely furrow.

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