This Week in James Bond: Hilary Saltzman on Idris Elba

Welcome back to “This Week in James Bond”!

In SPECTRE news, production was temporarily suspended after Daniel Craig sprained his knee filming a fight scene at Pinewood Studios on February 5, but resumed two days later. Craig is no stranger to injuries on the set of James Bond as he previously had two teeth knocked out while filming Casino Royale in Prague, sliced off the tip of a finger while filming Quantum of Solace, and twisted a leg muscle while filming Skyfall. (Source: The Guardian and Rhein-Zeitung)

Hilary Saltzman weighs in on the Idris Elba as 007 debate

Hilary Saltzman, the daughter of Harry Saltzman, has shared her thoughts about the possibility of British actor Idris Elba playing James Bond in a future installment of the series. While promoting her new documentary You Belong to Me: Sex, Race and Murder on the Suwannee River, Saltzman said:

Purists, and we do love them, have argued that casting a black actor would be contrary to the fictional heritage written by Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, which saw the character born in Glasgow, Scotland to a father from the region and a mother from Switzerland. That would be a fair argument if there were no Black Scots, but even though they make up barely one percent of Scotland’s population, they do exist and have become an important, if not intractable, part of Scottish history. There is a small Black population in Scotland, some of whom did extraordinary things in both World Wars — with one of them, Eugene Bullard, having worked as a spy for the French Underground during World War II. I’m not saying whether or not Idris or any other specific actor should play Bond, because up until now all the Producers starting with my father, have made excellent choices and I trust that they will continue to do so.
A lot of media attention has been invested in the discussion of a black James Bond, and while I appreciate fandom’s interest, James Bond is fiction, and there are far more important realities about the treatment of ethnic minorities and women that would show some progress if we spent half the time discussing them as we have a black 007.

(Source: NewsOK)

Finally, Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci were at the BAFTAs on February 8 to present the award for Best Production Design, following in the stiletto-clad footsteps of Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe who presented at the BAFTAs in 2012 during the filming of Skyfall.


That’s all for “This Week in James Bond!” As always, don’t forget to tune in to the podcast and join the conversation on social media.

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About The Author

Linda Zhu

Linda is a biochemistry major at the University of British Columbia. When she's not busy being a Bond fangirl, she enjoys listening to alternative rock music, backpacking and (trying to learn) foreign languages, and fiddling around with the innards of PCs and Android devices.

  • Paul Coulthard

    Loving TWIJB. It’s ace getting a weekly update to keep me going between podcasts. Thanks, Linda.

  • David Topham

    A nice sentiment by Hilary there – and a nice bit of sidestepping the issue too! Personally, I think that Craig has been so brilliant in his portrayal of Bond that the next fella can only disappoint, so, a complete 180 and introducing Elba as Bond would be a great way kick-start a new era of Bondy goodness.

    Also, Lea Seydoux. Amazing.

  • Jeff Silence

    I don’t think any of this Idris Elba speculation is going to die out before they announce the next Bond actor, which I think is sad. Let’s enjoy Craig for the time we have him. Get hyped up for the films rather than for an actor who may or may not be Bond several years from now.

    Can I also say that I’m really excited to see Monica Bellucci in a Bond film? Her and Lea look fantastic.

  • baldwin collins

    Hilary salzman hasn’t given a clear view whether she’s in agreement
    or not for a future black james bond. however instead of going on about
    minorities and so on, all she had to say yes or no. she’s not in court.

  • Dan Gale

    He is a charismatic and very good actor but imagine the confusion if George Clooney played Nelson Mandela… same thing. Fleming drew a picture of Bond if you recall. Maybe find someone who looks like that.

  • David Jackson

    There is always speculation about who will play James Bond next and there also will be. Let’s hope that SPECTRE is the best Bond film to date and that the quality continues whoever plays the role for many years to come

    Really what counts are the ideas and artistry which going into the production of each Bond film, as long as they don’t repeat the mistakes of Die Another Day and treat their audiences with respect.

    I always like to see a mixture of traditional Bond elements (gun barrel and Bond theme) with fresh ideas and situations which test the actors and the audience

    Rant over 🙂