According to The Huffington Post, former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal once expressed an interest in casting Idris Elba as the first “black James Bond.” Is casting a black man as a white James Bond a good idea? Yaphet Kotto, who played the first and only black James Bond villain, says an emphatic, “No.” Kotto starred as Dr. Kananga in the 1973 James Bond film, Live and Let Die, with Roger Moore. Kotto says the idea of having a black man playing James Bond is “silly and “ridiculous.”
During a recent interview with Australian magazine, Kotto said,”James Bond cannot be black. Political correctness be damned, we have to stay with what is literally correct.” He reminded people that Ian Fleming made up the fictional character as a white spy. To change him into something else will not be true to the original intent. Kotto said it would be silly and so unreal for him to be cast in the role of John F. Kennedy. He believes he would be a laughing stock to take on that role knowing real well that he doesn’t have the characteristics of a JFK.
The 75-year-old actor suggests a black man could play a 003 or a 006, but he would definitely not be a good 007. Kotto concluded that he is not interested in seeing Idris Elba or any black actor take on the coveted role of 007. Roger Moore, who has played James Bond in seven films, agrees with Kotto. He believes casting a black man to play 007 is “an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”
Idris Elba himself has also insisted that he would be open to playing the part of James Bond. However, he has never confirmed he has held discussions with Bond producers about replacing Daniel Craig when his current 007’s contract runs out.
The Hollywood Reporter said earlier this week that Elba told a British Film Institute audience that he blamed Craig for starting the rumors that he was even in the running. The rumor might have ruined his chances of ever portraying the iconic spy rather than helping him get the role. The 42-year-old star said in 2011 that he would definitely consider the role, but he is tired of hearing the rumor. He blames Daniel Craig for starting that rumor four years ago.
Why must a black actor playing the part of a 007 spy be referred to as a “black James Bond”? An actor who has had the starring role as a 007 spy in the past has never been referred to as a “white James Bond”?
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