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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Movies

Whoever Plays James Bond Next, Please Don't Make Him a Woke Bloke | Commentary

•, Benjamin Svetkey

The verdict is in. According to just about every ranking posted in the lead-up to "No Time to Die," Daniel Craig is the best James Bond ever. Cooler than Connery, more menacing than Moore, edgier than Brosnan — nobody does it better, or so everybody now seems to agree.

But there was a time, not so long ago, when Craig was considered a disastrous choice for the role. When Bond's producers, half-siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, first announced his casting in 2005, it set off such an outcry you'd have thought Gilbert Gottfried had landed the part. The British tabloids were merciless ("Bland, James Bland," they sneered) while hardcore 007 purists went so far as to create a website,, where detractors could vent their disappointment. Their biggest complaint with the then 37-year-old British actor? He was fair-haired and blue-eyed, while everybody knew that James Bond was supposed to be a brunette. 

Yes, Mr. Blond, they expected you to dye.

This bit of history is important to keep in mind as Craig departs the franchise and the Broccolis contemplate who should next inhabit 007's tuxedo. The producers are already being bombarded with tons of advice about what type of actor should be cast, and hair color is the least of it. He should be Black (Idris Elba's name keeps popping up even though, at 49, he's just four years younger than Craig is now). He should be Black and also female (like Lashana Lynch, who gets to play 007, or at least borrow his number for a bit, in this latest film). He should be gay (as Ben Whishaw, gadget master Q in the last three movies, has suggested) or maybe even trans (as British actor Dominic West, rumored to have been up against Crag for the part in 2005, recently proposed).