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Super Social Analysis: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and LGBT in Movies

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Kaya Scodelario was included on a list of actresses who did actually audition for Katniss that was supposedly confirmed by Lionsgate. The link to the confirmation was broken, though, so I don't know how reliable the list was. You're right that additional poking couldn't find anything to suggest that Malese Jow actually auditioned rather than simply fan petitioned.

 

Katniss’ race was ambiguous. She was never definitely identified as POC, no, but she was never definitely identified as white, either.

 

I agree that the casting should have been open to non-white actresses and white actresses equally, but that's different from saying that the casting should only have been open to non-white actresses. Saying Katniss is whitewashed is saying that Katniss could not be white, which I don't think the small description of her does. Personally, I think the fact that District 12 is clearly analogous to Appalachia suggests that Katniss would self-identified as white if she thought of her identity in racial terms. The look Katniss describes is supposed to be the typical look, and contemporary Appalachia is a majority white region. A group like the Melungeons are fairly small and constructed their identity to be white (Portuguese) or white/Native American, even though genetic testing has now confirmed that to be crap.

 

Word of God herself admitted that there had been a lot of racial/ethnic mixing when someone asked her about this issue
A direct quote from her is "They were not particularly intended to be biracial. It is a time period where hundreds of years have passed from now. There’s been a lot of ethnic mixing. But I think I describe them as having dark hair, grey eyes, and sort of olive skin. You know, we have hair and makeup. But then there are some characters in the book who are more specifically described." 

 

Again, I'm not quoting that to justify Lionsgate's casting call being racially specified. I think that was bullsh*t. It's just specifically to argue against Katniss as an example of whitewashing.

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Now, I would say that the common thread between those movies is not the woman at the front of the poster, but that they were all terrible movies.

 

Hercules domestic failure isn't seen as a gender thing but it would be if a woman starred in a movie like it.

 

We need to stop having this conversation. I am so tired of this conversation. By that I don't mean that I'm upset with any of you but that the collective "we" as a society (and more specifically the people who analyze culture on the internet) need to stop having this conversation. With every Twilight or Hunger Games or Bridesmaids or female driven movie (or often franchise) whether it features a female protagonist or has a large female fanbase (often both) we have the same people shouting "see! Women want to see women on film!" and analysts coming to this radical conclusion like it's something they just discovered. At the same time, any time something fails we have the opposite conversation about how women can't lead a (usually an action) movie and people bring up Ripley and Sarah Connor. It comes up often enough that I haven't even seen those movies and I know those characters' names offhand. 

 

We put so much pressure on female creators and female-driven properties. Is it feminist? Is it sexist? Is it not feminist enough? Does it have problematic gender roles? I think these are worthwhile avenues of inquiry to pursue but we need to stop tearing some things apart while not holding other things accountable.

 

I will admit that I keep myself in a bit of a bubble. I do. I primarily watch movies and shows and read books, etc. either created by women or prominently featuring at least one (but usually more) female character(s). Even in that bubble things aren't perfect. OK, that's enough sleep deprived rambling for the moment.

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I vaguely remember reading somewhere that every time a female-driven movie does well, the Hollywood execs find some reason to label it as a statistical outlier, so they ignore it and go back to the usual kind of stuff.

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It seems this may have started with my post above, but I don't believe anyone ever said it was "whitewashing".  I believe my quote was many thought that Katniss would be played by a person of color, and that the character description is someone much darker than Jennifer Lawrence.  Now I agree "much darker" may have been an overstatement but the idea of Katniss not being played by a person of color, doesn't automatically translate to me implying "whitewashing". 

 

I say all this to point to the complexity of the issue and more importantly how if a character is described ambiguously there seems to be a clear cut decision from the top to only audition certain actresses.  This issue came up on the old TWOP boards when they were casting the Spiderman reboot and many of us myself included were wondering why someone like Donald Glover or Michael B. Jordan couldn't get in to audition, or any male POC.  

 

Now Andrew Garfield is a wonderful actor, and my point isn't whether or not you like Donald Glover, my point is when casting for a character whose ethnicity is not integral to the character or possibly could go either way why aren't minority actors allowed to get in the room.  

Edited by JBC344
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      I kind of wonder what it'd be like for the Cool Girl (the regular Joe/Bro fantasy girl) to clash against the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (the quirky hipster dream girl.)

This is making me picture a movie where Rosamund Pike from Gone Girl is just mocking Zoey Deschanel and Cameron Diaz. And it sounds awesome.

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Kaya Scodelario was included on a list of actresses who did actually audition for Katniss that was supposedly confirmed by Lionsgate.

Kaya in any case codes as white as well. And she could actually be white, besides; white Brazilians exist. Don’t know if she is or isn’t because I don’t know anything about her family, just saying that it doesn’t really take away from how exclusionary the casting call was in the same way that Hailee didn’t.

 

Are there any examples of actresses in direct contention for the role whom the audience wouldn’t read as white? I don’t think there were. That’s not to say that biracial actors shouldn’t identify as POC, but in a medium like acting, it does matter how other people see them as well. It’s why so many multiracial actors change their names. Ben Kingsley did it. Chloe Bennett also said that so many more doors opened up to her after she changed her name from Chloe Wang. (Too bad Hollywood isn’t populated by Harry Potter fen. A fandom that read Cho Chang as white might have read Chloe Wang as white, too. Heh.)

 

A direct quote from her is "They were not particularly intended to be biracial. It is a time period where hundreds of years have passed from now. There’s been a lot of ethnic mixing. But I think I describe them as having dark hair, grey eyes, and sort of olive skin. You know, we have hair and makeup. But then there are some characters in the book who are more specifically described."

Yeah, and I think that the clear implication there is that it would have made more sense for Katniss to be played by a multiracial actress than someone who’s Mediterranean. Of course, Collins waffles back and forth - “they were not particularly intended to be biracial” - because she’s not about to bite the hand that feeds her. And honestly, I don’t think she really did put that much thought into it*, her world-building was pretty half-assed. Considering how our multiracial population is rising right now, in a few hundred years, they really would be the norm. So even if she didn’t particularly intend them to be biracial, the implications of the world she set up would make that the most likely situation, even if Katniss might not classify herself as POC (because it’s the future, multiracial people would most likely be the norm and not the Other, and the POC designation is often Othering…. It’s like how Japanese people in Japan don’t consider themselves POC because why would they?).

 

That reminds me of a more general gripe… why do all these far future movies and shows feature so many white people? I’d love to see a science fiction movie where the majority of the cast is ambiguously brown because that’s where we’re headed, yo.

 

 

 

just specifically to argue against Katniss as an example of whitewashing.

Okay, I agree with that, although I think that you and I still disagree on how exclusionary the casting call really was, in that I don’t believe Hailee (or Kaya) indicates that TPTB were more open to POC than they were letting on. In any case, while a lot of people might have personally wanted a WOC to play Katniss, I think the majority were pissed about the casting call. And then it adds insult to injury when people defending the casting say that they just took the best person for the role. Yeah, I know JLaw gets a lot of accolades and she's no Kristen Stewart, but you (general you) can't argue that they cast based solely on merit when POC were excluded from auditioning in the first place. 

 

* Like when people use Prim being blond and blue-eyed as evidence that Katniss was meant to be white. Never mind how wonky recessive genes can be, I don’t think Collins was paying too much attention to Punnett squares and genetics when she came up with Prim, lmao.

Edited by galax-arena
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I kind of wonder what it'd be like for the Cool Girl (the regular Joe/Bro fantasy girl) to clash against the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (the quirky hipster dream girl.)

 

 

It's absolutely torturous if they're one in the same. *Shudder*.

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why do all these far future movies and shows feature so many white people?

 

Snowpiercer was pretty diverse.  The main characters in The Fifth Element were primarily white, but there was a lot more variety in the supporting roles than usual.

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Snowpiercer was pretty diverse.

I find Snowpiercer interesting. It’s a South Korean production, IIRC (although the Weinsteins grabbed the distribution rights). Normally that would mean a cast composed primarily of South Korean actors, even though the source material is a French graphic novel. I don't think there are a lot of South Korean movies that go against that, at least not to the extent that Snowpiercer did, where there were only a couple of Korean actors. Did Bong Joon-ho seek a more international cast because he wanted the movie to have broader appeal? Ain’t complaining, I do like seeing a racially diverse cast.

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I find Snowpiercer interesting. It’s a South Korean production, IIRC (although the Weinsteins grabbed the distribution rights). Normally that would mean a cast composed primarily of South Korean actors, even though the source material is a French graphic novel. I don't think there are a lot of South Korean movies that go against that, at least not to the extent that Snowpiercer did, where there were only a couple of Korean actors. Did Bong Joon-ho seek a more international cast because he wanted the movie to have broader appeal? Ain’t complaining, I do like seeing a racially diverse cast.

 

I think it was always going to be a (mostly) English-language movie, so it makes sense to not use a fully South Korean cast.

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Yeah, but then the same sort of question applies, IMO. Why English and not Korean? The source material was French. The production was South Korean. English serves as a lingua franca, it does seem like the decision to make the movie primarily in English was due to a desire for broader international appeal, but I’m wondering if there are other reasons that I missed. Maybe the director wanted to stretch himself?

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All I'll say is that if a movie comes out featuring Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton beating the stuffing out of Zooey Deschanel, paying to see it again and again will become my new hobby.

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We put so much pressure on female creators and female-driven properties.

 

That reminds me of Lexi Alexander's response when asked about whether she's be interested in directing the Wonder Woman movie:

“Imagine the weight on my shoulders,” she says. “How many male superhero movies fail? So now, we finally get Wonder Woman with a female director, imagine if it fails. And you have no control over marketing, over budget. So without any control, you carry the fucking weight of gender equality for both characters and women directors. No way.”

 

So yeah, as happy as I was to see that the WB hired Michelle McLaren for this movie, it makes the pressure for it to succeed that much greater. If it doesn't, not only will it make it that much harder to get female superhero movies made*, but God knows when a woman will get another chance to direct a big budget blockbuster.

 

*Can't you just imagine studios deciding that if Wonder Woman (easily the most famous female superhero) fails, then it must mean that people aren't interested in female superheroes in general?

Edited by AshleyN
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All I'll say is that if a movie comes out featuring Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton beating the stuffing out of Zooey Deschanel, paying to see it again and again will become my new hobby.

 

Or if someone would give Zooey a role or persona both men and women could admire instead of hate the way Ridley Scott did with Sigourney and James Cameron did with Linda.

 

Kathryn Bigelow cast Lori Petty as the girl in Point Break and it was an offbeat choice. Most male directors would have cast the stereotypical blonde who looks good in a bikini.

Edited by VCRTracking
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I agree that the casting should have been open to non-white actresses and white actresses equally, but that's different from saying that the casting should only have been open to non-white actresses.

 

 

That reminds me of a more general gripe… why do all these far future movies and shows feature so many white people? I’d love to see a science fiction movie where the majority of the cast is ambiguously brown because that’s where we’re headed, yo.

 

I quoted these two things together because IMO they're linked. I didn't know that Kaya and Hailee had tested for the role of Katniss, but Scodelario was born in London and Steinfeld is from California. I've asked this before re Firefly/Serenity, but if where we're headed is for everyone to be ambiguously brown in the future, does that mean only POC should be considered for sci-fi movies?

 

Also, most sci-fi movies feature a totalitarian government/society of some sort.  Not just The Hunger Games, but Divergent, Elysium, The Maze Runner, Serenity, and even In Time. With the perhaps ironic exception of Serenity, where Chiwetel Ejiofor was the main villain, the heavies of these movies were white. They're either utterly corrupt like Vincent Kartheiser's Philippe Weis, or irredeemably evil like Donald Sutherland's Coriolanus Snow. Wouldn't there be a whole different sort of complaining if such characters were POC?

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I’d love to see a science fiction movie where the majority of the cast is ambiguously brown because that’s where we’re headed, yo.

 

The Matrix series? At least the sequels. I mean, they had Cornel West in a role as an elder statesman.

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.....

Also, most sci-fi movies feature a totalitarian government/society of some sort. Not just The Hunger Games, but Divergent, Elysium, The Maze Runner, Serenity, and even In Time. With the perhaps ironic exception of Serenity, where Chiwetel Ejiofor was the main villain, the heavies of these movies were white. They're either utterly corrupt like Vincent Kartheiser's Philippe Weis, or irredeemably evil like Donald Sutherland's Coriolanus Snow. Wouldn't there be a whole different sort of complaining if such characters were POC?

Was there complaining about Ejiofor playing a villain? I don't remember there being any (though Serenity had other diversity issues). I personally thought he did a wonderful job in that movie and had no problem with a POC being the villain.

While there will always be trolls and malcontents who will find something to complain about in everything*, I think most people are perfectly fine with POC villains or other types of bad POC characters as long as those characters are well written and complex as opposed to being lazy stereotypes and as long as villains aren't the only types of characters POC get to play. POC should get to portray villains but they also should get to portray heroes, anti-heroes, average Joe's, comic relief, criminals, damsels, masterminds, background extras, tough guys, ingenues, love interests, nerds, leaders, jerks, cowards, queen bees etc... White actors are cast in all sorts of roles. POC should be too. It's that POC are generally only considered for certain types of roles that is a problem. Representation matters, ALL representation.

* And even if some people complain, who cares? It doesn't mean people should stop trying to do the right thing. I personally think the "you can't win" types are just looking for excuses to do what they want to do anyway while being able to blame someone else for it.

Edited by cynic
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Was there complaining about Ejiofor playing a villain? I don't remember there being any (though Serenity had other diversity issues). I personally thought he did a wonderful job in that movie and had no problem with a POC being the villain.

 

FWIW, I also thought that Ejiofor did an awesome job as The Operative, who was aware that he was a monster and also knew that when the world he was trying to build was complete, he'd have no place in it, meaning that he would either die by his own hand or be killed "like an ailing pet."

 

My larger point was, as you say, trolls will be trolls. The people on Twitter (or wherever) who said that Rue being black meant that they didn't feel bad when she died are/were trolls, but no one is saying "Who cares what they think?" And I don't think anyone should shrug at that kind of attitude, but OTOH, I also don't think it should become a sweeping statement that only non-white actors/actresses should be considered for a certain type of movie.

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You mean you don't love to watch Zoey wear 1950's frocks, sing in a quirky way, and make some hapless guy's life better for having known her?

Not unless Linda Hamilton can show up to put a bullet in her before listening to one more quirky song can make Siri snap and decide humanity must be exterminated. That's how Judgment Day really comes about.

 

Or if someone would give Zooey a role or persona both men and women could admire instead of hate the way Ridley Scott did with Sigourney and James Cameron did with Linda.

I'll give Garth Jennings and Karey Kirkpatrick kudos for making Zooey's character in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy just cynical and exasperated enough that she was likeable. It's the only role of hers I've ever seen that didn't make me grind my teeth.

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The Operative had several qualities that would have been good, if he'd been fighting for a better cause.  He was dignified, very honorable in a way, clever and witty, fiercely devoted to what he believed in, and yet also able to recognize defeat.  He was one of the few POC in the movie, but didn't play up any of the common stereotypes.  He also wasn't a typical villain, which I think did a lot to head off any complaints about a POC playing the antagonist.

 

The types of roles for POC have been diversified over the years, but POC still very rarely (if ever) get to play the protagonist of a mostly-white cast, and they are still very often tokenized within their movies.  By now, you can probably point to one or two good examples of POC being all sorts of characters (except the main heroic lead), but for each one you can also point to dozens of good white actors playing the same character type.

 

I do think POC characters get scrutinized a lot more closely than similar white characters, and that could make writers/creators more leery of even trying.  There is a small but vocal subset of internet fans who keep track of all the ways a movie or character is problematic, and when taken all together, it can be both daunting and off-putting to see demands for perfection.  But I don't know how often writers read this group, if at all.

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That reminds me of a more general gripe… why do all these far future movies and shows feature so many white people?

Wishful thinking?

Edited by LydiaMoon1
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Yeah, possibly the same reason the studio never had any gay people in Star Trek's future. Though I have to give them credit for consistency, at least the Federation had the depressingly bland clothing design and interior decor that would have resulted from said absence!

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I have three movies that are tied for me :  A Home at the End of the World - I think it's Colin Farrell's best role he's ever had, C.R.A.Z.Y., and TransAmerica. 

 

Soldier's Girl was heartbreaking.  I liked Beginners and Velvet Goldmine.

 

I think A Single Man was visually stunning but a little on the slow side.  I despised Brokeback Mountain.  I know the movie was supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable given the time it took place in, but I could never separate the actors from their on screen characters.   I kept thinking "oh look, it's Jake and Heath" and never thought of them as their characters which added to the frustration of not being able to appreciate the movie and its subject matter.

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Wow, I thought I was the only person who didn't slobber over Brokeback Mountain. I think the only part that got to me was Anne Hathaway's silent little breakdown on the phone to Ennis.

 

I definitely preferred A Home at the End of the World, which came out close to the same time but didn't get nearly as much attention.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Wow, I thought I was the only person who didn't slobber over Brokeback Mountain. I think the only part that got to me was Anne Hathaway's silent little breakdown on the phone to Ennis.

 

I definitely preferred A Home at the End of the World, which came out close to the same time but didn't get nearly as much attention.

I couldn't agree more.  I actually liked Brokeback Mountain but I wasn't one of those people who thought that a homophobic conspiracy is what kept it from winning Best Picture, I actually preferred "Crash".  That last Anne Hathaway scene is just a masterclass in acting.  I actually watch that scene before I go to an audition to help get inspired.  Everything from the calculated breathing to the "I know you were screwing my husband and I'm sure you can read between the lines about how he died, but I'm still going to show you some compassion because I know he meant a lot to you" silent tone of the scene.

 

A Home at the End of the World, I agree is a better film, and one that I wish was used more than Brokeback when it comes to a "great" example of gay cinema.

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I don't think Crash needed a homophobic conspiracy to win the Oscar. It was set in L.A., starred half of Hollywood, and one of the major characters worked in the film industry — of course tons of academy voters were going to pick it!

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I'm sure you can read between the lines about how [Jack] died

I've always felt it was left ambiguous about what happened to Jack.  Did he really die in an accident, like she says, or was he murdered, as Ennis imagines based on his own memories about hate crimes.

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  Re Brokeback Mountain and A Home At the End Of the World, I thought that the latter film was good, but it just didn't move me like BBM did, especially the last few minutes

with the shirt scenes, whether it was the one where Ennis held the bloody shirt that Jack had stolen from him so that he could have a piece of Ennis or the end, when Ennis opened up his closet and showed the two shirts, which were a permanent reminder of what he had with Jack and that he loved Jack all along, he just didn't have the guts to admit it when he was still alive

.  As for the performances, I could easily separate the actors from their roles, but their performances were brilliant, especially Heath Ledger's. BBM was definitely a much better film than Crash, the latter of which didn't say anything about race that wasn't said before and much better in Do the Right Thing 15 years before.

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I've always felt it was left ambiguous about what happened to Jack.  Did he really die in an accident, like she says, or was he murdered, as Ennis imagines based on his own memories about hate crimes.

That is interesting.  My understanding of that scene is that we the audience were really seeing what happened to Jack, as Anne Hathaway was recounting the "fake" story of his death.  Which sort of explained Anne's tone in telling the story and that she knew Jack was probably murdered for other reasons, and that she knew Jack and Ennis had something going on.  My take was that Jake had started to venture out more with other men, as we saw from the scene where he and Anna Faris's husband "connect". That may have lead to him garnering the wrong kind of attention which is what lead to his murder.

Edited by JBC344

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I've always felt it was left ambiguous about what happened to Jack.  Did he really die in an accident, like she says, or was he murdered, as Ennis imagines based on his own memories about hate crimes.

I always thought it was ambiguous too, and apparently, Anne Hathaway has said that Ang Lee asked her to do the scene twice - once where she truly believes that Jack was killed in an accident, and once where she knows everything about his secret life - and then he spliced the two together to give it the ambiguous tone.  She said she doesn't even know if her character is telling the truth or not.   

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That is interesting.  My understanding of that scene is that we the audience were really seeing what happened to Jack, as Anne Hathaway was recounting the "fake" story of his death.  Which sort of explained Anne's tone in telling the story and that she knew Jack was probably murdered for other reasons, and that she knew Jack and Ennis had something going on.  My take was that Jake had started to venture out more with other men, as we saw from the scene where he and Anna Faris's husband "connect". That may have lead to him garnering the wrong kind of attention which is what lead to his murder.

 

That's how I've always read the scene.

 

Anne Hathaway's character just seemed too smart and ruthlessly observant for me to believe that she didn't know what Jack was getting up to- especially considering that Jack wasn't doing his upmost to hide it.

 

In any event, that was when I realized that Anne Hathaway had more in her than just being Mia Thermopolis.

 

In any event, for me, I love that it's not homophobia that keeps Colin Farrell and Dallas Green's characters apart- it was the fear of needing somebody and being afraid of true intimacy that kept them apart.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Wow, I thought I was the only person who didn't slobber over Brokeback Mountain. I think the only part that got to me was Anne Hathaway's silent little breakdown on the phone to Ennis.

 

I definitely preferred A Home at the End of the World, which came out close to the same time but didn't get nearly as much attention.

 

I love Brokeback, but I agree that Anne's monologue was tremendous.  Especially the closeup (and the yellow teeth!) while she's smoking and picking tobacco off of her lips. 

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You beat me to the punch, xaxat, I was just coming over here to post that. I think Idris Elba would be an awesome Bond. He's got that quietly menacing thing going on, and he's good in action roles. If the terrorists don't get mad, it might actually happen.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer
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If the email was leaked, why isn't it published among the media like some of the others? 

With everything else going on the announcement of Spectre for Bond fans and the main cyberwarfare issues, Presidential disses etc who might be the next James Bond is really a minor issue

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  Re Idris Elba being the next James Bond, I think he'd be perfect. He's got the talent, the charisma and the sex appeal to pull it off. Sony would be fools not to pick him, terrorists be damned.

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Haven't you guys heard.  Sony has been urged to blacklist black actors from lead roles because black actors don't sell internationally, outside of Will Smith.  Now Sony never officially endorsed the recommendation that we know of, but I wouldn't put it past them.  

 

Idris Elba would make a great Bond, as long as the terrorists approve of it.

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That's why I was asking about the actual email.  Given what's been released and revealed of Sony's executive leadership, and their perception of certain blacks, I find it hard to believe they'd flip the script and endorse Elba as Bond.  If there was an actual email, why not publish the relevant snippets that support this assertion? The Elba as Bond rumors were swirling before Craig was announced years ago, and I agree he'd make a great Bond.  But I'm not buying Sony supporting Elba as the next Bond at the moment.  Show me the receipts.

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Random thought: Just finished watching "High School Musical"--again--with my family. It was a joy seeing kids of all colors, shapes, and...I was going to say "sexual orientations," but I don't think the Disney Channel meant for Troy to be gay. He was just into Broadway musicals and cutting edge fashion and scarves, right?

i hope you mean Ryan....

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That's why I was asking about the actual email.  Given what's been released and revealed of Sony's executive leadership, and their perception of certain blacks, I find it hard to believe they'd flip the script and endorse Elba as Bond.  If there was an actual email, why not publish the relevant snippets that support this assertion? The Elba as Bond rumors were swirling before Craig was announced years ago, and I agree he'd make a great Bond.  But I'm not buying Sony supporting Elba as the next Bond at the moment.  Show me the receipts.

So, it sounds like one of those "We would personally love to do that in theory" statements that lead to nothing.

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I'm even more cynical - I think the Daily Beast article was a way to spin Sony in a slightly better light given all of the bad press the company received because of the hack and the released emails.  Time will tell, I guess, Craig is supposedly keen to be done with the character, and has one or two films left (not sure if that includes Spectre).  I can't imagine Sony not already having some actors in mind for the next Bond, though it remains to be seen if Elba is on the short list. To be even more skeptical, Elba is only a few years younger than Craig - he may be closer to 50 than 40 by the time Craig's contract is up.  I would think Sony would go younger rather than older for the next Bond, like an actor between late 30s/early 40s. 

 

As it stands, I don't think the actual email exists.    

Edited by ribboninthesky1

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To be even more skeptical, Elba is only a few years younger than Craig - he may be closer to 50 than 40 by the time Craig's contract is up.  I would think Sony would go younger rather than older for the next Bond, like an actor between late 30s/early 40s..

 

I'm not sure about going younger. The youngest person to ever play James Bond was George Lazenby, who took the role when he was thirty way back in 1969. Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan were all in their forties, with Moore as the oldest at forty-six when he became Bond. Idris Elba is only forty-two. How many 007 movies are left in Craig's contract?

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I went back and read that Daily Beast article, and according to it, Craig is signed on for one more after Spectre, which is still filming and scheduled for release November 2015.  But who knows when the next one will film?  If we're talking another 2-3 years until Craig's final Bond film, that puts Elba in his mid-40s before any casting decisions or announcements would be made, let alone a schedule for the next set of films.  If Cavill wasn't locked in with Warner Brothers, I could see TPTB revisiting him. Given the way Pierce was dropped from the series, I have my doubts about them going with someone (potentially) closer to 50 than 40, especially for a long-term deal and with the increased physicality of Bond in the most recent films. Craig will have been Bond almost ten years by the time Spectre is released.

 

But I'd have my doubts even if Elba wasn't already in his 40s, as I have already expressed. 

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Much as I'd love to see Idris as James Bond, just don't see it happening.

 

It's about as likely as a black Doctor Who, though I hear Chiwitel was supposedly considered for the Eleventh.

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That reminds me of a more general gripe… why do all these far future movies and shows feature so many white people?

 

The advertising for Interstellar was a huge turn off.  To me the movie just looked like "In the Future, White People Save the Earth" (that's not a spoiler or anything, that's how all the advertising looked to me.)  Then when I actually saw the movie, a lot more white people than I even thought, and one black dude.  Of course the advertising was made to look like a few white American NASA people would do Great White Things.

 

TV is better than the movies.  A lot of network TV is pretty diverse; of course, a lot of diverse shows I've liked have been cancelled or constantly hover near cancellation.

 

I also don't think it should become a sweeping statement that only non-white actors/actresses should be considered for a certain type of movie.

 

I think it's totally fine that only POC be considered for a certain type of role or movie.  

 

Idris is 42.  I think he can skew even a bit younger than that.  But, even still, how young do we really want James Bond to be?  Daniel's age seems perfect for the role.  So in a few years, I would think Idris would be perfect too.  I see no reason or excuse for why Idris should not do it.  He's a much more capable actor than Pierce Brosnan, and I see him as more conventionally attractive than Daniel Craig (not that that's hard).  I have no doubt that he's the kind of actor that can keep very fit until age 50.  Daniel is 46 and he's super taut.

 

When you look at all the Hollywood actors today, I think Idris seems more like a real life James Bond than anyone else.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I don't think it's about what the audience wants, though - it's about the studios.  I'm not arguing against Elba being too old because *I* think so.  And his age isn't the main factor anyway - it's just another facet I brought up that I could see working against him.  I guess people have forgotten that Brosnan was dropped because he was knocking on 50.  Plus, from what I understand, Brosnan was meant to be Bond instead of Dalton for the late 80s films, when the former was in his 30s.  There's not much difference between mid 40s and 50, in my mind.  If they want another Bond for the next decade, I see the studios going younger. 

 

Most importantly, I don't see them going with a black actor anytime soon.  By the time Craig is done with Bond, all of this Sony controversy will be long forgotten by most, and status quo will resume.  If Craig's contract was about to be up in the present, I could see hiring Elba as primarily a PR move to stave off the accusations of a racist Sony leadership.  But 2-3 years from now, which is my estimate? Nope, and that's even if Sony wasn't the studio doing the financing. People lost their minds over a blond Bond, I can't imagine the backlash for a black one.

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Given the way Pierce was dropped from the series, I have my doubts about them going with someone (potentially) closer to 50 than 40, especially for a long-term deal and with the increased physicality of Bond in the most recent films. Craig will have been Bond almost ten years by the time Spectre is released.

 

I'm not sure physicality is an issue when it comes to age. Denzel Washington will be sixty in six days, and IMO he did a really good job in several action movies.

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