At least that's where current Bond Daniel Craig's mind went. At a Rome press conference for Quantum of Solace, which opens in the U.S. on Friday, Craig said, "After Barack Obama's victory I think we might have reached the moment for a [black]* 007. I think the role could easily be played by a black actor, because the character created by Ian Fleming in the '50s has undergone a great deal of evolution and continues to be updated."
He also joked that the idea of a black 007 might have Fleming spinning in his grave. Fleming was considered by many to be racist -- just Google the words Ian Fleming racist to find plenty of people making that assertion -- and the U.K. Telegraph observes that his Bond novels "were laced with the racial prejudices of his era."
Surely there's nothing specific about the Bond character that couldn't just as easily apply to a black actor. There have been a few black Bond Girls romanced by white Bonds. Race doesn't generally play a part in the stories, at least not in the last several films. Then again, some people freaked out when Daniel Craig was cast solely because he was blond (if you can imagine the heresy). Would a complete makeover totally ruin it for the purists? What do you think? And if they did go with a black 007, who should play him?
*The word he actually used was "coloured," which apparently isn't quite as offensive and outdated in Europe as it is in America, as none of the news outlets covering the press conference expressed surprise over Craig's usage of it. He obviously didn't mean it with racist intent, anyway, so let's not dwell on it, mmkay?