I had long lost interest in Bond films by the time Casino Royale appeared. The first scenes grabbed me, too & demonstrated something new & exciting was happening.

I do agree that Bond works well not smoking, avoiding racism & facing off stronger female characters. I've heard this trend started with Pierce Brosnan's Bond vs. Halle Berry (not sure which Bond story that was).

One small point, I still think Goldfinger is one of the best Bond films, in part because Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore was a strong Bond girl. Recall it was she who undid Goldfinger's mass murder scheme against Fort Knox, not Bond. She suffers mainly for her name. I've read feminists decry her when they obviously haven't seen the movie.

It's quite a contrast to the book where, as I recall, she's a lesbian whom Bond "redeems" after she admits the whole lesbian thing was because she had never met a "real man" before. The ultimate male fantasy.

I do think Idris Elba would be an outstanding Bond, better than Tom Hardy (who I also quite like).

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics