The Future of James Bond 007

Who is next in line to play the iconic role?

by Randy Krinsky

Recently there has been a lot of talk about who the new actor will be to fill the role of the dashing MI6 super spy James Bond, Agent 007. I think we should take a step back and realize that Daniel Craig, the current Bond, hasn’t actually officially announced he’s through with the role.

When Spectre came out last year, Craig implied he was done with the character, stating, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.” Sounds pretty definite, right? Well, if you think about it he just finished a grueling film that was very physically demanding and was now on a long press tour to promote the film. At that point, most actors couldn’t see themselves doing another action film! Then again, many actors, from time to time, talk about quitting a role just to strengthen their bargaining position for future installments. However, after ten years since taking over the role for 2006’s Casino Royale, Craig’s position appears to already be pretty strong. Producers have made it crystal clear they still w
ant Craig.

His films have beendaniel-craig-bond quite profitable for the franchise. Skyfall, probably the best of his Bond films, grossed $1 billion, and even Spectre, with its mixed reception, still took in almost $900 million. That’s not too bad. But, indeed, after a decade in one role, fatigue could set in
and no one would blame him if he was getting a little over playing the martini-sipping spy.

I believe Craig is still contracted for one more film, Bond 25, and the studio would undeniably like him to return for the film. Actually, I hear that the studio is offering to push back filming to accommodate Craig’s schedule. It was recently announced that he’ll be starring in the new Showtime series, “Purity,” based on the Jonathan Franzen book. If that’s the case then the studio has to be desperately seeking to get a working shooting schedule together to keep him or start making some hard choices about replacements.

  • Barsuglia Photography

It has been reported that MGM would like Bond 25, not the actually title, mind you, to be in theaters by next year, with shooting to start possibly this fall. Would they willing to push this back for Craig, possibly? The casting process takes time and would be a real hassle. No matter who is chosen, fans will complain. Remember when blonde Daniel Craig was hired? Fans love him now, but at first it was blasphemous to have a blonde Bond! To entice Craig to stay in the role, some have reported that the studio offered big money, like he wasn’t being paid a ton already, as well as possibly shooting two films back-to-back to allow more time for family on the back end. Again, last year, Craig addressed that scenario, “there was a conversation at one point that went, ‘let’s film two movies back-to-back.’ I just went, ‘you’re out of your f*****g minds. In the nicest possible way. They’re just too big.’” Later, during an “Esquire” magazine interview, when asked about making the next film, he added, “At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.” So, like I said initially, it could just be fatigue and it could just be a need to stretch his acting wings a bit first before returning to the well one more time.

There will be more Bond films, that much is sure. If the studio can’t work out an amicable arrangement and Craig departs, who would fill the role? Some websites have already announced a new Bond has been chosen. I read an article the other day that Aidan Turner, star of BBC’s “Poldark,” was tapped for the role. Then, yesterday another website announced Theo James, of the Divergent film series, was confirmed as the new Bond. Everyone is getting a little ahead of themselves because, actually, no one has been confirmed for the role of James Bond. It is still in Daniel Craig’s lap until it isn’t.

Now, if it indeed comes down to recasting, as it looks like might actually be happening. Who would be the right fit for the character? Many have their favorites and bet makers have placed odds on the favorites. Let’s go through the rundown of who might be in consideration.

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Tom Hiddleston

Possibly, the odds-on favorite. He’s looks the part, though a bit sleek in build when compared to Craig, but his accent is spot-on and it isn’t hard to picture him in a tuxedo with a dry martini in his hand. He’s made it no secret that he would relish the role, and many say he’s already taken meeting with producers on the subject. He received high marks for his role as Loki in the Marvel films, as well as for his role in AMC’s “The Night Manager.” He could pull it off as he is no stranger to franchise film commitment, plus he’s a media darling during press tours. I mean, have you seen the guy dancing before? He’s incredible!

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Idris Elba

Not the kind of guy that would break out into dance during an interview, nevertheless, rumblings began immediately after Spectre that Elba should take over the role. I know, some say, what? Elba? He’s a black actor! I say, c’mon get with the times! Picture it, Idris Elba has the stature, the gravitas, the voice, and definitely the acting ability, no matter what his skin tone may well be. Have you seen him in “The Wire” or in “Luther?” The man is a force to be reckoned with. Cool under pressure, tough guys is this man’s forte. If he’s not being seriously considered by producers, he should be.

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Aidan Turner

Some say the man already has the job. I’m not so sure. This Irish actor might not be the best-known on this list, but he’s still a contender. You might not recognize him, but you knew him as Kili in “The Hobbit” trilogy, and then now he’s the star of BBC’s “Poldark.” Why might he be a good Bond? He’s got the looks and he’s relatively unknown enough to “become” the new James Bond; to be molded into the character by the producers.

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Theo James

Another actor that some say is a lock for the role already, Theo James has the look and charm to fill the role. This Divergent series star’s Hugo Boss campaign made many take notice. Action movie skills are also not an issue as he’s proven he can deliver in both the Divergent films, alongside Shailene Woodley, and in the last Underworld film, alongside Kate Beckinsale. Pair him in Bond 25 alongside any one of a number of young actresses poised for action film greatness (Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke) and you could have yourself the most promising action duo of the year. With the Bond franchise charging on for many years still to come, having a young Bond, Theo is 31, would be beneficial as he’d be able to portray the character long-term.

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Damian Lewis

Another name being tossed around for quite some time is the London-born Damian Lewis (I actually had no idea he was British). The “Billions” and “Homeland” star (I even liked him in “Life”) is big enough that he could grab the role and yet not too big that he can’t make it his own without too much baggage from previous roles. I mean his role as Major Dick Winters in “Band of Brothers” was incredible. He has a sense of style, a “quiet-cool,” if you will, and can pull off the look definitely.

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Henry Cavill

With the DC Extended Universe having a lock on Cavill as Superman for the foreseeable future, this might be a longshot. Nevertheless, Cavill is often mentioned when it comes to who would be the right fit for a new James Bond. In fact, he barely lost out on the role in 2005 to Daniel Craig. Maybe director Martin Campbell and producer Barbara Broccoli weren’t ready for such a young Bond (he was only 22 at the time) after being portrayed by the mature Pierce Brosnan. He’s good looking, suave, but detractors note the he might lack the allure or depth viewers want from their Bond. Although, unless they could iron out a workable shooting schedule the whole idea of his casting is a moot point.

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Tom Hardy

Another fan favorite, Tom Hardy is one of the hottest box office stars right now. He has the range, he has the look, and he definitely has the allure. The question is really if Hardy would want to commit to the same role for an extended period of time. His film characters tend to run the gambit in terms of showcasing his ability to adapt and become the character. He’s really an incredible character actor of a leading man caliber, sort of a younger Gary Oldman. He would truly be an incredible James Bond. At this point Hardy might be too big to accept the role. He really doesn’t need the gig, he’s doing just fine.

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Michael Fassbender

Another in a list of could-be great Bonds. He has the look, the stature, the demeanor, the acting ability and he’s the right age. Another “Band of Brothers” alumnus, he’s proven that he is more than just Magneto in the X-Men films. He’s had great roles in 300, Prometheus, 12 Years a Slave, and Steve Jobs, being nominated for an Academy Award for the last two. Of course, I love him in the X-Men films, too. He’s the total package but again, like Hardy, probably too big for the role.

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Gillian Anderson

Alright, I know. But playing devil’s advocate, “The X-Files" star has a pretty big following advocating her casting as the first “Jane Bond.” Also, I know she’s not British, but she is of English descent and she grew up in England, went to school in England, currently lives in England, heck, she’s even starred in a few BBC shows (“Bleak House”, “The Fall”). After moving to the United States, she lost her London accent but could still pull off a cool, chic, and dangerous version of Bond. Anderson has hinted that she’d love the role, if offered, and even re-tweeted a fan-made poster of her as Bond, which subsequently went viral.

Obviously reactions to a potential female Bond have been mixed, some saying it should remain a male character, and others believe shaking it up a little would be good. Former Bonds themselves are mixed, with Pierce Brosnan admitting anything is possible, and that there is no reason why it couldn’t happen, but that it’ll probably always be a white male. Daniel Craig, however, believes a female Bond would be a great idea.

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Emilia Clarke

So, if we’re clear that a female “Jane Bond” is possible, then how about another option, Emilia Clarke. This “Game of Thrones” star is starring in the current Me Before You and is sought after in Hollywood. She’s made it pretty clear that one of her goals is to play Bond. Maybe this is her chance, being a super-hot property at the same time that the role is up for grabs? There’s no reason why Khaleesi herself couldn’t tame the role of Bond. No reason, unless you count that she tried to take on the role of the new Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies and that didn’t work out too well.  But I’m still optimistic that the “Mother of Dragons” would be a kick-ass Bond!

So, if rumors are to be believed and Daniel Craig is officially out, with a new casting choice to be named in the coming weeks, the above names are a pretty good lock of actors that the new Bond will be chosen from. Out of the above group, my fan choice would be Idris Elba. I think he’s super talented and with a mysterious edginess to him. Even alongside Chris Hemsworth in the Thor movies, Elba tends to steal any scene he’s in and is most imposing! And those aren’t even his greatest works!

spectre-james-bond

Barbara Broccoli and her Eon Productions are entrusted with bringing to us the exploits of James Bond. With 24 films already under their belt, there will most likely be Bond films being made long into the future. There have been seven incarnations of James Bond, with an eighth to be revealed most likely very soon. Who would you cast? Why? Regardless of who we, the fans, choose, we can be most assured that Broccoli, who makes the final call, will bring us a new Bond that is going to reinvigorate the series and continue to entertain us for years to come. After all, she’s the one who brought us Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, not too shabby. Not too shabby, indeed.

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