Old Friends with New Faces. Updating White Male “Franchises,” Part 2

A lot of people are floating the idea of Idris Elba being offered the job as the new James Bond (including current James Bond, Daniel Craig), though it appears at this moment that Tom Hiddleston is the first pick.

I think it could be a good idea. Sure, James Bond is a white guy, so far. A lot of the legacy characters, the franchise characters, are white men because when they were created 50+ years ago, that’s who the heroes/protagonists were.

These franchises have formed the bedrock of our popular culture for three generations. Nothing created today will have that kind of reach anytime soon. That takes time to build.

We get into the same thing with Doctor Who and most of the superhero franchises. Heck, even most of the Transformers are “male” (male voices and male-ish builds).

I think there’s a lot of room for adjusting some of the ongoing franchises so they don’t blindly stick to the mores of our grandparents’ and great grandparents’ generations.

I’m not saying you have to make Superman black, but when you decide to make a Green Lantern movie, think about John Stewart instead of Hal Jordan (it couldn’t be worse than the Green Lantern movie we got a few years back).

It means building a Justice League movie franchise that includes Wonder Woman, Cyborg (a black man), and Aquaman as portrayed by Jason Momoa (who is of Native Hawaiian descent). DC is getting that right, and doing it earlier than Marvel.

When Robert Downey Junior leaves the Marvel movies, put more focus on Rhodes (Iron Patriot/War Machine), or better yet, Riri Williams.

Why not cast Idris Elba as James Bond? He can still be native-born Scottish. He can still do all the Bond things. Let’s face it, the previous guys who’ve played Bond are all radically different from each other. Nobody would think of Connery and Dalton and Brosnan as the same person. And besides, Idris Elba is an outstanding actor with more than enough gravitas, charisma, and intensity for the role.

And if you don’t want to cast him as Bond, how about making him a future regeneration of the Doctor? I know, Stephen Moffatt has said he wants a female Doctor, but I personally think he write female characters poorly, especially compared to Russell T. Davies (previous Doctor Who showrunner). I’d rather wait for a Doctor Who showrunner who’s proven he can handle female characters well before we have a female Doctor.

There’s a lot that can be done, and is being done. But there are a lot of missed opportunities, as well.

 

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