This is maybe progress? David Oyelowo will be the “first black James Bond” to voice Bond and several other characters for the upcoming novel Trigger Mortis.
Trigger is an official 007 novel, commissioned by the Fleming estate and written by Anthony Horowitz (oh, and very much approved by Fleming’s niece Lucy, who says “[it’s] almost as if Ian had written [Trigger Mortis] himself”). The book, set in the 1950s, reportedly will involve the Soviet-American Space Race and will revive the famous Bond character Pussy Galore.
Given that Daniel Craig is retiring from the role soon, this could be a lead in for Oyelowo to take the role. A sort of toe dip into the idea of a “black Bond,” if you will.
And I’m a little bit torn actually. If I’m being really honest, I don’t care that much about Bond books or films. The overly sleek, super cool spy thing just doesn’t do it for me. And the super high tech gadgets usually seem 1) unrealistically advanced or 2) totally unnecessary. (You have a license to kill. Just carry a gun. Cuff links that shoot tiny daggers of poison aren’t needed.) But I do care a great deal about watching David Oyelowo do stuff. And say stuff. I mean:
Yes. Say all of the things. In fact, someone just follow Oyelowo around all day recording him. I would pay a good sum of money to hear him order his coffee. Like a solid $10 just for “With room for cream, please.”
I would like to see Oyelowo in a bunch of roles, but I’m not sure that Bond is one that’s necessary. Granted I can’t see why it would be a big deal to have Oyelowo (or frontrunner Idris Elba) take over the role in the actual movies along with the audiobook. But I also didn’t understand when people were pissed that a blonde was playing 007 so clearly this is beyond me.
Mostly this seems a lot like a thing that shouldn’t even be a thing. My eloquence aside, having a black Bond isn’t necessary. The underrepresentation of minority roles in movies is a problem. The lack of minority writer/ directors/ producers is a problem. The whitewashing of minority roles and stories is a problem. The fact that some assholes believe racist things about how Bond could never be played by a black actor is a problem. But Bond actually never being played by a black actor? Meh.
Personally I’d rather see Oyelowo in an entirely new spy franchise. Or a sci-fi series. Or possibly even an Oprah biopic?
Damnit, David. You really can do it all.