THE BARACK EFFECT ON HOLLYWOOD CASTING CHOICES
Written by Matthew Pejkovic
It seems that Barack Obama’s historic presidential win has had a rippling effect in the corridors of Hollywood, with a number of profitable characters –usually played by white actors – urged to be portrayed by black actors.
First up is James Bond. According to Monsters and Critics, the innovative concept was brought to the table by none other than Mr. Bond himself, Daniel Craig, who said: “I think it's the right moment for a black James Bond. If we can have a black US President, I think we might have reached the moment for a new kind of 007.
"I think the role could easily be played by a black actor, because the character created by Ian Fleming in the 50s has undergone a great deal of evolution and continues to be updated."
It is an inspiring and long overdue idea, and immediately my mind was abuzz as to who would be the perfect first black Bond.
After gagging at the thought of the likes of P. Diddy Combs and Jamie Foxx, who both raised their hands for the job, it hit me like a bolt of lightning:
Here we have one of the best character actors working today; handsome; charming; British; and –as seen in Serenity and Redbelt – he is able to kick ass as well.
All he needs is that one leading role to really push him to the top, Christian Bale style. Bond would be the one.
Of course, Daniel Craig is still signed on for three more pictures, so the odds are looking less than bleak for Ejiofor. But think about it: Ejiofor would suit the role to a t.
Another inspiring, but let’s face it wildly out there casting rumour, had blockbuster king Will Smith cast as Marvel Comics superhero, Captain America.
According to MTV Splash Page, actor Derek Luke –while doing press for Miracle At St. Anna - let slip that the former Fresh Prince was offered the role. Yet, while Smith has the action chops and blockbuster pull to play a role of that magnitude, it just will not fit.
Why? Well, for those who do not know, Captain America was created during the 1940s, as something of an inspirational fictional figure during WWII. His secret identity was that of Steve Rogers, a white, blonde, blued eyed scrawny arts student, who volunteers as a test subject for the army. There he receives his super powers, takes on the mantle of Captain America, and fight the good fight against Hitler and the Nazi’s.
With the upcoming The First Avenger: Captain America a WWII period piece which borrows heavily from the comic book, having an African American actor play the title role will be historically glaring, considering the amount of racial distrust and misuse towards blacks during that time, and decades after it.
So Will Smith as Captain America? Highly doubtful and definitely out of step, yet still a fun concept to think about.