At this point, there’s a searing amount of public attention on not only who the next James Bond will be, but whether or not the super spy will be played by a Black actor. Daniel Craig has said goodbye to the role as definitively as possible, and there’s a non-zero amount of public pressure to give someone non-white a chance to hoist a martini and license to kill after over a half-century of films. Betting sites (presumably coming up with their odds using entrails and divining rods) place Henry Cavill and Rege-Jean Page at the top of the casting list, with names like Idris Elba and Tom Hardy persisting.
The point is that it’s possible the next Bond will be Black, and if that happens, it’ll be a surprise to John Boyega.
“When you’re Black, I don’t know how that goes,” he told Josh Horowitz on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast. “Look man, you as a white man who grew up in a society with Bond as a white man, that’s normal to you. Even the mention of a Black Bond to me is like, ‘Oh, Okay.’ I’m just here like, ‘Okay, I don’t necessarily believe that, but if that’s what they’re doing then okay.’ That’s very surprising to me, but as an actor you just kind of stay out of that conversation. If it’s for you, then maybe then. But if it’s not, then you enjoy it in a movie theater like everybody else.”
No doubt that opinion is guided partially by Boyega’s own well-documented experience with racism in fandom. It’s also the pragmatic view. At the end of the day, Amazon-owned MGM and Barbara Broccoli could announce Cavill as Bond tomorrow, and the franchise would chug along as it always has without much (if any) blowback.
At the risk of adding to the entrails and divining rods, he’s also not talking like an actor who’s actively in the running for the role. But who knows? Maybe there are more surprises around the corner for Bond, James Bond.
(via Happy, Sad, Confused)