Oh Dog, here we go again...

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  • #91
    Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

    This thread should be stickied. It's an extremely educational post on some of the members on this forum.

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    • #92
      Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

      A couple last comments...

      Can Shaft be played by a white actor? No. And it's because that character was specifically designed to be something that wasn't on screen at the time. (And I haven't seen the remake 'cause I have no desire to since Sam Jackson as Shaft was its own particular brand of stunt casting.)

      I've written characters with specific races in mind, and was asked one time if the character had to be black. I said, yes, because of blahblahblah...

      Great. But does that character have to be a stereotype?

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      • #93
        Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

        Originally posted by entlassen View Post
        There are no other characters in the Bond series to do that with, unless you think a movie about Moneypenny answering phone calls would be interesting.
        If they were ever looking for spin-off ideas (which they probably weren't) then they overlooked the potential in Moneypenny's field support agent days. Before she shot 007 off the train and sent him plunging to certain death.

        Hard to believe so much time has passed since Elba starred in Ultraviolet, a stylish Brit contemporary vampire hunter TV series... from 1998. His character was a good mix of cool brains and barely-held-in-check violence that could have translated well to a Bond role.
        Check out the results of the Valentine's Day short script contest in Writing Exercises forum

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        • #94
          Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

          Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
          This thread should be stickied. It's an extremely educational post on some of the members on this forum.
          Ugh, tell me about it. Definitely a couple of new additions to my no-communication list.

          Anyways, Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you whatever your version of success is in 2015.
          Last edited by UpandComing; 01-01-2015, 10:07 AM.
          "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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          • #95
            Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

            Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
            Can Shaft be played by a white actor? No.
            That's racist. You're denying a talented white actor a popular role because of his skin color, even though we are living in a post-racial society. Helloooo, it's like, 2015.

            And it's because that character was specifically designed to be something that wasn't on screen at the time.
            That was then. Times change. Stop living in the last century. The rest of America has moved on. Anyone can play anybody. The John Shaft character was based on outdated black supremacist ideology. It's about time we had a really cool, tough white actor play Shaft. It's 2015.

            I've written characters with specific races in mind, and was asked one time if the character had to be black. I said, yes, because of blahblahblah...
            You should have posted a trigger warning before stating this. I've been traumatized and need to attend a diversity seminar to restore my faith in post-racial America. After all, it's 2015.

            Great. But does that character have to be a stereotype?
            We do indeed need to smash stereotypes. I propose a white female Jane Shaft. Rooney Mara was born to play the role. Can't you see it? Or are you racist? It's 2015.

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            • #96
              Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

              Any reason you picked a German word as your handle, entlassen?

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              • #97
                Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                I'm an idiot, but I'm full of optimism in this new year...

                If it's remade with a white guy in the lead (which, quite frankly, has probably already been done, i.e. see any recent action flick), it ceases to be SHAFT and is something different and not what was originally intended in the early '70s.

                There is nothing unique about James Bond that would preclude any changes in race or ethnicity. He's English. That's about it. There's no circumstances or social class that dictates the role has to be played by a white guy.

                I honestly don't see how this is even a discussion.

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                • #98
                  Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                  Any reason you picked a German word as your handle, entlassen?
                  IIRC it was the name of the song that was playing in the background when I registered.

                  If it's remade with a white guy in the lead (which, quite frankly, has probably already been done, i.e. see any recent action flick), it ceases to be SHAFT and is something different and not what was originally intended in the early '70s.
                  Wow, so now you know how most people feel about Bond. He was intended and written as white in the 1950s. Why do you respect the intention of Shaft's creator but not Bond's?

                  There is nothing unique about James Bond that would preclude any changes in race or ethnicity. He's English. That's about it.
                  Okay, let's compare the lineages of both characters.

                  Bond: father's line goes back centuries into Scotland. They were nobles with their own coat of arms. His mother was of French-Swiss descent.

                  Shaft: ????

                  Seems to me like Bond's heritage matters far more than Shaft's, which makes a white Shaft more believable than a black Bond, as Bond has a specific ancestral identity and Shaft doesn't. Shaft is just a NYC detective; they come in all shape and sizes. NYC is more diverse than Britain. What, may I ask, precludes a white actor from playing the role of a NYC private detective as long as he has the right personality?

                  I honestly don't see how this is even a discussion.
                  Neither do I, yet you and others insist on holding a logically inconsistent perspective on the casting of these two characters. Either both Bond and Shaft should be portrayed by actors who represent the intended race of the characters, or they both can be played by anyone who fits the personality of the characters. There's no other position you can take without being a hypocrite.

                  Are we making headway?

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                    Originally posted by entlassen View Post
                    Wow, so now you know how most people feel about Bond. He was intended and written as white in the 1950s. Why do you respect the intention of Shaft's creator but not Bond's?
                    Because we're not in the 1950's anymore?

                    Comment


                    • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                      Zach Galifianakis as a gay white shaft. Can ya dig it?

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                      • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                        P.S. - I'll be taking a cut of whoever cashes in on this

                        Comment


                        • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                          Originally posted by entlassen View Post
                          Wow, so now you know how most people feel about Bond. He was intended and written as white in the 1950s. Why do you respect the intention of Shaft's creator but not Bond's?



                          Okay, let's compare the lineages of both characters.

                          Bond: father's line goes back centuries into Scotland. They were nobles with their own coat of arms. His mother was of French-Swiss descent.
                          ... which was of paramount importance when he was driving underwater cars or on the space shuttle.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                            Originally posted by entlassen View Post
                            ...yet you and others insist on holding a logically inconsistent perspective on the casting of these two characters. Either both Bond and Shaft should be portrayed by actors who represent the intended race of the characters, or they both can be played by anyone who fits the personality of the characters. There's no other position you can take without being a hypocrite.
                            I'll try one more time even though it won't work (optimist, remember)...there is no logically inconsistent perspective regarding the "intended race of the characters" because in only one of these instances is there a legitimate claim that the main character must be a particular skin color.

                            The actual plot of SHAFT could be done with any number of white actors (and has)...but it wouldn't be the SHAFT that was shown in 1971. There's more to the movie than just a private dick who's a bad muthafvcker; socially and culturally the movie cannot be done with a white guy in the lead.

                            For James Bond, there is no cultural or social contextual weight to a white man being a spy for England; nothing inherent in Bond's character or social status that's integral to any Bond story.

                            You could replace Daniel Craig with any number of minority actors and it wouldn't change the very nature of the story being told. If you replace Richard Roundtree, then you get A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. But you don't get SHAFT.

                            Originally posted by entlassen View Post
                            Are we making headway?
                            I hope so.

                            Comment


                            • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                              I think Shaft needs to be black because it was integral to the premise. Just like a story about the origins of the KKK would require a white guy. Obviously, the Bond character is white, as specified by Fleming. But it's not integral to the premise. You could simply erase / re-invent his backstory.

                              And that's really why some people here are angry. Not because they're racist, but because, as writers, they despise the notion of erasing an author's vision in favor of "stunt casting" and publicity. I certainly would be pissed if (long after I was dead) the characters in my sci-fi epic were re-imagined as Punjab Indians to kill it at the Bollywood Box Office.
                              I'm never wrong. Reality is just stubborn.

                              Comment


                              • Re: Oh Dog, here we go again...

                                Originally posted by entlassen View Post





                                Bond: father's line goes back centuries into Scotland. They were nobles with their own coat of arms. His mother was of French-Swiss descent.



                                These are fictional characters. There is no actual Bond with a father whose sacred line and coat of arms must be protected. There is no mother of any descent. These are made up people with made up lineage. There is nothing sacred here, nothing to protect. A few decades ago, Ian Fleming made up some stuff about an imaginary person he called James Bond and now other writers can make up different stuff about an imaginary person that might also be called James Bond.

                                It's flipping ridiculous that you are seriously arguing about the lineage of an imaginary person. Bananas.

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