Poll reveals little support for diversified Bond

A new poll conducted by Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter, whose surveys we’ve covered before, suggests that there is “scant” support for diversifying James Bond.

Daniel Craig is set to play the MI6 spy once again in Bond 25, but many of you will have noticed that there has been much media coverage in recent weeks predicting that the franchise is destined for a shake-up. Some reports have even claimed that British actor Lashana Lynch has been cast as the next 007.

The survey has found that while a majority of Americans support a black Bond, 29% are against. However, when it comes to a female Bond, Americans are far less receptive with only 37% supporting the idea. When broken down into political allegiance, Republicans are divided on supporting (39%) or opposing (40%) a black James Bond. Half or more Republicans oppose other racial minority Bonds and a female or gay Bond. Democrats are more supportive of a non-white-male Bond than Republicans are, but divided on a gay Bond (41% support, 40% oppose).

Respondents were more likely to agree that the Bond series is a classic and nothing should change (51%) than they are to say it should change with the times, and feature a more diverse cast (34%).

 

Meanwhile, following on from our story last week about recent US-based Netflix subscription cancellations, Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter has also found that three in 10 young viewers could cancel Netflix when The Office or Friends leaves the streaming service. With confirmation that Netflix will lose both shows next year, the recent survey found the impending departure of their most popular shows could have a notable impact on growth, with 30% of subscribers polled between the ages of 18 and 29 saying they would cancel.

Among the same audience, nearly half (49%) would cancel Netflix if The Office, Friends, Marvel movies and Disney content were all removed from the service, compared to 32% of all subscribers who said the same.

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Martin Dew

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24 Comments

  1. I think Bond should be EXACTLY how Ian Fleming describes him in the books!!!!!! They should just stick with that!!!!!!

    Therefor they should have an actor born in the early 1920’s to play him!!!!! :huh::blink::razz::rolling-smiley:

  2. From that article I put myself in this camp:

    "Respondents were more likely to agree that the Bond series is a classic and nothing should change (51%) than they are to say it should change with the times, and feature a more diverse cast (34%)."

    Even so, as a gay person that survey makes me feel bad in that response.

  3. I still recall some of the discussion when Will Smith played James West in the film adaptation of the Wild Wild West. I'm not certain where I stand on the topic. (What is okay and what is too far for recasting established fictitious personages?)

    Don't care about race, but I do think British and Male are definitely required. I do think that womanizing is part of the character as well, so if they wanted to push the boundaries in that department; maybe make Bond bisexual?

    I've read that Idris Elba has ruled out playing Bond, but I would have been okay with him taking on the role.

    – Walter.

  4. Honestly, and I say this as a huge fan of the series for 40+ years, what Bond needs are new producers. Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli haven’t done the series any favors, and many of their choices are very uninspired (using Purvis & Wade as writers for 20 years, etc.).

  5. I hate to concur because I don't want to be disloyal to the folks who have brought us Bond movies for all these years, but I agree – I'm not sure if Wilson and Broccoli need to go so much as they need additional partners who can bring some fresh passion to it, and who could serve as another voice in the room to counter against some of their more inexplicable and disappointing decisions, like continuing to hire Purvis & Wade. I think that Wilson and Broccoli have gotten a lot right over the years, and I love the choice of Daniel Craig as Bond – but they haven't given him material as good as he is.

    They've felt behind the trends in recent years, and like they've been copying other franchises instead of innovating on their own. Whether its the constant return to the "this time it's personal" well, the "going rogue" well, aping the "villain plans to be caught as part of his master plan" trope that The Dark Knight popularized, or the ridiculous "Blofeld and Bond are long lost brothers" conceit that seemed to be ripped from a Fast & Furious movie, it feels like they're sputtering in their wheels. Which is a shame, because the films have also had a lot going for them – Daniel Craig is outstanding in the role, and the direction by Sam Mendes and cinematography by Roger Deakins for Skyfall were both so good that most people didn't even notice the plot holes. We'll probably never know the truth behind Danny Boyle's aborted attempt – if they couldn't agree on the script, as has been reported – did Boyle come up with something truly terrible, or are Wilson and Broccoli no longer able to identify a good story when they see one?

  6. Josh Steinberg

    I hate to concur because I don't want to be disloyal to the folks who have brought us Bond movies for all these years, but I agree – I'm not sure if Wilson and Broccoli need to go so much as they need additional partners who can bring some fresh passion to it, and who could serve as another voice in the room to counter against some of their more inexplicable and disappointing decisions, like continuing to hire Purvis & Wade. I think that Wilson and Broccoli have gotten a lot right over the years, and I love the choice of Daniel Craig as Bond – but they haven't given him material as good as he is.

    They've felt behind the trends in recent years, and like they've been copying other franchises instead of innovating on their own. Whether its the constant return to the "this time it's personal" well, the "going rogue" well, aping the "villain plans to be caught as part of his master plan" trope that The Dark Knight popularized, or the ridiculous "Blofeld and Bond are long lost brothers" conceit that seemed to be ripped from a Fast & Furious movie, it feels like they're sputtering in their wheels. Which is a shame, because the films have also had a lot going for them – Daniel Craig is outstanding in the role, and the direction by Sam Mendes and cinematography by Roger Deakins for Skyfall were both so good that most people didn't even notice the plot holes. We'll probably never know the truth behind Danny Boyle's aborted attempt – if they couldn't agree on the script, as has been reported – did Boyle come up with something truly terrible, or are Wilson and Broccoli no longer able to identify a good story when they see one?

    And where is the special edition of quantum of solace? It was completed and never released.

    I’m ready for a new actor and a new creative team with the 007 films.

    Hope Daniel’s final film is a good one. Final bonds for actors are….

  7. Josh Steinberg

    I think that Wilson and Broccoli have gotten a lot right over the years, and I love the choice of Daniel Craig as Bond – but they haven't given him material as good as he is.

    …or the ridiculous "Blofeld and Bond are long lost brothers" conceit that seemed to be ripped from a Fast & Furious movie, it feels like they're sputtering in their wheels.

    Pierce Brosnan also never got material worthy of him. And the Bond/Blofeld bit from Spectre is right out of Austin Powers: Goldmember. Bond is copying the series that spoofed him. Good grief.

    I'm not sure Wilson/Broccoli have ever known a good story when they see one. Wilson's been in charge since Goldeneye, and I wouldn't hold up any movies since then as worthy of the first 25 years of Bond. They seem more concerned with product placement and marketing opportunities – which is not an invalid concern, especially when your studio (MGM) is bankrupt. But I don't feel either of them ever moved the creative needle much. Yes, Craig's a good choice and Casino was a good movie (marred by Purvis & Wade's absurdly complicated plot).

  8. Sam Favate

    Pierce Brosnan also never got material worthy of him. And the Bond/Blofeld bit from Spectre is right out of Austin Powers: Goldmember. Bond is copying the series that spoofed him. Good grief.

    I'm not sure Wilson/Broccoli have ever known a good story when they see one. Wilson's been in charge since Goldeneye, and I wouldn't hold up any movies since then as worthy of the first 25 years of Bond. They seem more concerned with product placement and marketing opportunities – which is not an invalid concern, especially when your studio (MGM) is bankrupt. But I don't feel either of them ever moved the creative needle much. Yes, Craig's a good choice and Casino was a good movie (marred by Purvis & Wade's absurdly complicated plot).

    I'd say Wilson has been in charge longer than that. Ever since he became co-writer on For Your Eyes Only, the story lines have been needlessly convoluted. There's no reason for a Bond film to have a complicated plot – here's the villain, here's the master plan, connect the set-pieces.

    Not that this would ever happen, but I'd love it if they would just hand the keys over to interesting filmmakers and let them do whatever they want. At this point, there are several generations of writers and directors who have been at least in part inspired by Bond – let them do their thing.

  9. Worth

    I'd say Wilson has been in charge longer than that. Ever since he became co-writer on For Your Eyes Only, the story lines have been needlessly convoluted. There's no reason for a Bond film to have a complicated plot – here's the villain, here's the master plan, connect the set-pieces.

    Octopussy is a prime example of a plot that I feel makes absolutely no sense. They should have gone with either JUST the Orlov plot of JUST the Kamal Khan plot. But them plotting together, I just don’t get what the point was. It’s a movie that makes less sense every time I watch it.

    There are other examples for sure but this is the most glaring for me. Even my beloved Craig era has some weird plot things, but upon repeated viewing I think that they aren’t quite as complex as they appear.

  10. The Living Daylights is another one that makes no sense. It's so convoluted that there's a big exposition dump about three-quarters into the movie that attempts to explain the plot. Even then, I defy anyone to explain why Koskov fakes his defection at the start of the movie.

  11. Worth

    I'd say Wilson has been in charge longer than that. Ever since he became co-writer on For Your Eyes Only…

    True. I was thinking of when the series began again after its 6-year hiatus. Cubby died in '96, Goldeneye came out in late '95. I doubt he had much to do with it.

    I do think Cubby was more involved in the 80s.

  12. This is the dumbest poll ever. Designing art by committee will always result in the most mediocre of solutions.

    "If I asked people what they wanted they would have told me a faster horse." Henry Ford.

  13. Sam Posten

    This is the dumbest poll ever. Designing art by committee will always result in the most mediocre of solutions.

    "If I asked people what they wanted they would have told me a faster horse." Henry Ford.

    All these type of polls are useless.

  14. Worth

    The Living Daylights is another one that makes no sense. It's so convoluted that there's a big exposition dump about three-quarters into the movie that attempts to explain the plot. Even then, I defy anyone to explain why Koskov fakes his defection at the start of the movie.

    They should have made it a Russian-plot from the beginning and gotten rid of Whittaker. Overall I think TLD is the most watchable Bond films of the 80’s, but yeah it’s quite convoluted.

  15. Well, while I initially balked at the idea of making Bond female, or black, or whatever, when I read about actually retiring Bond and giving the 007 to a new agent, in this case female, and black, I though, hey, why not, that is a great way to reboot something where all the original stories are already used up anyway (AFAIK, there is nothing unfilmed by Fleming).
    That would keep the idea of the 00s, while opening up for something new. The existing Bonds are (mostly) a great legacy, let's keep it that way.
    And PLEASE, lose Blofeld already.

  16. Sorry, if the truth hurts, folks, but Bond is white, heterosexual, British, and dashing – period. Every other option being considered here is a joke. You want another hero, be he gay, Black, Hispanic, a woman, whatever, create another franchise.

    But riding on the coat-tails of the already ensconced cinematic Bond legacy, and inserting different sexual orientations and ethnicity merely to satisfy some PC agenda is not making Bond 'current' with the times, but dumbing down the character and the franchise and making both into something Fleming never intended.

    The real problem here is that Hollywood doesn't want to take a chance on a new character in a new franchise. They'd rather use pre-sold stock company characters and mutate their origins to be politically correct. That's why Moneypenny suddenly morphed from an Anglo-Saxon middle age frump, pining for Bond to take her in his arms into a black woman, who can handle both a gun and computer better than our hero and why 'Q' morphed from an 'establishment' MI6 style with grey hair and a heritage in espionage – Major Boothroyd, remember? – into a sort of prepubescent know-it-all college puke with pimples on his ass who talks down to Bond – a man who is actually out there 'in the field' kicking butt that the new 'Q' can not even guess at on a good day.

    Gradually, Bond has already shifted far left from where he used to be. Gone are the hoards of scantily clad vixens – the Bond eye candy. The Bond 'girl' now has to be as tough – or tougher – than Bond. She isn't there to be rescued. So, what's the point? The Bond villains have gone from super-human demigods to just weird and twisted deviants that most any Scotland yard dick could catch with a billy-club and his bare hands. And the plots have become suspiciously tired. I seem to recall a girl dipped in oil, lying dead on Bond's bed in Quantum of Solace. Homage to Goldfinger's Jill Eaton or just plain Vanilla ripoff? I lean toward the latter explanation.

    It's sad that today's gen cannot recognize the principles of time-honored greatness, but think everything from the past needs to be rewritten in their own lesser image of things to come. Really sad! And devastating to the art of picture-making in general, and, (if it continues to happen herein) to the Bond franchise in particular. Bond is a cultural artifact – one from another time. He belongs in that time. I don't want a gay Bond, a female Bond, a Black Bond, or any other derivative one might choose to substitute for the Bonds of yore. I don't think I am alone here. I pray I am the majority. We'll see.

  17. Ross Gowland

    Fleming actually altered Bond’s date of birth in Thunderball, so c.10 years had passed since Casino Royale but Bond remained in his late-Thirties.

    Yeah, and he changed Bonds heritage to Scottish after Connery got the role. But those early Bond movies are unwatchable with all the discrepancies from the source material. Not ONCE is Bond seen eating scrambled eggs, which Fleming firmly established as Bond being a regular eater of. Because continuity matter hugely to Fleming.

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