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Boots Riley Strongly Objects to James Bond Being Played by Black Actor: ‘Fuck That’

"You want a Black hero?" Riley asked his social media followers. "Don't make them an agent of capital."

Boots Riley arrives at the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Red Carpet, Santa Monica, USA - 23 Feb 2019

Boots Riley arrives at the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A lot of moviegoers are hoping Idris Elba will replace Daniel Craig as James Bond after the April 2020 release of Bond 25, but one person who definitely opposes that casting idea is “Sorry To Bother You” filmmaker Boots Riley. The outspoken writer-director is stirring up a debate on social media after posting that James Bond should never be played by a black actor.

“Fuck that. Stop talking about James Bond being played by someone Black,” Riley wrote. “Stop making intelligence operatives/assassins/murderers look cool, and trying to make ppl of color feel connection to these enemies of the ppl. You want a Black hero? Don’t make them an agent of capital.”

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have not announced any plans for the 007 film franchise outside of Bond 25. The latest Bond film is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and is currently in production in Jamaica. Craig recently suffered an injury on set that required minor ankle surgery. The actor is spending two weeks off the production, but Fukunaga is continuing to film scenes that don’t require the Bond character. As a result, MGM is not expecting the injury to result in a release date delay.

Bond 25 will feature previous 007 actors Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, and Lea Seydoux. Recent Oscar winner Rami Malek has joined the film in the villain role, while newcomers also include Billy Magnussen, Ana De Armas, and Lashana Lynch.

Riley’s comments mirror a growing mentality in Hollywood that a woman or actor of color deserves his or her own action character to play as opposed to just taking over the 007 role. Rachel Weisz made news in February 2018 for saying a female James Bond is not necessary. “Why not create your own story rather than jumping on to the shoulders and being compared to all those other male predecessors?” the actress asked. “Women are really fascinating and interesting and should get their own stories.”

MGM will open Bond 25 in theaters nationwide April 8, 2020.

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