The name’s Bond, James Bond! A line that is as iconic as the character, a line that has launched a thousand ships an entire franchise of films and a line that has been spoken by some of the most famous faces in Hollywood.
And the specific franchise has an estimated worth of $20 billion. That’s about twenty five round trips to the moon or somewhere around twenty AC Milans. It’s a lot of money is what we are saying.
But all these actors, share a common trait, they are all Caucasian and male. Something that is expected, given that Bond holds the rank of a commander in the Royal Navy and works for the British Intelligence service. And most importantly because, the character’s creator, Ian Fleming intended him to be thus.
Aside: Ian Fleming borrowed the character’s name from the author of Birds of the West Indies, American ornithologist James Bond.
Now, that Daniel Craig, the latest to play the character, is all set to hang up his Bond boots, there’s much speculation as to who would be next. While it’s safe to assume that another familiar and possibly British actor will take over the role, there’s also a lot of buzz about some refreshing and fresh casting choices.
The two actors making the most noise are Gillian Anderson and Idris Elba. If either is cast, it would be a historic first, a black Bond or a female Bond. And if you ask us, we would say it’s about time too.
However, one needs to ask oneself, will the audience appreciate the change and if they do, how many will. Because at the end of the day, this needs to make business sense. If you remember the New Coke incident. Where an overwhelming number of the sample size had rated New Coke higher in blind taste tests but the market rejected the beverage the moment it was launched. Audiences are usually comfortable with the status quo.
On the other hand, a lot of characters have been reinvented over time, Kaa from Jungle Book went from Mowgli’s friend to a villain and also had a gender change in the most recent adaptation. Thor also turned into a woman in the comics and perhaps the most famous is Nick Fury, who, after being portrayed by Samuel L Jackson, has also had a race change in the comics.
Would you rather see Shere Khan as Bond or Dana Scully? Or would you go with someone else, someone more time tested? Let us know your choices and your reasons.