British Rapper Frustrated by Lack of Progress on Black James Bond Rumors Creates His Own Spy Film

The rapper decided to take matters in his own hands, citing the ridiculousness of the situation.

"I'm Mark. Tribal Mark": British Rapper Gets Fed up of Black James Bond Rumors Going Nowhere, So He Created His Own Spy Film


Rapper Skepta has created a Black gentleman spy in the vein of James Bond.

He grew bored of the conversation that a Black actor was being cast to play James Bond, since it didn’t feel right.
Creation of original characters of color for diversity is something that has been at the forefront of the debate surrounding race-bending characters. .

The conversations that have surrounded the casting of a Black actor in the role of James Bond have been loaded, to say the least.

While the wider conversation of race-bending characters has always been an ongoing debate in Western Cinema, James Bond is a character that has found itself at the center of this wider debate, and according to Skepta, it’s about time someone took matters into their own hands.

Skepta has embarked on an endeavor to create his undercover secret agent, reminiscent of James Bond. However, since the artist has found himself turned off from the conversation about the new James Bond being Black, he has created a character who would essentially be a Black James Bond, to put the matter to rest.

Tribal Mark is for Black actors
Tribal Mark, the black secret agentTribal Mark, the Black secret agent

Skpeta’s character, Tribal Mark, is envisioned as a quintessential antithesis to his European equivalent.

The concept behind that character is to create a role for Black actors, similar to James Bond.

This solution, of creating new characters with diverse backgrounds, rather than race-bending existing characters, is something that has been often pitched as a way of adding more diversity in films, and it finally seems someone is taking that advice.

The artist revealed to BBC his motivation behind making the character, implying how odd it seemed that actors of color were clamoring to play a white character:

“It wouldn’t make sense if loads of white actors kept asking to play Black Panther, because he is Black.”

Based on the work of Ian Flemming, 007 has been a European character since his very inception, having a long line of European actors portray the character in live action.

The short film introduces us, directed by and starring Skepta, introduces us to the character, who is seen eating a popular Nigerian dinner, before echoing James Bond by saying “I am Mark. Tribal Mark“, closing out the film.

The film not only introduces us to the character, but also cements his heritage and culture, rooting him in a non-European aesthetic, as is the aim for the character.

Tribal Mark is more than just ‘Black James Bond’
Behind the Scene of Tribal MarkBehind the Scenes of Tribal Mark
Tribal Mark might be a Black gentleman spy like James Bond, but the idea is not just to make a race-bent version of the character.

As mentioned before, the idea is to create a character for Black actors in particular, just like Black Panther.

Apart from that, the production is set to be the beginning of a wider universe that will feature a host of Black leads, witch characters are crafted to be portrayed by them in particular.

The production according to BBC, consists of 90% ethnic minority cast and production crew.

The film is supposed to center around a ‘Black hitman’ who works for a Black secret organization.

The film is also set to take inspiration from Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular nemesis of Batman from DC.

While the wider conversations about race bending and representation continue in English-speaking cinema, Tribal Mark seems to be a step in the right direction, focusing on building an original character that shares the history and culture of the people that it wishes to represent.

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