Hello. #1 Bond Fangirl (unofficial) checking in here.
There is a not single thing about Bond's character that requires him to be white. Not one single thing. Being British, absolutely. Being a super spy, definitely. Banging hot girls and cheating death at every turn? Totally. Yes the original Bond was white, yes the Bonds that came after him were white. That was never a significant aspect of his character. You can turn him any other color and as long as he's still making quips, catching the bad guy, surviving sure death and being all smooth with a sexy lady or ten afterwards he's still James Bond.
Bond actors change. Nobody needed an explanation for him briefly being George Lazenby and then Sean Connery again (or why his personality completely changed with the actors). Or how there were two bonds for awhile as Sean Connery unofficially was Bond while Roger Moore was officially. Or what if any role Peter Sellers plays in all of this (strangely Woody Allen as Jimmy Bond Jr. or James Bond being a stickler for etiquette who lived in a mansion surrounded by lions never came up again...). Or how he went from svelte suave super spy who killed six people before breafkast to ripped thug with a badge.
Unless you are setting the movie in a time when black people weren't allowed to be British secret agents, there is no reason the character can't be black. I'm pretty sure in 2015 black guys can work for the British government.
This is why Bond was white originally, fyi. Because he HAD to be. Because of the institutional racism is the UK that prevented people of color from being significant and the fact that the perception was that people who read spy novels in the English speaking world were largely racist and Fleming pandered to that audience. This is not a legacy to embrace. If you don't believe me, consider that the Bond books were absurdly racist. That's something the franchise can lose. And not only can but should. You don't see Bond going on about how Britain is lucky it doesn't have as bad of a "black problem" as America does anymore (yes Bond says this in one of the books).
You could probably have a more meaningful discussion about whether a straight woman or gay man or basically any non gynosexual could be Bond and whether his complete objectification of most women is inherently tied to the character or not. I personally kinda think it is. I don't think you can have a non-womanizer Bond character. That's probably up for debate. But Bond as a black man? There's no good reason it can't happen if you're following the trend of setting Bond in a enhanced cinematic version of the present day.
And I personally like the "Bond is a title" idea, it explains how he's been active since the 60s without resorting to constantly rebooting the franchise and turning into every comic book ever (and in this 47th version of the Fantastic Four's origin story, we learn how Johnny Blaze feels about rutabagas right before the whatever-we're-calling-cosmic-rays-this-week hits the whatever-invention-they're-in-this-week type crap). Yeah the reboot to explain Daniel Craig was super lame. Super duper lame. I haven't really liked a single one of his movies tbh even though I like him as Bond.
As for Idris Elba, I'm going to have an awful hard time not seeing him as Luther, the roles are similar enough in my head. Which is a silly reason to not like someone in a role, but here we are. I'd actually like to see a younger actor in the role tbh. Craig and Elba are both in their 40s. I don't see enough movies these days to have a pick in mind though.
Also...I really liked the hollywood style bond where bad guys are are building lasers on the moon much more than this real world bond where the bad guys are ....rather legitimately mad about genuine abuses by their own governments...and I'm supposed to root against them? Uhhhh this is what I go to movies to not think about. Bring back the people who made Die Another Day please. Unrepentantly genocidal surgically altered North Korean splinter extremists with diamonds stuck to their faces using the power of a transparently metaphorically named sun-laser to burn the entire planet from outer space...that's a Bond movie villain. Not this evil cardplayer crap. Orson Welles as a fat magician was more sinister (and entertaining) in that role.
Oh, and bring back John Cleese as Q plz. Hell, cast anyone you like as bond as long as I get John Cleese back.
*goes to watch Die Another Day again*