Henry Golding says diversity “shouldn’t be a factor” in James Bond casting

Snake eyes

Now that Daniel Craig is officially done as 007, the hunt is on for the next James Bond. Just this week, MGM confirmed that talks have begun to find Craig’s replacement as the world’s most famous superspy. Fans have obviously been pitching their picks for the role for years now. One who’s often mentioned is Henry Golding, with the Snake Eyes star touted as a perfect choice to be the first non-white actor to play Ian Fleming’s hero.

According to Golding himself, though, diversity “shouldn’t be a factor” when it comes to finding the best person to wield Bond’s Walther-PPK next. While speaking to Radio Times, the topic of 007 obviously came up and Golding stressed that he thinks the most important thing for producers to do is continue to “do justice” to the source material. As he put it:

“It shouldn’t be a factor at all,” said Golding. “I think Bond represents something that we’ve all sort of grown up with and that’s a man of substance, a man who has stoic properties and is a protector, has a sensitive side. So really, the talk of having to have them be diverse is – it’s great and all, but I think you have to do justice to the source material. He’s such an iconic character, so I wouldn’t say that there should be any pressure.”

Golding went on to add that he believes producers will end up finding “the right person” to fill in for Craig, whatever their background might be.

“But I think they will choose the right person for the role,” he continued. “So be it Black, Asian, Latino, mixed… anything, as long as they have the attributes that they can bring to the screen. I think that is what the fans really want.”

It’s hard to disagree with Golding’s comments as he’s definitely correct that the number one priority of casting Bond should be discovering someone who embodies all the qualities we associate with the immortal character. At the same time, there’s a widespread feeling that the franchise needs to revitalize itself to survive and pull off some “outside-the-box” hire who’s different from any previous cinematic take on the secret agent. A POC Bond would certainly bring the series into the 2020s.

While a non-Caucasian casting remains feasible, a female Bond is much less likely. Daniel Craig himself has shut down the idea, arguing that the roles for Bond women should be bolstered instead. Golding likely feels the same way, given his statement about the character remaining faithful to Fleming’s vision. It sounds as if he’s on the same page as producers, then. So could he be in with a shot of landing the gig?

While the search for James Bond no. 7 unfolds, No Time To Die is now available on VOD.